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Archive 2013 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative
  
 
retrofocus
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p.1 #1 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


I am interested to hear how some do the post-processing (preferably in PS) of a photo taken from a film negative (not scanned). I have issues getting rid of the severe orange cast which overtones the other colors after the photo is inverted. I found online some advice using the color balance but this only helped in a very limited amount. Is there a good way to get it done e.g. using Nik software?


Feb 03, 2013 at 12:23 AM
mshi
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p.1 #2 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


can you post your example here?


Feb 03, 2013 at 03:09 AM
Zaitz
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p.1 #3 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


By not scanned you mean you used a macro lens or something on the negative? Is it a c-41 negative and you're having trouble getting rid of the orange base? If so:

Not sure if the method will work as it kind of requires a raw scan.

Bring the orange negative into photoshop.
Invert it.
Create a curves layer.
Go to the red channel and alt-click on the black slider and move it until it just starts to clip or slightly before that. Do the same for the white slider.
Then do that on the remainder of the channels.

It will take some fine tuning but that is one of the better methods for inverting a color negative I have used. But, again, without a proper scan I am not sure it will work well at all.

Edited on Feb 03, 2013 at 04:41 AM · View previous versions



Feb 03, 2013 at 04:00 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #4 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


mshi wrote:
can you post your example here?


I am just interested if anybody can share the workflow regarding this post processing. No need to post the photo.



Feb 03, 2013 at 04:03 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #5 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


Zaitz wrote:
By not scanned you mean you used a macro lens or something on the negative? Is it a c-41 negative and your having trouble getting rid of the orange base? If so:

Not sure if the method will work as it kind of requires a raw scan.

Bring the orange negative into photoshop.
Invert it.
Create a curves layer.
Go to the red channel and alt-click on the black slider and move it until it just starts to clip or slightly before that. Do the same for the white slider.
Then do that on the remainder of the channels.

It will take some fine
...Show more

Thanks, this is helpful, I will check it out tomorrow how it works for me. Yes, I took the photo with my macro lens on digital full frame sensor, it is 1:1 digitalized copy of the negative.



Feb 03, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #6 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


Invert your orange casted file, then use an Curves Adjustment Layer and apply Auto Curves from within the dialog box. That will automatically neutralize your highlight and shadow and gray points and get you pretty damned close. From there, you can tweak the endpoints and individual channel curves to suit. It may not be quite as good as what a good scanning software can do, but it may be as well. Watch for clipping.


Feb 03, 2013 at 05:04 AM
mshi
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p.1 #7 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


retrofocus wrote:
I am just interested if anybody can share the workflow regarding this post processing. No need to post the photo.


I was trying to help; however, without any visual references to a particular visual problem that you encountered, any empty discussion is meaningless. Thank you.



Feb 03, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #8 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


Mshi,
Nah, it's unilateral...



OT:
There's also the method of digitizing a portion a black-frame or other clear area of the substrate and then using that on a layer with it's blending mode set to, err, subtract I think...

White-balance your camera to the light source temperature and your camera if modern, is better than any flatbed scanner.




Feb 04, 2013 at 05:35 AM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #9 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


Bifurcator wrote:
White-balance your camera to the light source temperature and your camera if modern, is better than any flatbed scanner.


That's a pretty broad statement. I'd like to know the methodology that led you to that conclusion.



Feb 04, 2013 at 01:44 PM
 

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Brit-007
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p.1 #10 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


I would imaging it could be done in photoshop with layers over the image with the 3 primary colours. You really need to understand that it is not an orange cast but it is an orange base that keeps the colour's together in the negative. When you are printing, a negative, all you are doing is neutralizing the orange colour in the base to produce the colour in the print.


Feb 04, 2013 at 08:05 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #11 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


I finally developed a decent way to post-process the negative very similar to the hints above. Still the colors do not appear as nice compared to the JPG files of the photo CD (I am just testing if this method is feasible for me at all). I got the best results by using a white balance of 2000. The colors appeared much better after inverting the photo. There is a loss of contrast, too (I tried adjusting it, but it was still not as good). The only advantage I gained by photographing the negative in RAW was a better resolution than provided by the JPG file on the CD.

I will continue shooting slide film instead where this method of photographing slides worked very well (only minor changes were necessary in post-processing).



Feb 16, 2013 at 11:36 PM
markd61
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p.1 #12 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


The low contrast is normal as color negs ARE very low contrast. Adding contrast is not a problem but subtracting it from a photo of a slide is.

I would suggest adding contrast in your RAW converter before rendering a JPG or TIFF.



Feb 17, 2013 at 07:15 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #13 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


markd61 wrote:
The low contrast is normal as color negs ARE very low contrast. Adding contrast is not a problem but subtracting it from a photo of a slide is.

I would suggest adding contrast in your RAW converter before rendering a JPG or TIFF.



I exactly did this, but it is still not getting the same. There is another possibility that my negatives are just too old - they are from 2003. Maybe the colors have changed over the years which made it more difficult to find a good color balance. It is definitely tedious work to do it by photographing the negative and post-processing afterwards.



Feb 18, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #14 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


I've scanning in the not too distant past, color negs from the early 1980's and have had no problem at all. I was scanning them on my drum scanner and not trying to re-photograph them, but they were absolutely fine and I was actually surprised at how well they did scan, considering nothing at that time was designed with scanning in mind.

Sometimes re-inventing the scanner wheel is not the best route. It might be better to just get a hold of a decent scanner with something like SilverFast to drive it and be done with it.



Feb 19, 2013 at 09:05 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #15 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


Peter Figen wrote:
I've scanning in the not too distant past, color negs from the early 1980's and have had no problem at all. I was scanning them on my drum scanner and not trying to re-photograph them, but they were absolutely fine and I was actually surprised at how well they did scan, considering nothing at that time was designed with scanning in mind.

Sometimes re-inventing the scanner wheel is not the best route. It might be better to just get a hold of a decent scanner with something like SilverFast to drive it and be done with it.


I fully agree. In fact I have a bit older HP scanner which is able to scan slides and negatives. But unfortunately HP stopped support of a new driver for Win7 which would allow using the slide scanner with backlight inside the scanner. Since I have only a few negatives and slides to scan, it is currently not worth for me to buy a new scanner just for this. That's why I started to photograph slides and negatives.



Feb 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM
OntheRez
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p.1 #16 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


retrofocus wrote:
I exactly did this, but it is still not getting the same. There is another possibility that my negatives are just too old - they are from 2003. Maybe the colors have changed over the years which made it more difficult to find a good color balance. It is definitely tedious work to do it by photographing the negative and post-processing afterwards.


I got stuck with this task for my wife's families' photo all of which are slides. Tried dinking around with shooting, then processing but bluntly it was a waste of time. Picked up a Plustek scanner on sale at BB for $200 and cut processing time by at least 90% Guess it's a matter of what you want to spend your time doing.

Also, though the slides were stored properly, there's clearly color degradation with age. I've got Kodachrome and Ecktachrome (?) back into the 50's. I can almost judge the era by how the color looks. Way more knowledge of slide scanning that I ever wanted to have.

Robert



Feb 21, 2013 at 09:41 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #17 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


OntheRez wrote:
I got stuck with this task for my wife's families' photo all of which are slides. Tried dinking around with shooting, then processing but bluntly it was a waste of time. Picked up a Plustek scanner on sale at BB for $200 and cut processing time by at least 90% Guess it's a matter of what you want to spend your time doing.

Also, though the slides were stored properly, there's clearly color degradation with age. I've got Kodachrome and Ecktachrome (?) back into the 50's. I can almost judge the era by how the color looks. Way more knowledge
...Show more

Not surprised to hear about your experience with old slides - I saw the same trend looking at my grandfather's slides which all suffered from a yellowish cast (but he also used not the best slide film in the first place). I just used my first slide film ever in a project of mine to compare slide film with digital photography. The results were quite interesting! Therefore I am currently only stuck with 36 slides to photograph which I can easily manage.

I have a few film negatives I was interested in to digitalize from my film camera days before 2005. They still seem to be mostly fine as far as I can tell, but as I mentioned above, post-processing them is just a pain.



Feb 23, 2013 at 02:49 PM
papageno
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p.1 #18 · Post-processing of a photo from a film negative


Costco makes a nice scan for less than a quarter....

Saves a lot of screwing around.



Feb 24, 2013 at 03:07 AM





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