Mirror Image

This is a scan from a 6×4.5cm TMY 400 ASA Negative, taken in the late eighties. Scanning film is an obvious way to revisit old negatives without the hassle of resurrecting a long dead darkroom. I have just remembered that I have a darkroom print of this neg so it will be interesting to compare the two side by side. One thing is for sure the number of split-tone darkroom prints I have done can be counted on the fingers of one hand due to the technical difficulty.

If you like film grain as opposed to digital noise I suggest you look at the picture full size – press F11 on your key board.

The scan took about two minutes to complete. The File then took at least half an hour to retouch to get rid of all the spot dust, hairs and marks on the negative.

Is the amount of retouching required just due to my prehistoric negs or does everybody else have the same problem?

Just for a change this was done in Photoshop instead of Lightroom. I used my usual Photoshop method – selections and adjustment curves, 50% grey layers for the selective darkening, Split toning was done with selections of highlight tones and a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer. A second H&S layer was introduced and the layer mask from the highlight H&S layer was copied and inverted on to the H&S layer for the cool shadow tones.

I probably spent most time on the fingers – in the scan they are very bright but not burnt out. If I had left them with their original brightness and contrast they would have pulled the eye away from the eyes in the mirror.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS


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