For a very long time, I’ve been somewhat dissatisfied with my digital black and white photos. They never had the tonality I could expect from a negative scan or a print. I asked someone on flickr, who had a tonality in his digital B&W images that I wished to achieve. He pointed me towards Capture One and DxO’s Silver Efex Plus 2 (in fact the whole DxO package). I’m not sure if Capture One and I agree with each other, more experimenting is needed. The DxO package though, is bloody brilliant. All of a sudden, I’m starting to get tonality I’m happier with.
It’s not just that though. I actually enjoy using the DxO plugin/software. And not just for B&W. There are plenty of ways of playing with colour too!
That said, I think Exposure X5 still has a place in my workflow. It’s fine for initial RAW processing and quick edits.
All of these shots were from this morning’s dog walk.
Anyway, today’s photo editing music is provided by Fatboy. What a find on spotify!
After shooting a roll of film, it doesn’t mean that that’s the end of it. I shot a roll. I developed it. And after developing it, I found there were major light leaks at some point. Could barely make out the frames and there were no details on the negative. Bugger. Had to shoot another roll to check it wasn’t the camera. It wasn’t. Either I’d cocked up, or there was a problem with the film.
I don’t know how to scan film…
I really don’t. Today I’ve spent some time scanning films with Vuescan. Sometimes I’ll get a good scan, sometimes I won’t. The silverfast demo gave me some better scans, but again, very hit and miss. This is something I’m going to have to teach myself. It doesn’t help that my scanner is getting a bit long in the tooth.
My darkroom isn’t clean enough…
When scanning my film, you notice all the blemishes. Lith printing is my preferred printing process, and it’s very forgiving of crap negatives. Scanning negatives however, is less forgiving. There’s dirt on the scanner, for sure, but there’s also dirt on the negatives. After drying the last film, I noticed there was a lot of dirt. Hairs even. Time to sort out the darkroom I think!
I have a soft spot…
I do love the Pentax ME Super. It was my second camera and when my old one died, I got a refurbished one from a popular auction site. Bought a 28mm lense for it, so I could go walkabout with it (not that I can now, with another lockdown in sight). I’m not sure if it was a good investment, as I seem to get very contrasty negatives from the SMC lenses.
The past, or the future?
I’ve started scanning my back catalogue of negatives too, as what often happens is I’ll choose a shot or two for lith printing, then abandon the other shots. Worth a punt anyway!
So, I forgot to take my camera battery with me today, leaving me with just my phone camera. I’ve only ever used it for snap shots, so didn’t really know how it performed. It’s fine out wide. As soon as you focus up close you find it’s all digital zoom. Very disappointing as I wanted to do some macro photography. Even more disappointing was that the macro shots I did take looked good on the screen, but crap when I put them on the computer. I guess you win some, you lose some.