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A Week in Crete in Kodachrome II

As you all know, I love the colours that come straight out of Fujifilm cameras; it’s why I shoot JPEG. Every couple of months, I’ll mix up my fifth custom setting slot and try something a little different. This time I was intrigued by Ritchie Roesch’s Kodachrome II settings and dialled them into my X-T2.

The Kodachrome II ‘look’ was one that I thought would match the summer vibes of a week’s break in Crete. Clean, colourful and slightly vintage; my kind of style. Steve McCurry, a brilliant photographer most famous for the iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ portrait, used Kodachrome extensively. He shot the last roll of Kodachrome ever. He described Kodachrome as having ‘more poetry in it, a softness, an elegance.’

Now I cannot say that my photos below do this film any justice but I loved Ritchie’s settings and will be using these on more occasions. It feels perfect for those warm, sunny days exploring new locations. Sometimes all it takes is some new colours to help you see photography a little differently.

I love the Greek Islands and we planned a quick week break to Crete purely to check out a wedding venue.  It also helped that Emma’s family had a villa we could chill out in and that really made the holiday!  Since returning from travelling full-time, we aren’t able to sit and sunbathe all day every day.  It meant that we had a good excuse to explore all the little streets in the Old Towns of both Chania and Rethymnon.  The Venetian Harbour of Chania is enough to make anyone book a trip to Crete immediately.  I’ve visited before with my old camera and came away with some gems if you’re looking for some #travelinspiration.

I use the settings as set out by Ritchie but with no grain and -4 noise reduction. No real reason just my personal preference.  I also use the Daylight white balance setting with +3 Red and -4 Blue so that I can still use Auto +1 Red on my other settings. I always seem to forget to switch the colour shift back when flicking between settings.  Unfortunately, with using Daylight I’ve had to warm up some of the golden hour photos with split toning – this is where Auto would have come in handy.  Dear Fujifilm, can we please have proper custom white balance settings please?

The Kodachrome II settings I dialled in are:

  • Classic Chrome

  • Dynamic Range: DR 200

  • Highlight: +1

  • Shadow: +2

  • Colour: -1

  • Noise Reduction: -4

  • Sharpening: 1

  • Grain: None

  • White Balance: Daylight (you can use Auto still), +3 Red & -4 Blue

Following this, I make small adjustments in Lightroom using an import preset: +10 contrast, +35 clarity, +5 vignette and a small S-Curve.

If you’re interested in seeing what other film simulations I use, check out my post here

Let me know what you think of the Kodachrome II colours in the comments below!


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14 thoughts on “A Week in Crete in Kodachrome II”

  1. It’s a gorgeous recipe in the sun – slightly overexposed. A bit sketchy in the shade though. For portraits I apply a little split tone to itHighlight hue 30 saturation 5Shadow hue 40 saturation 8Gives amazing but subtle warmth


    I agree that this sim looks good on a sunny day. I’ve also tried using your jpeg preset but have to back off the clarity with portraits in lower light.

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