New Firmware, New Color! (ARA)

2023.07.14 BLOG

(Translated from the original post on February 3, 2023)

The new firmware was released to coincide with the release of the GR III Diary Edition Special Limited Kit.

The highlight of the update is the "Negative Film", a new Image Control that reproduces a soft and gentle overall tone with a unique faded look.

According to Okubo's article the other day, it was inspired by the "New Color" works of the 1970s. I tried to take snapshots "as if" I had taken them during a road trip to a rural town in the U.S. at that time.

GR III, P mode, 1/1000s, F8.0, ISO400, WB: Daylight +A6,
Image Ctrl: Negative Film (Sat+4, Hue-4, Contrast -4, Sharpness-4, Others; default value)

Looking through the photobooks of William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, who represent the "New Color" generation, I wondered why they photographed the gas stations, diners, private yards, garages, and even motel interiors they saw on their travels. One after another, those images make you wonder, "Why did they take these pictures?

Nowadays, capturing and exhibiting the so-called "everyday life as it is" is considered a form of expression, but fifty years ago, the style of focusing a lens on motifs that had nothing to do with decisive moments or graphic beauty was certainly considered quite new by the people of that time.

GR III, P mode, 1/640s, F8.0, ISO400, WB: Daylight +A6,
Image Ctrl: Negative Film (Hue+4, Sharpness-4, Others; default value)

By the way, all the photos in this issue are based on "Negative Film", and the colors have been further modified from the original settings. The reason for this is because of my perverted personality... no, I just wanted to reproduce the muddy color tone of New Color.

The GR III and other modern digital cameras have an excellent auto white balance system that rarely causes color shifts, but because of this, I feel that the resulting images can appear a little cold or too clean compared to film photography.

GR III, P mode, 1/30s, F5.0, ISO400, WB: Daylight +A6,
Image Ctrl: Negative Film (Hue+4, Sharpness-4, Others; default value)

For this reason, I deliberately tried to render the image in such a way that the colors would be more muddy.

Specifically, I adjusted the [Hue] parameter to create a magenta or cyan color cast.

The other is the white balance. I selected [Daylight] for all the subjects, and then fine-tuned it to the A (Amber) side by pressing the Fn button.

GR IIIx, P mode, 1/80s, F2.8, ISO200, WB: Daylight +A6,
Image Ctrl: Negative Film (Hue-4, Sharpness-4, Shading-2, Others; default value)

Since there is no such thing as auto white balance in film photography, it is quite common for color tones to change drastically when shooting in anything other than sunny conditions.

In fact, when I first started taking pictures, I would use different lens filters depending on the lighting conditions, such as tungsten or fluorescent light.

GR III, Av mode, 1/30s, F4.0, ISO1250, WB: Daylight +A6,
Image Ctrl: Negative Film (Hue+4, Sharpness-4, Others; default value)

That's all for my challenge to create a New Color-like style through my interpretation. All the photos were taken in Tokyo.

All the topics I wrote in the past, where I talked about the works of famous photographers, were based on my own point of view as a photography fan.

When you come across a favorite artist or work, what you can do is to try to imitate him or her by making your own interpretation of his or her work, from the choice of subject, to the way you shoot, to the way you finish the work. You will certainly learn from them and discover many new things.


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