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  • This look without a film camera?

    Hey Everyone

    I have a photoshop issue that I've been wondering if it's even possible to solve... How would you go about getting these looks (photos below) without using a film camera?

    I know Jose Villa (the first 2 photos) is huge into film photography and from what I understand overexposes by a few stops to get the bright wrapping around glow to his subjects, but what if you can't afford to shoot only film with an amazing camera & lens duo... Is it possible to recreate this look?

    If Jose Villa's style is too impossible to replicate in digital then how would you go about making a photo look like it came from a film camera without actually coming from one? (The rest of the photo examples)
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: This look without a film camera?

    Of course you can. These photos stand out for many things, but not for anything that can't be achieve with easy postproduction to replicate the properties of whatever film he used. It clearly is a saturated finish look. Saturation in the shadows could help you get that look. You can also increase contrast locally with any of the contrast blending modes.. Also, i don't think the first image is over-exposed at all. And, thinking of Ansel Adam's zone system, what part of the image you say is 2 stops above 18% grey, clearly not the dress. It'd be a white blob of nothingness.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: This look without a film camera?

      Thats true about the wedding dress. I've just read several places he's known to overexpose his shoots, but possibly not all the time or maybe he has a dark lens and has to compensate? Anyways...

      It might be asking too much but would it be possible to throw up an example of how to get this look with what you mentioned and a step-by-step?(eep!)
      I've played around with saturation in the past and always just get a mess!

      Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: This look without a film camera?

        Sure, i can do it. Just not now, im really really busy. You give me the photo you want to look like that and ill do my best.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: This look without a film camera?

          That would be amazing.
          I've included 2 images you can pick from (lights and darks). Hope the size isn't too small since this is all I seem to have on this computer currently.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: This look without a film camera?

            Originally posted by Kcupcake View Post
            Hey Everyone

            I have a photoshop issue that I've been wondering if it's even possible to solve... How would you go about getting these looks (photos below) without using a film camera?

            I know Jose Villa (the first 2 photos) is huge into film photography and from what I understand overexposes by a few stops to get the bright wrapping around glow to his subjects, but what if you can't afford to shoot only film with an amazing camera & lens duo... Is it possible to recreate this look?

            If Jose Villa's style is too impossible to replicate in digital then how would you go about making a photo look like it came from a film camera without actually coming from one? (The rest of the photo examples)
            I wouldn't say that he overexposes a "few" stops. He might overexpose by a stop but probably not much beyond that. He might also be using transparency film which has amazing color saturation and contrast by nature. I wouldn't suggest over exposing with your digital to try to get the same effect, nor would I suggest underexposing. With digital you would want the perfect/best exposure and then if you want to amp it up, do it in post.

            If you notice the sky in the 4th photo with the car and the trees, the sky still has tone in it (the yellow) which can be hard to get from a single digital shot, film has more dynamic range.

            My guess is that some of these are shot using a view camera, if you look at the bike photo in the first one, you'll see how it's a really wide angle shot but has a very shallow depth of field. A normal 35mm digital won't be able to produce this look, on a large format camera (8x10 inch film) a 110mm lens would be a wide angle, but it would still have that shallow depth of field that a 110mm telephoto has. See this alec soth photo as a good example of large format: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/raim0007/gws.../alec-soth.jpg

            The way you would have to fake this look in photoshop would be to do a lot of selective blurring. Stay away from gaussian blur and try to use something like a lens blur. Then you need to mask it in and out with gradients, so that it gets more blur as the landscape gets farther back in the environment. If you want me to go into detail about how to realistically mask it, let me know.

            The bright wrapping around stuff I think is just coming from natural flare and you should be able to get it with digital shooting, but I think its possible just because of the physics difference between film and digital that it might look more elegant on film. I found this too: http://josevillablog.com/2010/01/int...-analog-photo/

            However, I do think that - film is going to have a different feel to it than digital no matter what, and you can try to come as close to it as you can but you're just not going to be able to fake it all the way in some cases.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: This look without a film camera?

              Oh I understand about the shooting and what he might use (lenses, film, etc) that was never such a wonder to me. It was more about how to duplicate colours and the (what seems to be) flat yet bold tones.

              I do know that Ill never be able to get it down packed completely without the use of the same equipment, but to come close is what Im looking for!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: This look without a film camera?

                Originally posted by Kcupcake View Post
                Oh I understand about the shooting and what he might use (lenses, film, etc) that was never such a wonder to me. It was more about how to duplicate colours and the (what seems to be) flat yet bold tones.

                I do know that Ill never be able to get it down packed completely without the use of the same equipment, but to come close is what Im looking for!
                I think that's what we all struggle with......
                I think you have to take in the style that they have as well..... the choice of colors and locations are very important to the feel. As well as how they shoot. I've shot with the same film and cameras as other people and their work turns out looking completely different than my stuff. After looking up more, that guy uses a Contax camera with an 85mm on f/2.0 all of the time, which has a very shallow depth of field.

                "Coming close" (as you say) is a hard thing to do, I think that all the tutorials you will find on this are probably going to be complete crap, you could probably find some on achieving the holga/lomo style photos. Film is very unique and it differs from different brands and so on. I find kodak to be warmer, fuji to be cooler, and so on and so on....... and skin just looks different in film than it will ever look in digital. I don't think there's a formula out there that will make it different. It's like someone giving you a package of lemonade powder and telling you to make it taste like real lemons as much as you can..... but with out that raw, tangible material, it's just not going to be the same. Jose talks about how photographers are constantly asking him if there's a way to make digital look like film and that they are spending hours and hours trying to fake it. When he just says, if you really want it that bad you should just shoot it.

                Don't get me wrong, not trying to get in a digital vs film issue, because I don't think there is anyway that you could get a film shot to look like a digital shot.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: This look without a film camera?

                  Originally posted by Kcupcake View Post
                  but what if you can't afford to shoot only film with an amazing camera & lens duo... Is it possible to recreate this look? (The rest of the photo examples)
                  If you're a hobbyist, but serious about it, then by all means, do what you can to get a film workflow working for you so you can get the images you want.

                  If you're a professional looking to get film results but can't justify the costs.... realize that digital can be just as expensive as film, and..... by all means, do what you can to get a film workflow working for you so you can get the images you want.

                  If you're looking for a quick fix, which I think you might be, and I don't blame you, you're not going to find it.

                  This might be helpful information, are you using a DSLR? Or are you using a point and shoot style camera? Also, are you shooting in RAW?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: This look without a film camera?

                    Originally posted by Andrew Lawrence View Post
                    If you're a professional looking to get film results but can't justify the costs.... realize that digital can be just as expensive as film, and..... by all means, do what you can to get a film workflow working for you so you can get the images you want.
                    The only problem with shooting film where I live is there isn't very many labs that can process E6 6x6 film (which is what I shoot) and absolutely none that process 4x5 (sad). To send them out would cost a ton in s/h fees as well as currency rates. All this is without getting involved in costs of film being shipped here (geez!).

                    So in the end shooting digital (5D) is much easier for me as it really doesn't end up costing that much in comparison.
                    I don't believe it's completely impossible to achieve a look close to film. There has GOT to be a way. I'm just curious to see what steps could be taken (and am very curious to see what flexmanta means)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: This look without a film camera?

                      Originally posted by Andrew Lawrence View Post
                      I wouldn't say that he overexposes a "few" stops. He might overexpose by a stop but probably not much beyond that. He might also be using transparency film which has amazing color saturation and contrast by nature. I wouldn't suggest over exposing with your digital to try to get the same effect, nor would I suggest underexposing. With digital you would want the perfect/best exposure and then if you want to amp it up, do it in post.

                      If you notice the sky in the 4th photo with the car and the trees, the sky still has tone in it (the yellow) which can be hard to get from a single digital shot, film has more dynamic range.

                      My guess is that some of these are shot using a view camera, if you look at the bike photo in the first one, you'll see how it's a really wide angle shot but has a very shallow depth of field. A normal 35mm digital won't be able to produce this look, on a large format camera (8x10 inch film) a 110mm lens would be a wide angle, but it would still have that shallow depth of field that a 110mm telephoto has. See this alec soth photo as a good example of large format: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/raim0007/gws.../alec-soth.jpg

                      The way you would have to fake this look in photoshop would be to do a lot of selective blurring. Stay away from gaussian blur and try to use something like a lens blur. Then you need to mask it in and out with gradients, so that it gets more blur as the landscape gets farther back in the environment. If you want me to go into detail about how to realistically mask it, let me know.

                      The bright wrapping around stuff I think is just coming from natural flare and you should be able to get it with digital shooting, but I think its possible just because of the physics difference between film and digital that it might look more elegant on film. I found this too: http://josevillablog.com/2010/01/int...-analog-photo/

                      However, I do think that - film is going to have a different feel to it than digital no matter what, and you can try to come as close to it as you can but you're just not going to be able to fake it all the way in some cases.
                      He actually does overexpose by a number of stops. He rates Fuji Pro 400H (his mainstay along with the 800) at 200iso. He exposes for the shadows, and depending upon backlighting, etc, will overexpose a further 1 to 3 stops.

                      He does not use a view camera. His primary body is a Contax 645 with a Zeiss 80mm f/2 lens….shot wide open. He does use some 35mm as well….but mainly 645. The film is scanned with a Fuji SP2500 on the “All Hard” setting to preserve the highlights and maintain good shadow detail.

                      The only transparency film he uses is cross processed Kodak E100S I believe, that is exposed with a Holga.

                      Finally, after trying for many months to achieve this look easily, I’ve returned to using film for a fair bit of work.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: This look without a film camera?

                        How's this?

                        Workflow:
                        1. Saturation +20
                        2. Contrast +20
                        3. Gradient Fill: white to transparent, radial, 90 degrees, 100% scale
                        4. Vignette
                        5. Hue 30-40, Saturation +25
                        6. Photo Filter: deep red, 5%
                        7. Vibrance +100, Saturation +9
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by tepic; 02-04-2010, 11:12 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: This look without a film camera?

                          Looking on the web, I found thjat film cameras have around 9 stops of dynamic range and around 12 stops for controlled situations. Nikon D700 and Nikon D3 have 12 stops, but don't know in wich situation.

                          For this look I would go for duplicating the layer and set it to overlay and probably 50% opacity and some masking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: This look without a film camera?

                            This is the difficulty I had.....many suggestions, but no one can seem to actually post an example.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: This look without a film camera?

                              Originally posted by Faintandfuzzy View Post
                              This is the difficulty I had.....many suggestions, but no one can seem to actually post an example.
                              I'm working right now, but will give you an example after work.

                              Comment

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