TRUE FILM COLORS
Let’s talk about true film colors. What does that mean?
Back in the day, negative film used to be printed in the wet darkroom. This means the film was developed, dried, and then printed, e.g. exposed onto light sensitive photographic paper.
Simply put: The negative was put in an enlarger fitted with a color mixing head shining colored light through a lens on the paper which then was again developed, just like the film. This photographic paper had a specific, usually soft gradation determining its contrast. This, and to counteract possible color casts, color negative films have an orange film base – called orange mask.
If a color negative were to be printed “straight” onto the paper with just white light, it would still have a color cast in most instances. The person operating the enlarger fitted with the color mixing head, thus had to take care of this cast by compensating them with their complementary colors: Cyan, yellow and magenta.
They were professionals in color manipulation, knowing exactly which knob when to turn, and which paper to choose to satisfy the needs of their clients, individually to their taste. Pleasant to the eye. In retrospect, this means that there was no such thing as “a straight print from the negative”. They existed, but they didn’t look great.
In the late 1990s Fujifilm came up with their revolutionary line of Frontier minilabs coupled with film scanners.
While minilabs per se were not a new thing by then, the Frontiers didn´t optically expose the film onto the paper anymore. Instead, the scanned image was corrected for color casts automatically and stunningly accurate – by reading out the DX-code. Then, the scan was digitally exposed onto the paper and subsequently chemically developed inside the machine. After a preview, the scanner operator could do final corrections by hand, if necessary.
-You can read more on this on page 24 of the patent script.-
Frankly put, this means that there is no such thing as “true film color”. Every positive is an interpretation of the negative, and thus is subject to taste and personal preference. Your preference. What you can do, however, is to choose the best tool for working with scans – just like back in the day the right choice of paper was important, today, the right choice of software can make or break a workflow.
To take full advantage of the negative, this software without a doubt is Adobe Photoshop. With Photoshop, you always get the newest features first, and it’s programming interface gives us the unique opportunity to add our own algorithms. In the end, this is not just about emulating the color of traditional wet prints, or minilab scans; but to take advantage of all that negative film has to offer. Like shooting RAW, just with film. But how?
NEGMASTER features ten unique conversion techniques: Each of them is possible interpretation of tonal values, given by the negative. Seven of these “converters” do not change the color hues, retaining maximum conversion accuracy and color fidelity. For those after a specific look, two of them, the “miniLab” and the “RA-4” converters emulate the pleasing colors of the golden age of analog photography by utilizing AI for skin tone, and scene recognition.
Unleash the true potential of your negatives.
Unleash your creativity – with Negmaster.
This is only the beginning. Join now and become a part of the rapidly growing community today!
Portra 400 / Epson V850 / Lukas Büsse
Portra 400 / Epson V850 / Lukas Büsse
Fun to use but still professional
NEGMASTER just makes use of Photoshop as a basis.
In most cases you don´t need any button outside the extension.
NEGMASTER comes with installers for MacOS and Windows. Just follow the instructions.
Gives you true analogue tones
It can even do batch processing
Set white balance for all images in Bridge or Lightroom, head to the source folder and NEGMASTER saves thousands of inverted images on autopilot in an automagically generated subfolder.
No cropping of film borders. Three clicks. Just works.
I take care for your feature requests. Just be part of it.
The possibilities of Photoshop are nearly limitless! You want it? Tell me!
It speeds you up!
This is because all you need is just there! Invert -> create the look you want (or just leave it as is) -> sharpen, ->export -> DONE !
Copy all adjustment layers to the next image -> sharpen -> export -> DONE !
Dust removal is damn fast in Photoshop as well!
Supports your creativity
The profiles don't work like the profiles in competing products. They slightly push colors and tones in different pleasing directions. You can even mix them if you like to create your own style.
What i always had in mind was to not destroy analogue tones and keep the results authentic.
But i did not forget those creative minds out there. For you are the "looks". With looks you can emulate diffusion filters, no longer available film stocks and more...
In addition there are countless curves, darkroom paper profiles, sharpening algorithms as well as the improvement of micro contrasts. It's like analog film on steroids!