How much do you edit scans of slide film?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by raymondc, May 22, 2014.

  1. How much processing are you doing with slide film? You have to scan them first of course. I can understand that with b/w film, after it is scanned it goes into Lightroom as you do when put them thru the Darkroom, as I also understand with color negative film since it has to be converted to a working image first.
    People are shooting more digital, thru my camera club some pro's have talked about Lightroom and Photoshop editing and it's the way now and as I can understand those who do nature or portrait photography processing is involved be it if one shot digital or film. More in the past, with slides, they handed over the film afaik then the editors did whatever they wanted. If today, one scans slide film into the computer, process it with a software, it is going to be different than the original right?
    That being the case, while I still enjoy shooting film and having its unedited way - ie view the slides on a light table. Going by today's standards, if I were to edit my slide film, seems more straightforward just to shoot digital? And, if I choose not to edit it, it seems to be for my eye only considering the current style at present.
  2. I do very little editing in Photoshop, only to match the slide and mostly to size for the use. I like the look of film and try to keep it in the scanned image and for the print or Web. I like that I have the slide to compare to the digital version to match them.
  3. Ray,
    It's not so much the "current style" as the hard facts of scanning. You'd think that scanning a slide would yield a digital image that looks like the slide, without any intervention or processing. Unfortunately, getting a digital image that looks like the slide is difficult, and where much of the skill and judgement of the editor comes into play.
    As a mechanical/optical/electronic process, the scanner tries to deliver as much "information" to the computer as possible. A "good" scan that captures all of the range of darkness to lightness, and all of the colour, ends up looking very flat compared to the original slide, or the intended final image. Making a good scan is more like making a good negative -- i.e. it provides the best raw material needed for post-processing into a pleasing image, but looking at the negative (or the raw scan) it bears little relation to what the finished image will look like.
    Once you've got a well-captured raw scan, skillful post processing can create an image that looks much like your original slide -- and at least you have the slide to go by as a clear reference. Of course, with a well-captured scan, there are other editing/post production choices that could be made. Like a negative, the scan can be re-interpreted in many ways, yielding many different images.
  4. Going by today's standards, if I were to edit my slide film, seems more straightforward just to shoot digital? And, if I choose not to edit it, it seems to be for my eye only considering the current style at present.​
    This is of course a question of deep religious significance to many, so I hope I won't offend anyone. In my own experience, digital postprocessing opens up many possibilities, including the possibility to make the output look pretty much like film. Contrast curves from digital cameras are typically very linear, compared to more sigmoidal curves from typical films (see below, last paragraph). It's an easy matter to create custom contrast curves that render very film-like shadows and highlights. If you are a grain lover, there are even ways to create grain. So yes, it's possible to shoot digital, do minimal editing, and have film-like output.
    Still, there's nothing wrong with shooting film. If you are going to scan and have a digital workflow thereafter, I would recommend shooting negative film, rather than slide film, for the greater latitude. If you want a "slide" look, you can achieve that by applying steeper contrast curves. However, you increase your margin of error and keep more possibilities open with negative film. Of course there's also the possibility of shooting film and processing everything in a darkroom. It's not as mysterious as many would believe, particularly for B&W.
    You ask whether scanning and digital processing will make an image different from the original. Yes, everything you could possibly do results in something different from the original. Even old-school methods of printing slides will give you results different from the original. If you want the highest possible color fidelity going from slide to print, I suspect that would be achieved digitally with very careful color management. However, I don't think there are many situations where this sort of control is either necessary or desirable. IMO, the best general approach is to apply appropriate contrast curves and color corrections to achieve the best looking photograph, which is similar to what is done in a lab.
    Finally, I'll answer a question that I THINK you're asking, but I'm not sure: If you want to scan film, any type of film will work. You can scan positives, negatives, B&W, color. Just tell the scanning software what it is, and it will be converted to the correct output. At least that's true of my Minolta DiMage Dual IV scanner and my Epson V700 scanner. So it's a matter of picking which type of film you think is most appropriate for what you're doing. If you are committing yourself to digital postprocessing, I would suggest a high latitude (low contrast) negative film. BTW, if you are committed to 35mm film, I would highly recommend a DiMage scanner. Mine has served me well.
    And finally, here is a great resource for understanding the nonlinear response characteristics of film:
    Replicate these nonlinearities through application of contrast curves to digital files (from a digital camera), and you will get a very film-like "look." Also some very linear, high-latitide films (e.g. Tmax) can be made to look like other films this way.
  5. IMOPO, the reasons to stay with film (at least sometimes) are that it lets you (1) use a camera with capabilities that you couldn't get or couldn't afford in a digital camera, like a view camera with extensive movements and/or a 4x5 for massive prints; (2) get transparencies to view on a lightbox or project; (3) use a camera you simply enjoy using; (4) use a process you simply enjoy or prefer (like B&W film and hand-made wet prints).
    So if you just use an ordinary 35mm or even medium format camera, shoot transparency film, and scan, I see little technical reason to do so. This is especially so if you don't have scans for critical and/or large prints made on a high-end dedicated film scanner, like a drum scanner or Hasselblad / Imacon, or at least a Nikon 9000. Scanning medium format and especially 35mm film on a flatbed like an Epson, other than for proofs or web use, has little technical merit.
  6. I fit in Dave's 3rd category for the little film I use: I like the cameras (for every now and then anyway). And I quite like the delay in seeing the photos, the anticipation of what comes out rather than the instant gratification with digital (though not always, so the overwhelming majority of what I shoot is digital).
    While I have all photos printed (not doing my own development yet), I also do scan all negatives myself; and I find I edit them about as much as I edit my digital files, except for white balance and black & white conversions. Just a little work on contrast, sharpening and sometimes colour corrections if the scans or DSLR raw files have a colour cast. And that's it. So, once into the program I use, there is no large difference in how I treat a file coming from a digital camera versus a file coming from my scanner. But both do need some editing - sharpening at least is simply needed in both cases.
    Doing much more editing than that, or none at all is a choice, and in my opinion, it has got little to do with film, scanning or digital. Whether you choose a specific emulsion, develop to taste and work on it in the darkroom; or scan it and take it to Lightroom, it is a bit the same thing: creating the final image as you want it. The somewhat lingering idea that editing means massive brush-ups in Photoshop is a bit a mistaken view. A lot of 'editing' is as subtle as the differences between developers.
    So, frankly your question as I've understood: "Going by today's standards, if I were to edit my slide film, seems more straightforward just to shoot digital?". I do not think that it really a reason to move to digital, or not; if you prefer to shoot film and not edit, then you can still scan all slides or negatives, and simply not touch them. Or if you prefer heavy editing, you can in any case. If you specifically do not want to edit much, pick film or digital - doesn't matter. If it's about printing yourself, you can print negatives or positives to next print digital files in the darkroom or with any other old(er) print techniques. This is not one or the other, but can be any mixture of techniques you want.
  7. I crop virtually always, increase saturation usually, and occasionally adjust mid-tones.
    I use film so that I don't have another d***ed computer in my life when I'm trying to relax with my hobby.
  8. This is of course a question of deep religious significance to many​
    And HOW!
    I have something like 70,000 plus images that started out as slides, mostly Kodachrome, but also Ektachrome, Agfa, GAF, Fuji. I spend a lot of time massaging them, caressing them in Photoshop -- it's like having a camera with a thousand filters and all.
    When I actually want to record something these days, I use digital. For fun, I shoot film still.
    I'm actually not a big fan of film, per se; but loving old film cameras as I do, it's a necessary step in using them. Always excepting Kodachrome II, Polaroid Type 52, and GAF 500, of course.
    I have a sort of grudging respect for Ektar 100 and Ilford XP-2.
  9. Hmmmmm....
    Regarding the film vs. digital debates: I wonder if picture painters have the same feelings towards other painters who use a different type of paint (such as watercolors, oils or latex) like the film vs. digital.
    On Photonet I see a lot of hateful, demeaning comments posted towards some “inferior” who uses the medium they themselves do not. There is also a very certain sense of superiority associating themselves with their favorite recording medium.
    I’m no Artiste and have never have run with that crowd. Consequently, I’ve never had firsthand experience with the feelings and prejudices of the art world. I guess people are people and it is the same. What a shame....
  10. Having grown up with a father who is a very accomplished photographer I loved the slideshows we would get to see after our various hiking vacations. When I started shooting I loved the color rendition of Velvia. It still seems to me that with film and slides you would get reliable color rendition without the interpretation of the digital camera's processor, which seems to throw wild cards at you, ( think Nikon rendition of reds ). We will go to great lengths to preserve the colors of a color neg or slide when scanning them into the computer, when they become " useful " in our workflow. The convenience of Photoshop and inkjet printers have a powerful allure. I still love my D7000 though. I suspect many of us who shot color negs or slides have conflicting loyalties! It is definitely true that the anticipation of seeing 30 rolls of slide film from a Nepalese trek was agonizing. On one level I wish I had a laptop to take on vacation so I could troubleshoot my day's images, but being methodical as I would with film ensures that I will have good results. It kind of ruins the experience to see all of your vacation pictures before getting home!
  11. I shot a fair amount of slides in the 1970's and 1980's, and have been scanning them with my flatbed scanner (Epson v500) with great results. My biggest problem is cleaning up the specs and other debris I assume are fungus infections. Most of what I've scanned have been outdoor subjects, taken at professional drag race strips. Of course many of the slides on Kodachome are quite contrasty, and I've been amazed at the details I've been able to get in the shadows without washing out the overall image. I also used Ektachrome film at the time.
    I use Paint Shop Pro 11, and one of the tools is the "Digital image noise reduction", which I've used on most of the images. This of course lessens the overall sharpness, which I adjust using the Unsharp mask tool. With properly exposed slides, the resulting digitised images are quite great to me.
  12. Thanks all, I've read a few of your replies and will read the rest and read them again slowly.
    I will try to explain it again. I have a Nikon D600 and film bodies and I am contemplating with a medium format. I like slide film b/c once it is developed it is wysiwyg. When I scan the film yes I do need to adjust it in software to get it to match how the actual slide looks like, custom calibrated printer and monitor of course here. Yes, there is the slower nature, more thought process, fewer shots, more careful way of film that I also enjoy.
    What I am getting at is. After listening to professional photographers (some renown) those who offer international workshop tours etc. Post processing is a significant part of their successful images. They might desaturate images, darken certain areas and brighten certain other areas. Yes, you can do that in the darkroom and you can do that once C41 film is scanned and processed in software but with a slide, you can do that too but it is gonna be quite different to the original - it's no longer "match slide". So while eg slide film provides me enjoyment with the slower process, need to wait for the result etc .. in terms of the result - if it is going to be viewed by others it may have more processing involved it is not going to look like the original, I thought about maybe am I making it too much of a fuss of insisting myself at times to shoot slide film than digital and thus limiting myself.
  13. Yes, there is the slower nature, more thought process, fewer shots, more careful way of film that I also enjoy.

    Although I often would crank few extra frames (here and there), yet my overall approach to taking photos have not changed. You make personal choices as to 'slower nature', etc. I can enjoy the slowness of digital as much as I can with 5x7 or 4x5 (don't have 8x10). Hmmm, I think several different cameras can exist side by side. You can use a gamut of color-accentuating get what you desire out of the scene/subject.
    Some peeps prefer wet darkroom while others prefer (removing chem smell) digital darkroom. All good.
  14. No,
    with slide film it is NOT "what you see is what you get" -- it is rather "what you get is what you see on the slide".
    Choice of film, selection of exposure to control saturation, filters, you name it, all affects the slide that you get.
    Even with slide film, we used reproduction to control filtration, exposure, etc.
    As so many have said, there is nothing innately more "pure" about film or slides in particular.
    All that being said, I have to admit that I enjoy the smell of fixer in the evening, it smells like, like, photography.
  15. ...I thought about maybe am I making it too much of a fuss of insisting myself at times to shoot slide film than digital and thus limiting myself.​
    Limiting yourself to what when shooting digital? You don't know your limits if you don't know what that is if all you've defined by what you know about a photograph is by matching a slide.
    You are limiting yourself from the myriad of options that involve making a decision on what you want to communicate in a photograph whether if it's your vision of what you see and match in a slide viewed on a light table or embracing the more starkly realistic depiction of what you saw through the lens offered by direct digital capture. Slide film has never been known to represent reality as a starting place for further edits. Only the photographer's decisions determine his/her limits, not the capture medium, each providing different starting places for further edits.
    You can't limit what you don't know and/or can see. Out of sight, out of mind. If you like the look of slides then stick with it, you'll never know what you're missing by not choosing other methods of image capture.
  16. Not much. To me it's a waste of time and it slows down the scan process. I do most of my editing post-scan.
  17. Re: limiting. I mean film is more limiting in what I can do. I mean that, with film the ISO i slower, I cannot shoot 200 images per day for 14 days. Digital allows you to shoot more, you can try to wing it with a higher ISO, a image stablised lens at a 200mm at 1/10 by firing multiple shots and hope to get away with 1. In processing there might be more things that you can do. With film the ISO isn't that wide, once it is scanned you might not be able to edit as much as you can with a RAW file.
    I enjoy shooting slides but at $20US for 36 images cost I do think about. It's not like I would be handholding a 200mm at low light and fire off 20 shots to get one with Velvia 100 or Portra 400. Or doing some street photo or sports with film. With digital one could lie on the wet sand and take a shot at ISO 1600 that's not that possible with film. Like one encounters on a holiday tirp.
    On one side I enjoy slide film and the other there is less things you can do with it and taking 2 systems is not always possible.
    I've travelled overseas with a film camera. At home, times when I listen to professional photographers speak at a seminar. I am kinda thinking yeah ... it does open my eyes for other opportunities but when I shoot just film - in the afternoon the light might be boring or in the evening markets I don't bother to take my camera out b/c I know ISO 1600 etc .. it just won't cut it. So I wait for the golden hour or the twilight and get there earlier, stand there, tripod and camera all set up, fire a few frames and I walk away. I might hop to another area to take another shot - but it is again setting up that tripod, press the cable release and I imagine digital shooters might have taken 5x different versions already when I've just taken 1. I arrive home after a 5 day trip and I have 3 or 4 rolls.
  18. Ray, I'm not sure whether I understand correctly, so apologies upfront if I miss the mark.... The "worry" is that other photographers do more significant post-processing than you, and given that there images enjoy fame and success, you wonder whether your prefered process maybe isn't adequate?
    I think it is never a bad thing to rethink one's habits, preferences and keep an eye out for ways to improve, or new roads ahead and so on. However, in doing so, scrutinize. Those famous, succesfull photos, are they famous because of their post-processing? Is the level of photoshop that went into creating them a deciding factor? If not, then why wonder if you should do the same, or whether you need your workflow to support it?
    If you're professional, are you missing income because you do work the way you do? If yes, is that money worth it to leave your prefered way of working? Do you feel it would be an artistic violation of your own artistic beliefs and ethics? Would you feel comfortable selling such work? If you're not professional, the artistic consideration is equally valid... do you feel your process creates images that represent you, and if you change habits, would they still do so? Would you enjoy taking photos in the same way still?
    Maybe I am all off; seeing work of photographers much better than me, I do not feel I have to change my way of working, but I feel I have to look a bit better and see more oppurtunities - sharpen my vision. Post-processing is a dot on the i, not unimportant but just a part of the process.
    As for the limits of film, I certainly do shoot less when I use film. It's not limiting, and it's a deliberate choice. The mass of my work is digital, where I similarly try to keep a discipline. Yes, it is cheaper to experiment with digital, it is more flexible with ISO, and yes it's easier to flow into a more "invasive" post-processing workflow. Mostly for me, digital makes it easier to try out things, different viewpoints, approaches, exposures while out in the field. Sometimes taking 5 photos of a scene is just better than 1, because you're still exploring the scene; sometimes you just know it's right, and then regardless of camera, can do with one shot. All that are choices - personal choices. Nothing to do with being a digital shooter, or a filmshooter. It's got to do with being a photographer.
    I want my images to be mine, and genuine to what I feel my images need to look like. Digital or film doesn't make the difference there, nor does Photoshop. How others work doesn't make a single difference. It's about how I prefer to do things to reach results I wish to call mine.
  19. I am not a pro. I am with a camera club. In the camera club some have put their portfolio like a selection of a couple of images to be judged and if they meet they get a recognition, we're with the UK photography society thingy. Here in New Zealand.
    When they say to improve and grow as a photographer .. post processing is part of that right. If one ask many of the industry figures - here are my images straight out of my camera either digital or film it is gonna be difficult to cut the mustard.
    There are people who shoot images in certain ways that's a personal thing and that's fine but to many figureheads it may be an image that potential wasn't exploited. They might say post processing as a tool could have been used but it wasn't used.
    I asked a question, some would say there is the previsualisation and the post editing visualisation. They visualise from start to end of how they want their end result.
    Yeah .. there is a landscape pro that I attended an seminar and he said it - he shoots 617 Kodak E100G on his Linhof and he takes out footprints off the sand. He would use dodge and burn.
    Maybe I am dreaming if I am wanting to photograph slides so I look at the slide on the lightbox so there is no computer involvement. Employing filters or film like Velvia and I demand the mother nature and things out of my control to be a certain way so I revist and revisit the same scene. If they are not, at the time, it would be recorded as. But I can clearly see the argument a decision in darkroom is lighroom and a decision with Velvia is post processing. Maybe my style is to do everything in camera and nothing after the film is developed. But like I say, the photography industry now afaik is about post processing right ... they see that as a integral part. Maybe I am one of these who hide in the cave and do photography in perculiar ways- to me clearly most out there incorporate fSLR or dSLR with post processing.
    All the speakers at my camera club, not one have not used post processing. Film or digital.
  20. david_henderson


    There can't be a simple answer to this question. It depends on what the scan looks like and indeed whether the photographer's intent is for a digital image that matches the original slide or a different interpretation.
    If I make a scan on my V700, its likely that I'll need to adjust quite a few things in PS or LR to improve the match. That's because the scanner's not perfect and frankly I'm not that good at scanning either, and will concentrate the scan on picking up all the available detail rather than matching colour, contrast etc closely since I can always adjust those after, but I can't invent detail my scan has missed. OTOH if I send out my slides for scanning by a more skilled operative on an Imacon, there's rarely anything I need to do beyond output sharpening. Of course what my supplier has done to get it to match pretty exactly isn't visible to me, but for what they charge he can't be spending a lot of time per slide.
    But as I mentioned above my objective is not always to match the slide - sometimes the reason for the scan is to make a file that is visually different from the original and then the amount of processing is enormously variable depending on what I'm trying to achieve with it- extending sometimes from LR and PS to plug-ins such as Nik.
  21. But like I say, the photography industry now afaik is about post processing right ... they see that as a integral part.​
    Personally, I think your assumption is wrong. The photography industry is about making images, and it offers a myriad of ways to do it. Post-processing is just a part of the process (and it always was!), in the same way printing is, choosing recording medium and camera is, presenting or sharing the photo is, framing, exposing.... It's a chain of events, and every step matters in its own way, and you have a full liberty to choose what matters most to you, and what not.
    Create your images your way. It is your artistic expression, and likewise others should do it the way they see fit.
  22. Yeah probably post processing was always there ... with b/w and still there was/is the darkroom, people did processing color neg film with wedding work and I hear some talk about color darkroom but I don't know anything about that. Maybe also with color slides and now diigtal. Maybe I just belong to that minority that wants nothing to be done after the shutter is pressed and if is to be scanned to get a file out of it it, it is to just match slide.
    Maybe post processing more accessible these days? Apart from b/w work, before digital the average person who shot color film probably didn't have their own scanner and software.
  23. I wasn't meaning the industry as in sales or manufacturer. I was meaning something like the photographic society. Amateurs joins clubs or read magazines. Put images thru for judges to rate them etc. If one was getting a photograph crtiiqued could one do without post processing.
  24. Editing and post processing are two different things, at least to me.

    To me, editing means choosing pictures, not adjusting the color/exposure, etc. Not that I deal with film much any more. But when I have slides or negatives in front of me, I only scan the ones I've already decided I'm going to use. The exception would be when taking a roll to the lab where the they scan the whole roll at the time of developing.
  25. I don't shoot slide film because it's just too cost prohibitive for me. If I did, I'm sure I'm sure that I'd process it the same way I do my color and B&W scans, which is pretty similar to what I do for digital captures. Typically, that involves global contrast enhancements, local exposure enhancements here and there, maybe add a gradient to the sky or clone out a distracting object. Nothing earth shattering. The single most time consuming this I do to a film scan is cloning out dust. I have a few OCD tendencies, and that's one of them. The vast majority of what I do in post is what people were doing with traditional darkroom methods years before the invention of the digital camera. I can just do it a lot faster on the computer, with a greater degree of control than I can in the darkroom where my skills are, admittedly, minimal.
    If I understand your question correctly, you're asking if you can take a slide, stick it in a scanner, hit go and have the file come out looking exactly like the slide. Short answer, probably not. You can make some adjustments prior to the scan. With a little practice you can probably set up some profiles that will get you pretty close. But your best results will probably always be from working with each file individually.
    A better question may be, however, why bother? What's the point in obsessing over whether a scan matches a slide exactly? Unless you go around showing everyone your slides to compare, we, the viewer, will never know if things are a little off. If a flower wasn't really that yellow, or the sky that blue, or the grass was a little greener, we'll never know. If you like the way a slide looks and want the scan to represent that, then fine. All you have to do is get close enough. An exact match is not really necessary. And who's to say that an accurate representation of a slide is the best representation? When you really get down to it, neither film nor digital sensors see light in exactly the same way our eyes do. Why should we concern ourselves with arbitrary limitations imposed by whichever medium we're working with? What's the point of trying to stay "true" to a negative or slide or digital RAW file that no one is ever going to see? It's your image, make it look like you want it too.
    A lot of people these days tend to view post-processing as a way to fix things, when, in reality, post processing is much more effective if you treat it as another step in the process and plan accordingly. It's my personal opinion that, aside from a basic understanding of composition and exposure, the single most important tool a photographer can have is an understanding of the limits of the medium that they are working with, including what can and can't be done in post, and the ability to use that information to get the best capture that will allow them to achieve what they want with that particular image. The penultimate example of this is, of course, Ansel Adams. Adams was well aware of what he could do with an image after the capture and used this information to adjust his exposure accordingly. I try to think along the same lines in my own photography, albeit to a much lesser extent. Whether I'm shooting film or digital, I try to evaluate a scene before I hit the shutter button. I look at how much contrast there is and try to figure out what I can do with the image in post. Am I going to be able to recover enough details in the shadows if I expose for the highlights? Is shadow detail more important than the highlights? If I'm shooting digital I have the added consideration of should I bracket exposures and try to blend them in post? Post processing is involved in all those questions to one degree or another.
    I've never understood those that say an image shouldn't be processed and needs to stay "true" to the scene, or whatever. If you had told Adams he could only make straight prints from his negatives, he would probably have laughed at you. To me, post processing is just the final step in the process, whether that process started with a digital capture or with film. An image that hasn't been processed is just unfinished. I can't think of any images that I've taken that couldn't benefit in at least some small degree with a little post-processing.
  26. David Henderson [​IMG][​IMG], May 23, 2014; 04:38 a.m.
    Dave: What film do you use for scanning with your V700 and what film when getting it scanned with the Imacon?
  27. I started editing scanned film images 10 years before I "went over to the dark side" and shot digital. It is rare for me to find an image that can't be improved by tweaking the tone scale. The biggest advance in image quality ever delivered to amateur photographers was when photofinishers started scanning the film and applying digital algorithms to adjust tone scale, enhance sharpness, suppress grain, and fix red-eye. I edit most of my images one at a time in Photoshop (whether they are digital or scanned film images). I use Lightroom when I have many images that all require similar edits. I see no reason to maintain the biases that various image sensors (film or digital) produce.
  28. david_henderson


    Alan. Most of my slides are Velvia and mainly Velvia 50. Those that aren't Velvia are Provia 100. I tend to scan mainly for the web and Blurb books on the V700. The Imacon scans mainly were stock agency selects and for prints, and much less frequent these days as I don't shoot slides nowadays.
  29. Yes - I do edit the scans to match the actual slide using whatever limited skills I have. Althou one could calibrate their scanner with a E6 iT8 target ....
    But hey. Now I will think twice when I see a photograph. He had a paid for seminar that I attended. He has been on trips with the likes of John Shaw, Freeman Patterson, the CEO of Adobe. I am not saying they all do it. But this photographer showed us what they do in Adobe Lightroom with his "2 minutes" PP. He shows us the before and after images - original RAW and a fully prepped version. He then reset the file and spent a moment showing us in 2 or 3 steps what they do.
    They would:
    Desaturate the image and alter the WB/tint or maybe a split tone.
    They do use tripods but only when they have to. Shoot a landscape image handheld at ISO 800 and then add NR.
    Darken and brighten certain areas, add vignetting.
    If an image was taken in a cloudy day with things are overcasted. They would make the clouds even moodier, then selectively they would brighten up the foreground / buildings and add saturation.
    Maybe I am still stuck in the last century. I shoot a slide. I look at the actual slide. If I shoot color negative film or digital I make very slight global changes with a slight S curve, some sharpening, maybe straighten the horizon, 5% cropping. A bit like in the days - you drop off a roll of film and you get back a set of 6x4 prints.
    He did mention, you either sit there for 2 weeks and wait for the sun or you can adjust the photograph.
    One image he showed that he cut off the penguin's head ... so he threw it into Photoshop and extended the canvas and using the clone tool he said he painted back the top of the head. Likewise if the leg wing of the bird was cut off he could grab the other wing and adjust some how for left wing.
  30. david_henderson


    You might consider whether the slide itself is an accurate portrayal of what you saw? The likes of Fuji Velvia made fame and fortune by not being totally accurate. At their peak Fuji probably made approaching a dozen slide emulsions each of which would produce a different look from the same scene. They can't all have been accurate. Mostly by the time we get slides back, we can't even remember the precise colour/contrast nuances of what we saw.
    On top of which surely its the photographer's task to produce an image he/she feels is satisfying. This can be an interpretation rather than the absolute "truth" ( if you can remember it). I have to say that for me, to produce something interesting yet plausible is more appealing than a search for truth that I'll probably get wrong and would have been different five minutes before or after. And whilst at the time I photographed slides I tended mainly to look at those slides as a final version, I now see them as raw material in the same way as a raw file.
  31. I also don't edit to match the original slide. I adjust to what looks "correct" to my eyes. Here are two Velvia 50 pictures of the same scene taken at the same time with different lenses. The contrast and saturation are quite different. I scanned and edited them at different times. Which has "correct" colors and contrast - those that match the original slides? I don't know. Which color/contrast do you guys prefer?
  32. I prefer the top one, Alan. It has less pinkish clouds and sky blue and more detail in the shadows near black in the rocks. Maybe a tad more saturation would give the top one slightly more pop over the bottom version which is too vibrant.
    Really nice clarity and detail in both captures BTW, Alan. Certainly would brighten room ambiance hanging on my wall for sure.
    Now if we could just get you to render skin tones by not putting too much pink in your Velvia edits.
  33. Thanks Tim: I agree with you that somewhere in the middle is the best contrast and exposure. I'm glad you confirmed my view. Skin tones are a real pain with Velvia. It's very difficult to get the red out especially with my wife who's a red head and has reddish skin. Velvia's good for landscapes but Portra is better for people.
  34. david_henderson


    I also prefer the top. It looks less like RVP though!
  35. It's very difficult to get the red out especially with my wife who's a red head and has reddish skin. Velvia's good for landscapes but Portra is better for people.​
    I still tweak now and then the jpeg portrait of your beautiful red headed, fair skin wife holding a branch out in the woods you posted a while back in a thread about Velvia skin tones.
    There's something quite inky in the vivid magenta vs. green spectrum inherent in the overall color palette of Velvia, especially in your wife's portrait, that plays tricks on my eyes. Every time I go back with a fresh eye to that portrait her skin tone either looks too yellow orange or too pinkish.
  36. Maybe I just belong to that minority that wants nothing to be done after the shutter is pressed and if is to be scanned to get a file out of it it, it is to just match slide.​
    I think this is the key idea you are presenting. There are a few people who dislike the idea of post processing for one reason or another. I think it has to do more with being OK with what you are given with the medium and not seeing the need for making any changes. If that is the case, accept it and just do whatever pleases you!
    Just remember, by not post processing you are certainly not producing a more "real" image. As mentioned above, color film's characteristics are selected by the manufacturer for certain colors, contrast, etc. Even shooting jpgs in the camera and not post processing them just means you are allowing the camera to do all the "post processing" based on the manufacturer's chosen values. Many of us find the pre-set parameters of film or digital too rigid and confining, and not appearing the way we see things in our mind's eye. I personally find post processing rather easy and satisfying, especially with digital. When I made prints in the darkroom the work was very tedious and expensive too!
  37. Thanks Tim. I trust my wife will be pleased with your fascination. If I recall correctly, as it's been quite a number of years, she also had somewhat of a sunburn which may account for those colors. I also remember that I just couldn't get them to be toned down during the edit. But that just exemplifies the problem with Velvia.
  38. Maybe I am still stuck in the last century.
    I don't see it as having anything to do with a particular century or time period. I think it has more to do with a mind set and on that score I say "to each his/her own."
    I've never made a photo by just pushing the shutter. Whether I do it or someone else does it, my photos get processed in some way once the camera part is finished and then they are either printed or displayed on a monitor. For me, the push of the shutter is simply one (important) stage in a bigger course of events.
  39. I can understand that in the past, if we shot B/W they printed it in the darkroom, contast filters, dodge and burning. All these little steps. I took up photography in 2004 I didn't do that myself but I can understand. If we shot C41 film, we might soften the image ie portraits and correct color cast or expect the lab to do it. But when many people shot slide film they projected the slides at home or at a camera club. But I can understand a professional or the few might oursource the digial post processing. At the camera club, back a few years, we had a sport photographer who was associated with the All Blacks rugby team and he projected the slides.
  40. Maybe my style is to do everything in camera and nothing after the film is developed.​
    So you like the idea of shooting and showing slides because no post processing is used. Do you want some kind of support or validation for this preference? It would seem that most of the responders in this thread do like to do some post processing. Nevertheless, keeping it simple is certainly a personal choice and you should enjoy your way of doing photography no matter what other people do. Don't worry about it!
  41. Yes. A photo is done when I say it's done, and if that means editing a scan then it's a straight-forward process. Lots of photos I took way-back-when aren't wonderful and editing in digital is quite acceptable to me to get a better result.

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