Friday, June 20, 2014

Digital darkroom

I have been involved, but not too much, in a recent discussion at Flickr, where some people were for and other were against digital post-processing of pictures captured on film. Sometimes I also think that it doesn't make much sense to start with analog and end with digital, unless we want to store the originals for the next 50 years or more by using film.

Digital pictures stored in digital media like harddisks, movable or solid state, or any other physical support, will not survive that long, I think. The only digital media capable of storing for a long time is the internet, some site like Flickr or other having thousands or millions of users that may support the site to be sure that it will not close. Even if they close, copies will be in some other site and may be found through the Way Back Machine.

Let us assume, however, that digital is not safe enough to store our originals and we prefer to shoot on film and keep this as the backup from which the higher quality prints can be made, either on paper or on digital form. We can see a digital image as a print of an ideal high definition image stored on film. This is not always truth but a good film camera with the right film well processed is comparable or better than the best digital cameras.

Now, we take pictures with a film camera and we need a digital processing work flow to produce our prints on the screen or on paper by means of a printer - inkjet or laser printer. But once we have transfered the film image to the computer, the digital picture may be retouched and transformed with an image software. I am using, for instance the free software Photoscape. Some examples of picture manipulation with Photoscape:

Original, Fujicolor C200

Example 1, Agfa look

Example II, cinema look

Example III, cross processing look

Example IV, Kodak Portra look 

Example V, Fuji Provia look

Example VI, Fuji Velvia look

1 comment:

Lita said...

Thank you for this post! I'm new to film photography, and I was wondering about the differences of the most famous films. Your pictures made all clear =)