Melatonin, Calm & Muted by Grant Teng

Classic Negative film recipe for pales tones for city, landscape and nature

Here’s another wonderful guest recipe, designed by our contributor Grant Teng. You can see a number of his recipes in our user recipes section. I really love his style, capturing the tones and mood of the city with muted tones and balanced contrast.

For this recipe, Grant has used Classic Negative as the base simulation, a reduced saturation and a characterful combination of sharpening and negative clarity.

Grant says, “It’s a Classic Neg recipe for a dreamy urban look. Love it for neutral tones, but can produce some interesting muted-color results too. This probably requires a diffusion filter of some sort, but -5 clarity might work too (or you could combine both). It also turns into a nice clean street look once you pull out the filter.”

Grant shoots in Manila, capturing scenes from this busy city. On this occasion, I’ve added some of my own shots in the bottom section of the page, so you can see how the recipe looks out of the city too.

Grant’s images were taken with an XT4, 23F2, and a 1/4 K&F diffusion filter.

Manila city scene, captured with Melatonin film recipe, by Grant Teng

Melatonin Film Recipe, by Grant Teng

  • Simulation: Classic Negative
  • Grain Effect: Off
  • Colour Chrome Effect: Weak
  • Colour Chrome Blue: Strong
  • White Balance: Auto Ambience Priority
  • WB Shift: +3 Red, +2 Blue
  • Dynamic Range: DR400
  • Highlights: +1.0
  • Shadows: +1.0
  • Color: -3
  • Sharpness: +3
  • ISO Noise Reduction: -4
  • Clarity: -5 (or use a mist/diffusion filter)
  • EV compensation: +1/3

Melatonin in the UK

I was really impressed with the unique look of Melatonin in the city environment, and wanted to try it for myself. Here are a few images from the British Autumn and Winter that I generated with X RAW Studio. Despite it’s tropical origins, I think this recipe is a great choice for capturing pale winter scenes with its muted tone.

Recipes with a Similar Look and Feel

This recipe is has a muted tone, but also a colour balance that brings pinks into the highlights and neutrals. Here are a few other recipes with these features.


🌊 Let’s get creative in this new round of The Film Recipes Challenge 🏄 The recipe is the burned and faded look, Childhood Vacation, which loves to be over exposed. Try some images and share a selection in the Film Recipes Facebook Group or the comments on the recipe page. Open to everyone, until end of 8th June. Tag #childhoodvacation ☀️

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