Fuji X-T3 | Portrait Photography

Portrait Comparison
Astia SOOC Jpeg on Left – Classic Negative Film Sim RAW Conversion on Right ©Rick Lewis 2019

Fujifilm has, to date, blessed photographers with 17 different film simulations in their most current cameras.  The X-Pro3 being the most recent release has all 17 simulations. However, for X-T3 users, like myself, if you process your RAW, RAF, files in Capture One Pro 12, you get to use the brand new Fuji Classic Negative film sim, or profile, currently only available in the X-Pro3.

Having 17 different looks to choose from may seem like a lot but everyone has different tastes in photography.  For me, Astia has always been my preference for portraits, and indeed, most other work as well.  That is until Fuji’s Classic Negative profile came along.

Recently I attended a local “Frontier Days” re-enactment camp that is put on every year.  I knew I would have plenty of opportunities to grab some impromptu portraits to test my new X-T3.

I set up my camera to shoot RAW+Jpeg Fine.  It is easy to customize the Jpeg results on a Fuji.  I set mine up to shoot Astia with +1 Highlights, +1 Shadows, 0 Color, & +1 Sharpening with -4 Noise Reduction.  I left everything else at the default settings.  I did not change the settings during my time at the event, knowing I could change things up with the RAW RAF file later, if I wished.

Environmental Portrait of a woman actor at Frontier Days, Wetumpka Alabama.
Astia Film Sim ©Rick Lewis 2019

The image above is essentially straight out of the camera.  I took about 15 seconds to create a masking layer, lightening up the woman’s face just a bit since we were in complete shade on a heavily overcast day.  With Capture One using the layers function is very quick and easy.  Before I set out I set the camera White Balance manually at 6300K (Capture One Pro 12 read this to be 6110K).  I made no changes in post.

I love the soft warm look of Astia for portraits.  In particular, with this portrait, nothing else worked for me.  Again, this is the Jpeg, not the RAF.

If you like to work in black and white Fuji cameras are ideal.  You can shoot B&W Jpegs and you will still have the RAW, RAF, that you can convert to color any time you wish.  On occasion I will set up my X-T3 to shoot B&W Jpegs.  When I do set up for B&W I usually use the Acros film simulation.  It really is quite good.  However, the standard Monochrome film simulation should not be overlooked.

In the image below I processed the RAW image to B&W using the standard Monochrome -Y setting, (Y stands for the addition of a yellow filter in the film days).  I think it looks pretty good.  I could have had an excellent starting point by setting up to shoot B&W jpegs, but for this event I chose not to.  Still, this looks pretty darn good.

Black and White Portrait of Actor.
Monochrome-Y Film Sim ©Rick Lewis 2019

The following images are all conversions of the RAW file using the Classic Negative film simulation.  It simply was a one click process for me.  The X-T3 light meter was spot on and the white balance was also.  I love the look of Classic Negative but not because it reminds me of my old film days.  It does not.  I used Kodak color negative film exclusively.  I have to admit I have never shot a single frame of Fuji film in my life.  But I love this look for certain subjects.

Portrait of frontiersman at Frontier Days, Wetumpka Alabama.
Classic Negative Film Sim Developed from RAF ©Rick Lewis 2019

I think you can see that the Classic Negative film sim is very fitting for certain portraits.

I’ll end the post with one last portrait.  Below is a Native American woman participating in the Frontier Days exhibition.  This is the Jpeg, straight out of the camera with only a slight Curve adjustment to brighten the midtones due to the very dull light.  Astia is such a good choice for portraits.  I know I’ll continue to use it and if Fuji decides to release another firmware update to add Classic Negative to the native pallet in the X-T3, I’m certain that I will be using that too.

Native American Woman Portrait at Frontier Days, Wetumpka Alabama.
Astia Film Sim ©Rick Lewis 2019

Alabama Travel – Aldridge Gardens | Birmingham

I made a trip to Aldridge Gardens in Birmingham Alabama this past weekend.  I really didn’t want to go on a Saturday and I didn’t want to go in the middle of the day, for photographing it, but the opportunity came up and I went.

Aldridge Gardens has a reputation, in this area, as a photographer’s paradise, especially for family portrait photography, as well as a beautiful wedding venue.  I quickly found out why.  The gardens are so popular with photographers that management has now had to set up a system to manage the many professionals that wish to use this beautiful backdrop.  Go to their website menu under “Photo Guild Gallery”, for all the information on fees and restrictions.

On this day I was there as a tourist.  In late June not much is in bloom so there was some disappointment there.  Also, on this particular day the gardens were hosting their annual art festival.  That wasn’t good for me either as there were people wandering around everywhere!  Photo ops were hard to come by.

One big plus was I met Maurice Cook, a very talented artist.  His art could be described as “Black Americana”.  What ever you call it, it was mesmerizing.  I think like most, I don’t know much about art, except, I know what I like and don’t like.  Maurice Cook’s work definitely had an impact on me.  He is only locally known.  He has no website nor email address.  He told me up until two weeks previous, he didn’t even have a cell phone.  You can see some of his work by Googling “Maurice Cook Artist”, then go to “Images”.  It’s not much but worth the look.  I was able to make two quick portraits of him.

Maurice Cook  ©Rick Lewis
Maurice Cook ©Rick Lewis


Maurice can be contacted my snail mailing him at:

Odd Job Art by Maurice Cook, 224 Mill Run Circle, Birmingham Alabama, 35226 or you can reach him at (205) 823-3191.

Maurice Cook, "Artist"  ©Rick Lewis
Maurice Cook, “Artist” ©Rick Lewis

After chatting with Maurice for a good while, I took a stroll through the gardens.

Summer meadow held back by split rail.
© Rick Lewis

The gardens are very diverse with numerous different elements.  This is truly a photographers paradise!

Calming waterfall.
© Rick Lewis

You will find tranquil streams and small waterfalls an, in the Spring, beautiful flowers everywhere.  There is even a small lake for a backdrop.  I found these beautiful blue hydrangeas blooming on this June day.

Blue Hydrangea
© Rick Lewis

If you find yourself in the Birmingham area, take a little side trip to Aldridge Gardens.  The admission is free, (donations appreciated), and in this case, you get much more than you pay for.

For larger versions of each of these images, please go to my Flickr page.  To contact me directly, email me at:  ricklewisphotos@gmail.com



B&W Executive Portraits | Montgomery, Alabama Photographer

A client asked the other day, “Do you do black and white business portraits also?”  I have only been asked a few times to produce a black and white headshot, or portrait for a client.  Years ago, that was the standard.  Today, not so much.

In this day and age of digital manipulation, e.g., Photoshop®, converting a color image to B&W is quite easy.  All three of the images below, were originally shot in color, and delivered in color.  But, you’ll see they are also very compelling as a black and white image.

If you need a quality business headshot or portrait for advertising, the Web, public relations or any other use give me a call at 813.767.4685 or email me at ricklewisphotos@gmail.com.  For much more information on my services please visit my website.



©Rick Lewis
©Rick Lewis
©Rick Lewis
©Rick Lewis