Huji Cam is all the rage these days, and I have to admit I’ve bought into the hype. The app processes photos taken on your phone so they look like disposable camera photos; their tagline is “Just Like The Year 1998.” The result is a warm, nostalgia-inducing look. But while I love the color profile, there are two aspects to the Huji Cam app that I don’t love: the blurred edges and the light leaks. Artificial light leaks are one of my least favorite post-production effects because they’re just fake. There’s nothing authentic about them. Thankfully, this feature can be turned off in the Huji Cam app settings.
The blurred edges of the photos taken in the app, however, cannot be turned off. Even if you set the app to save the original photos to your camera roll, both photos saved (the Huji Cam version and the original) have the blurred edges. I find this effect compromises the quality of the image without any added benefit. Ideally, I wanted the warmth, saturation, and color treatment of the Huji Cam photos without any of the blurred edges or light leaks. I also wanted to be able to apply the Huji Cam look to my DSLR photos in Lightroom. I had tried to emulate the look in Lightroom before, and was unsuccessful. I decided to turn to the ever-helpful photography community. After a Google search, I found this Reddit thread asking how Huji Cam creates its style and how that could be translated for RAW files. Photographer Cameron Rad uploaded his version of a Huji Cam-style edit, and when I tried it, I was shocked at how accurate it was. I only made two updates: I added a slight bit of grain and lowered the white values that were still a little “hot” in my opinion. All credit, though, goes to Cameron.
The before and after here shows that the Huji Cam look is there, but without the edge distortion. Will the Huji Cam style break into RAW photography or is it a mobile-only trend? Download it for yourself and let me know what you think!