Off-colour Fujifilm X-E2 Harebell

An August display of Harebell wild flowers and Bell Heather on the slopes of Slieve Foye, Carlingford, Co. Louth, Ireland. Everything was swaying about and bobbing up and down in the breeze, so I was glad of the bright conditions and fast lens that allowed me to shoot at 1/2000th sec, f2.8. Fujifilm X-E2, Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R.

There was a wonderful mid-morning swathe of sunlit colour on the warm slopes of Slieve Foye — too good to miss. But when I turned my back to the sun and checked my shots on-screen I was disappointed that some of the colour had shifted noticeably in the JPEGs.

The unedited RAW Provia/standard original (see below) had coped reasonably well with the heather and grass, but made a mess of the Harebell petal’s subtle shade of mauve/blue. It’s an issue that reminded me of my early film days when I shot bluebells and struggled to get anything close to the actual colour. The delicate hue shifted to a sickly purple. Looking online and referencing a few of my books I see that off-colour results aren’t hard to find.

I got the Harebell blues. The colour shift is disappointing, but like most things, it’s fixable — to a point. Colour fidelity is a bit hit and miss across a wide range of devices and monitors and TV screens. Yes, everything should be accurately calibrated, of course, but getting close to nature’s subtle colours in processing is tricky. If you’re lucky you’ll see Harebell colour somewhere on this page that’s reasonably close.

I loaded the RAW image of the above shot into the latest version of the free software I’d downloaded from Fujifilm. Eventually I got the result you see at the top of the page. But the next morning I was back at the computer with a fresh approach to Fujifilm’s film simulations and realised that the Classic Chrome colour rendition seemed close, though much too diluted. When I pumped up the saturation level and made a few other fine colour adjustments the result looked better on my Asus monitor than my first attempt. Maybe the heather needs dialled back a bit. How does it look for you? I feel it’s a step in the right direction.

Fujifilm’s Classic Chrome RAW film simulation with increased saturation and adjustments to the “Fine color controller”. But the heather still needs pulled back. Ironically, Fujifilm say Classic Chrome “has gained popularity, especially among street and documentary photographers.” Well, maybe it has a place in some landscape photography contexts too.

Edit In ON1 Photo RAW

A couple of years later I brought this image into ON1 for editing. I used the eyedropper in the Colour Enhancer to select the colour I wanted to control. In a second Colour Enhancer I targeted the main colour of the heather only. An early effort can be seen below.

Slieve Foye was covered in vibrant colour.
The view down from the lower slopes of Slieve Foye across Carlingford Lough towards Greencastle.

 

 

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