<<< o >>>untitled #0059 12 comments + add yours

This shot was taken almost a year ago (as part of this set). I was looking through some old shots today and Libby said "ooh, I like that one", so, as I don't have much of anything else to put up at the moment, I thought I'd post I'd do some more work on it and put it up.

One of the things I was thinking about whilst writing my latest tutorial (Toning colour images) was the nature of colour film: particularly, the unique character of different films and how they compare to digital images (which, straight out of the camera, are somewhat lacking in character). The examples I used to illustrate this were constructed with Exposure 2, a Photoshop plugin which can emulate various print and slide films. This isn't something I use on a regular basis, but it was useful for the tutorial, and it did get me thinking about the nature of digital images.

One other aspect of traditional film that Exposure 2 can emulate is grain. Normally, I wouldn't consider adding grain, but I thought it worked for this one – it seems to add a certain ‘grittiness’ that was lacking in the original.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
11.25am on 9/11/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
aperture priority
C1 Pro
3x2 + future history
comment by B Dell at 11:32 PM (GMT) on 22 October, 2007

I like the grain. Definitely adds a little character to the image. This photo also has an eery composition with the strewn about umbrellas and such. I like it.


comment by Julie at 12:19 AM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

Interesting subject matter - not quite sure the nature of it - no water damage visible. I do like the grain too.

comment by Steve at 03:15 AM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

I like this a lot...very interesting shot with good tones and a nice grainy touch...more than anything else, this is a very intriguing shot.

comment by Jessyel Ty Gonzalez at 05:07 AM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

Wow... Gotta tell you, David - been loving the last couple of weeks or so - a brave, new you. Very different stuff and I like it...

comment by Philip Jensen at 07:04 AM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

I could be nice with some water damage on the walls maybe, BUT! The picture is almost perfect already, love it. ;)

comment by petitlouis at 07:15 AM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

Excellent composition in B&W with perfect lightening.
Cool shots on your blog, love it !

comment by Josef Renklint at 09:35 AM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

Very nice capture. Love the b-w.

comment by JD at 11:39 AM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

yup! 3x2 and documentary just seems a perfect match for me!!!
nice composition (tho I find the upper left dark area a little distracting (want to see more/less of it)), the exposure is nice too ;)

I'm not sure on the grain tho, I always find it cheesy to add it especially when you could up the ISO at the time or possible underexpose the image and bring it back in raw (just like pushing film), but I understand what you mean about feeling the need to emulate film looks with digital.

How much film have you shot (in the past or shoot at the moment?), I find it a little funny that people always try to emulate film without having shot much and know little about it.

To me a lot of the problems with digital is thats its too clean, its without flaws, and introducing these flaws back into the image by software algorithms always seems to be without the magic that the randomness of film can bring and again come out too contrived.

comment by djn1 at 11:46 AM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

JD: the problem with upping the ISO, in my experience, is that digital noise is really ugly in comparison to film grain, especially when exaggerated. But, like you, I'm often tempted to add it to get away from that overly clean look.

As for shooting with film: currently, I don't, but in the past I shot and developed my own black and whites and dabbled with processing colour slide film. I didn't process my own colour prints though.

comment by csj at 12:19 PM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

Now heres an area I'm more at liberty to discuss. Having worked as a Colour Lab technician for several years, and experimented with cross process and pushing black and white film daily for a living. Its nice to 'go retro' and find some of that nostalgic air to a process, but nothing replicates film, like film itself. Altho this image is an extremely good attempt at replicating an HP5 or TRI-X shot without the mess, smell, stains, time, frustration, and water marks or dust come to think of it. Just out of interest, is this your lounge?

comment by Tomasz at 08:04 PM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

Very convincing b&w work. Lots of different grey tones, nice light, and intriguing scene.

comment by djn1 at 08:48 PM (GMT) on 23 October, 2007

Thanks all.

And Craig, no, it's not our lounge ;-)