Yes, this technique can be done with most cameras, but the Fuji X-cameras make it a snap with their built-in palette modes and Custom settings. I changed one of the Custom Settings on the "Q" menu to set up the camera with the following:
The color mode is set to Monochrome +R Filter. The +R, or red filter, will already darken the blues in the sky. In addition I add +1 to the High Tones to lighten them, and Sharpness, and a +2 to Shadow tones to darken them. I also add +1 to Sharpness. This provides me with my base settings. Next I add a polarizing filter to the lens and turn it to maximize the darkening of the sky. As can be seen in the sample photos below, on a bright, sunny day these settings deliver a very deep, black sky and bright highlights for stark contrast. Generally, these scenes are shot at the lowest ISO of 200 so I often dial in some extra noise to give the image a grainier, film-like quality.
I find this method very effective for creating dramatic compositions of highly contrasting light and dark elements.
|In this scene I liked the serpentine shape of the passing white clouds and wanted to set it and the building off sharply against the background.|
|This image and the one below are straight out-of-the-camera jpgs with deep, black shadows, and bright highlights that maintain good detail.|