Digitally Editing your Film Photos

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by kylosius, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. kylosius

    kylosius TPF Noob!

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    I'm new here and I tried to find this topic via the search menu and couldn't seem to find it. If this has been covered I'm sorry...

    Anyway, just a very simple question, does anybody shoot on film but due to lack of resources (such as no access to a dark room) use a computer to make it just right? Is it a mortal sin to mix these two formats? The most I will do with this is adjust brightness, contrast, and maybe sharpen.
     
  2. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    It's not uncommon to digitally edit images captured on film, and it's certainly no mortal sin :). In the end, it's really all about the image.
     
  3. stephen

    stephen TPF Noob!

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    I'm scanning to digital and working them in Lightroom and elements. Believe me, you can spend as much money on software as you can in your darkroom! I think digital editing is the way to go man. You can do in seconds what can take forever in the dark room.

    I'm just starting into this but below are some images taken on various film cameras, scanned and played with in lightroom.

    http://home.comcast.net/~disposable12/macrolimb.jpg
    http://home.comcast.net/~disposable12/old%20town%20hall.jpg
    http://home.comcast.net/~disposable12/maxtest.jpg
    http://home.comcast.net/~disposable12/tdbridge.jpg
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Back when I was still shooting film, I almost always had my film scanned so that I could bring the photos into a digital workflow.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think that most all film folks are going to say it's all about the print. ;)
     
  6. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Darkrooms take up a lot of room, and require chemicals. Using a scanner you get teh benefits of film without the mess...
     
  7. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    My one digital imaging teacher was a p/t professional photographer on the side. When I knew her she was still a complete film junkie even though she had a really nice digital Nikon. She never got involved in making prints herself at all. She'd get all her shots professionally developed at a good lab that she'd send all her rolls to then scan the negatives using a negative attachment on her scanner.

    I'm not too big on doing film darkroom work myself. Even with proper ventilation I can get pretty sick from chemicals. I can't even be around a bottle of regular blue window cleaner and perfume makes me ill. That's the one thing I really dread about going to a proper photography school. I really am not keen on learning to develop film.
     
  8. adamfuller

    adamfuller TPF Noob!

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    i feel like it makes analog capture even better
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, sure. :thumbup: Some people enjoy darkroom work as part of the making of that print, while others who prefer film to digital are happy to combine the processes and scan their negatives after developing at home. You don't need a darkroom or many chemicals just to develop negs, of course.

    I personally find it easier to work in the darkroom and the chemicals don't bother me at all. I'm on a PC all day at work, and it's not anything I'm going to turn to for my creative output if I don't have to. :) But I love having Photoshop and my scanner available, so I can scan old color negatives, slides and even old prints from family albums, which can turn into digital negatives and be saved. The technology is great!

    Of course it does come down to what you're doing with that final image. A good photo printer, inks, paper, are needed to get that quality if you want to print color at home. The B&W output on my older Epson was so poor it was a good excuse to get an enlarger and set up a darkroom, and I was lucky to have a spare bedroom to use in my house. :D I don't shoot much color anyway, since I prefer to add it to my B&W prints afterwards, so that photo printer doesn't see much use these days!
     
  10. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Alright. Here comes the resident film diehard.

    If you don't get a fine print, what the use of photographing in the first place? Regardless of workflow, beit analog, digital or hybrid.

    I have been shooting black and white for a few years now, exclusively. At first I was getting processing only and then coming home and scanning the negs so I could see what I was doing. But that went nowhere as I had only basic software. When I purchased my darkroom gear it went forward. And you don't need a lot of room. I would say that I funded my ability to process and print over the span of about three years. The first purchase was an enlarger that I got from eBay for $46.00 USD including shipping. I knew where I was headed and knew that was just to good to pass up on. A couple years later I spent about $250.00 to get processing up and running. A year after that it was about another $250.00 for printing. So, other than replenishing film, paper and chemistry as needed, you can get the whole thing going for under $500.00 if you mind your P's and Q's. And I process in the downstairs half bath. 24 square feet and a 2x2 sink alcove. Room makes it smoother and easier and you don't need to set up and break down for every session. But it absolutely not a requirement.
     
  11. J.Kendall

    J.Kendall TPF Noob!

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    Go for a mixture. Do some work in the darkroom, developing your film and running your own prints, and scan some of the negatives in too. I worked like that for two years, and it opens up a whole world of possibilities. For instance, I took a B&W photo of this fire in my yard, made a print in the darkroom, and scanned it in to photoshop too. That way, with the same picture, I was able to get two distinctly different images, because in PS I used paint brushes on low opacity and a slew of different yellows, oranges, and so on to make it look like it was a color shot all along.

    So my point, run with both worlds and broaden your working horizons.
     
  12. beala

    beala TPF Noob!

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    +1

    I bought a complete darkroom setup including a Beseler 23C II enlarger, trays, dev tank, old chem and paper, etc for $60 off craigslist. I then turned a 3'x5' closet into a darkroom by installing a waist high shelf for the enlarger. After all was said and done, I spent less than $100, and now my only costs are film, chem, and paper.

    My point is, if there's a will there's a way. If you're determined, you'll be able figure out how to set up a dark room for less than the cost of a new lens.

    That being said, I agree with J. Kendall that doing both is the best way to go. When my film prints aren't coming out the way I want them, and I'm starting to get frustrated, it's nice to be able to switch gears and mess with PS for a while, and vice versa.
     

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