I think it’s fair to say that we are all guilty of not using all of the features on our cameras. We prefer to stick to what we know or what we think we need. One of those features that I had dismissed as a bit gimmicky was the Advanced Filters. Sure I had looked at them and fired off a few shots but they weren’t for me, I preferred to produce my creative images in Lightroom or Photoshop.
However that was all to change on my recent trip to Lisbon.
Now I wouldn’t quite describe Lisbon as beautiful, it’s certainly not a Venice, Paris or Prague. But it is definitely characterful. Very hilly, lots of little streets and alleyways, buildings that have seen better days contrasting with some stunning architecture, oh and of course there are the trams. These trams have been part of Lisbon’s travel network for almost 150 years and are one of the city’s major tourist attractions.
As a travel photographer there are always the iconic images that are on my shoot list but I also try to look a little further to see how I can put my own interpretation into a place. On this trip the light was pretty harsh and the sky plain blue and so my attention turned to wandering the streets early in the morning looking for some detail shots, little cameos that communicated a feel about the place. When I’m in this creative mode I often shoot square. It’s a format that I love and one that lends itself really well to the more creative approach.
So having switched my camera to shoot RAW & JPEG and selected the 1:1 format, which helps me compose in camera, I took a few images. I was fairly pleased with the results and I knew how I might develop them in post processing but then it occurred to me that I might try the Advanced Filters just to see the effect.
Now if you’re not too familiar these modes are presets which automatically apply a certain feel to the image and include Miniature, Pop Colour, High Key, Low key, Dynamic Tone, Soft Focus and a series of Partial colour filters.
However the first in the menu is Toy Camera and switching to this I took a few shots, looked at the screen and smiled. The combination of the scene in front of me and the effect of the filter, slight underexposure, a warm tone and dark vignette together with the square format just seemed to work perfectly together.
Well that was it, I tried a few more, and loving the effect I shot many more images this way. I also tried some of the other filters and quite liked those too but my preference was for the Toy effect and I came back with enough images to create a little Blurb book. A perfect outcome and something a little different to what I had originally envisaged from the trip.
So I would urge you to open your mind to the creative opportunities that our Fujifilm cameras offer us, you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Toy Camera mode – “loving the effect I shot many more images this way”