Ouseburn, Acros and …
… other things.
Like Seaton Sluice, Ouseburn doesn’t sound too attractive, something underfoot which should be avoided. It turns out that names can be deceptive, Ouseburn is quite pleasant despite its mucky industrial past and living in the shadows of three viaducts which span the valley.
A brief period of snow after Christmas has been followed by leaden skies and persistent rain, not the best start to the year. Après la neige, le déluge. Nevertheless, on Wednesday afternoon we got lucky and a walk from the Side in Newcastle to the Ouseburn Valley was lit by a bright winter sun, splintered by the Tyne Bridge.
In the dull days before this Newcastle outing, I had spent many happy hours fiddling with the settings on the Fuji X100F. I am mostly a RAW man but I remain addicted to the jpeg film simulations available on Fuji X cameras and so shoot both. When it comes to colour, I am mostly convinced by the argument that RAW records all of the data from the sensor and allows you to decide exactly how the final image should look. However, when it comes to black and white I am not at all sure I can get anywhere near the simulations that Fuji provide in camera. This is particularly true of ACROS as explained at fujifilm-x.com:
Other manufacturers are also implementing the idea of creating “graininess” to enhance image texture. FUJIFILM is not the only brand doing this. You can find “Grain” filter in readily available photo processing software, and many monochrome photographers add “grain” to achieve the monochrome film like effect.
Most of them try to achieve this by adding “grain-like element” to the original image. They simply add another layer of “dotted graininess” on top without changing the original photo composition. So something becomes unnatural in the process. “ACROS” is different.
We developed it from the core of the image file to achieve a very complex and natural like grain expression. Optimal and different grain expressions are added to highlight and low light areas. You would not find unnatural dotted graininess in the highlight areas just like how the monochrome film behaves. In the low light area, you would see the graininess just as it would appear with monochrome film. There is undulating grain within the picture. And it adds depth like no other.
ACROS also changes the output of graininess depending on the sensitivity setting. As the sensitivity gets higher, stronger grain effect becomes visible, just like film.
We also think that it is very unlikely that any RAW conversion software would achieve what “ACROS” achieves. We all know that there are excellent RAW conversion software in the market, but we also believe that the magic of X-Processor Pro is not so easily solved.
These are the results with only minor tweaks in Photoshop – simulation is ACROS with a yellow filter, noise reduction at -1, highlight tone at -2 and sharpness at +2:
Of course, I see what I want to see and I am not sure the subtleties of ACROS grain are particularly evident in these images. So, to finish off, here is a portrait of my middle son, Matt, being subjected to the ACROS treatment.
Happy New Year, one and all.