Since the X-M1 only has 4 film simulations, and limited film recipes available, I started playing with the settings to create a unique film recipe. I really love how Acros Yellow creates a contrasty, dramatic image, so I started out with the idea that this film recipe would be in the underexposed region, like -2/3 to -1 & 2/3 underexposed. That’s what you see here in the sample images.

I like the play of light across the subject (the discarded dog toy on our patio), as well as how the light touches the subject and reveals the texture. This definitely would have been a much different image shot wide open, as the concrete is already a bit soft behind the stuffed animal, so keep that in mind.

Living in a desert, I love succulents and cacti. They are everywhere, full of prickly character and a symbol of tenacity in the face of scarcity. Here the softness of the outside of the image caused by the shallow depth of field guides your eye back to the center, complementing the radial design of the succulent. The fall of light on the leaves almost reminds me of the old time photographs created via tintype or ferrotype, though the lens I’m using produces an image much more refined that images you typically see shot with those techniques, cameras and materials.

Now, Daisy is always a favorite subject, though she doesn’t usually sit still long enough to compose a shot. So, one of the benefits of this dark, contrasty recipes (remember to underexpose) is that one of the methods of underexposing an image is high shutter speed, which pairs well with subjects that might be moving (like a dog), or tend to be in motion. I reframed and cropped this image to straighten it, but this is straight of of camera otherwise.

So, if these sample images are to your liking, check out the recipe below:

Film Simulation: Black and White

Dynamic Range: 100

Sharpness: 0

Highlight: -2

Shadow: +2

Noise Reduction: -2

White Balance: Auto, Red -4, Blue -1

Two more samples with the 56mm F/1.2 lens below, exposed a bit more to the right. Lovely and ethereal detail shots from the patio. I usually have a 5% Cinebloom filter on and somehow, somewhere I took it off recently. I think it would only enhance these images.

And one last shot, a moody underexposed image of me holding the 23mm F/2 lens.

I think the underexposed images with this recipe and with the 56mm F/1.2 lens really create interesting background textures.

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