What Difference Does a Film Simulation Make? Velvia Vs. Eterna for Sunrise Photography

Typically, when I’m out shooting landscape photography or sunrise and sunset images, I always try Velvia out in-camera to see how the film simulation affects the image.

Velvia never fails to inject vibrancy, saturation, color, contrast, and brightness into an image. Check out the following image with Velvia.

So, the very same morning, the very same coastline and the very same camera, lens, and exposure with Eterna – see the difference below:

It can be challenging to describe in words the simulations that Fuji builds into their cameras or the impact of the film simulation on a given image, but it does pay off to know, or hold a mental model of the effects of film simulation because you can actually use it to impact the exposure and even influence the composition of the image.

The top image has more of a warm glow, and conjures association of glory, celebration, awesomeness, and inspiration.

The bottom image has more of a neutral, and slightly cooler tone, which makes the image appear more negative or, better put, less positive, than the top image. With the subject of the man in the lower photo, you can perceive a longing, a reflective state, perhaps even regret or sorrow, injected into the image from the film simulation (besides the subject).

In contrast, the subject of the camera looking toward the horizon, colored with Velvia, gives more of an uplifting, motivational, and optimistic tone.

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts – what’s your go-to film simulation and why?

3 responses to “What Difference Does a Film Simulation Make? Velvia Vs. Eterna for Sunrise Photography”

  1. brenda Avatar

    The top image seems to invite an awesome moment while memories of early morning’s chill and humidity are within the bottom image. Thank you for this post

  2. brenda Avatar

    I lost my comment .. if this is a repeat, please forgive. The top image awakens “awe” while early morning’s chill and humidity are within the second image

    1. Wes Kriesel Avatar

      No worries, Brenda! Thank you for the comment. The first comment was put into the queue waiting for approval before being visible. I quite agree and like how you perceive the chill and humidity in the second photo. Nice additions or components to make the same scene feel different!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: