Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Silver birch re-scan

The photo in today’s post is a few years old – it was taken on a cold, but bright, February day back in 2018 on the edge of the moorland near Surprise View in the Peak District national park. I don’t think I’ve published this picture online anywhere before now.

I re-scanned it, and the rest of the photos on the roll, yesterday, using Vuescan to make a linear RAW DNG file and then Negative Lab Pro for the conversion in Lightroom.

Now I understand how to use NLP properly (or at least much better – there are still a bunch of controls and sliders that I stay away from!), I’m very pleased with the ease of getting colours that I’m happy with almost straight out of the box. I still tweak things a little, first using NLPs controls, and then maybe some minor tweaks in Lightroom itself (usually adding a little clarity and sharpness), but there has been none of the annoying mental gymnastics where I can’t decide if the colours are “off” in some hard to define way.

Obviously, colours are subjective, whether it be someone sat at home trying to get what they think Portra or whatever film stock they’ve used to look “right”, or a technician in a photo-lab making adjustments in the Noritsu software (or whatever it is they use) on the behalf of the photographer. So far, Negative Lab Pro has given me colours that feel correct with very little faff on my part, and for this I am thankful. I love black and white photography, but this new found ability to get results I’m happy with from C41 film is making me want to shoot more of the stuff (and re-scan some of the photos where I had less than satisfactory results in the past). It’s just a shame I need to sell a kidney to afford colour film these days!

Silver birch and quarry scree

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Portra 400. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 7 February 2018

3 thoughts on “Silver birch re-scan

    1. Thanks N.

      I’ve known about it for a few years but always shied away from it a little because of the cost (not that it’s too expensive, but it stil cost more than “free” :-)). When I did try it the first time I was unimpressed, but I put this down to my not using it properly – I think I just watched someone use it on YouTube rather than actually reading the instructions. Once I actualy decided to RTFM it all fell into place!

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      1. I get what you are saying. It takes a bit of practice to use any software. The 12 photo limitations for the free version are a bit of a challenge but after a few shots, I kind of got it. I do like film far more than digital, but they all have their good points. And doing a thorough RTFM often helps, as long as its in readable English!

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