Tag Archives: Photoshop

The Situation Room

"Cats of War." Slate.com

Cats of War.” Slate.com

M sent me an email with a link to a Paul Krugman piece in The New York Times.

It got me thinking. There should be a cat in any war room so they are reminded that:

  1. Life has value: Aw, look at that fuzzy little face.
  2. Action or inaction has consequences: I didn’t change the box and he shit in my briefcase.
  3. Senseless evil does exist in the world: Will someone please put that mouse out of its misery? It’s making me sick.

Playing With Polaroid Negatives

I’ve had these giant TIFFs hanging out on my drive for a while and finally decided to do something with them. This is far from comprehensive and probably raises more questions than it answers. Scanned with the CanoScan 9000f at 4800DPI and no corrections unless noted. I used some of the same images from the Polaroid 250 post.

With B&W film, you don’t have to bleach off the black backing to get something scannable.

Scan of the print:

Ghost bike in Pojoaque -- Fuji FP3000B film.

Ghost bike in Pojoaque — Fuji FP3000B film.

Scan of the negative:

Not much to see yet.

Not much to see yet.

Inverted negative:

Less contrast but a lot more detail from the shadows.

Less contrast but a lot more detail from the shadows.

It will be interesting to overlay the positive and inverted negative to create a High-dynamic-range (HDR) image or selectively erase the upper layer to the lower. That will have to wait for some of this “free time” I keep hearing about.

Scan of the print:

Self portrait with Zoe -- Fuji FP3000B film.

Self portrait with Zoe — Fuji FP3000B film.

Scan of the negative:

You can already tell there's detail that didn't make it to the print.

You can already tell there’s detail that didn’t make it to the print.

Inverted negative:

Now we're getting somewhere.  More ear and forehead visible too.

Now we’re getting somewhere. More ear and forehead visible too.

For this one, I used the negative and applied Photoshop’s “Auto Smart Fix” just to see what I’d get and then inverted it.

Big difference.

Big difference.

Years ago, I used a similar trick to boost a photo of lightning. I separated the RGB channels, inverted them, boosted the contrast on red (I think — it was a long time ago), reassembled the channels and inverted. I used Jasc Paint Shop Pro (since bought by Corel) on Windows NT. I’ll see if my friend still has it.

Color Fuji instant acts very differently. The negatives look black until you remove the backing. I taped it face down to a piece of glass and used thick, “no drip” bleach and cotton swabs, then lots of running water.

Scan of the print:

Cropped to better match the negative.

Cropped to better match the negative.

Scan of the negative:

Not-negative negative.

Not-negative negative.

Some bleach got under the tape so I cropped it. There was some developer slime on the negative and I tried to wipe it off and removed some of the picture.

I don’t know the chemistry but the negative isn’t negative. I didn’t invert the image. It looks like the B&W component is positive (the shadows are dark, not light) but the color is negative (bluish print and orange-y negative).

Things I’ve learned from this so far…

The negatives are delicate. Do not use warm running water and fingers to clean off excess developer.

Scan as soon as practical — they were meant to be thrown away and aren’t stable over time. Or, at least, they change. There may be a point where they stop.

Given the above, wait until they’re dry. If a negative is damp, it’ll be ruined when you remove it from the scanner and you’ll have to clean goo off of the scanner glass.

Use good tape. Bleach is sneaky and it will work its way underneath.

It may not be usable because of the adhesive but the negatives have a little more image than the prints.

More experimentation is needed but there is detail hiding in the negatives of blown-out and dark prints.

52 Cameras: Week 17 part 2 — Yashica 635

Techne has smiled upon me. I like to do a test run with a camera before committing to it as the camera of the week but I was so stoked to try the Yashica, I went for it.

I found interesting subject matter, used excellent Ilford XP2 Super 400 B&W film, The Camera Shop of Santa Fe did their usual stellar processing, and the camera was a delight. Even the Canoscan 9000f behaved (as well as it ever does). This was 120 film. Later, I’ll run some 35mm through the Yashica. There was a 35mm roll in the camera when I got it but sadly, no Bigfoot or Jimmy Hoffa pictures. It was blank.

Exposure values are ballpark accurate. Some I wrote down and some I didn’t. Scanned to TIFF (millions of colors) at 4800 DPI, converted back to B&W in Photoshop, and resized (~10%) and converted to JPEG for upload.

Zoe -- f3.5 at 1/25

Zoe — f3.5 at 1/25

I’ll let her tell the tale of our dinner. She’s the writer. I just take the pictures.

My sweetie at our Christmas Thai dinner -- f3.5 at 1/25

My sweetie at our Christmas Thai dinner — f3.5 at 1/25

Snoozing on the couch -- f3.5 at 1/25

Snoozing on the couch — f3.5 at 1/25

Funky trailer on Alameda - f16 at 1/500

Funky trailer on Alameda – f16 at 1/500

Sculpture at Frenchy's Field - f11 at 1/500

Sculpture at Frenchy’s Field – f11 at 1/500

Sculpture at Frenchy's Field #2 - f11 at 1/500

Sculpture at Frenchy’s Field #2 – f11 at 1/500

Christmas-y Frenchy's Barn -- f11 at 1/500

Christmas-y Frenchy’s Barn — f11 at 1/500

Passing through, waiting for his car to be repaired -- f11 at 1/500

Passing through, waiting for his car to be repaired — f11 at 1/500

I realized after posting that I had film upside down in the scanner and the images are mirror image.

I used Pocket Light Meter. Photos were a little overexposed so I adjusted a couple a smidge in Photoshop. I wouldn’t be surprised if a 55-year-old shutter was a wee bit slow. The only thing I did to the camera was clean the lenses.

52 Cameras: Week 14 part 2 – Hasselblad XPAN 1

I suspected I might fall in love with this camera. I did. Any shortcomings in the pictures is me getting a feel for it and not composing well. Scanned on the Canoscan 9000f at 4800 DPI. I tried 9600 DPI at first but the scanner’s “snow” noise shows up. I used Apple’s Image Capture app and a TWAIN driver set to millions of colors and scanned to TIFFs. Images are downsized to 10% and converted to JPEG for posting.

Color photos are Fuji ISO 200.

Slowly turning back into iron oxide

Slowly turning back into iron oxide

Another arroyo car photo

Another arroyo car photo

Near the Rio on NM 502

Near the Rio on NM 502

B&W photos are Ilford XP1 ISO 400 that expired in December 1991. It’s great black and white film and it can be processed using C-41 color chemicals so I don’t have to wait for Visions to do their Wednesday B&W run.

The grayscale scan setting gave me black images so I used millions of colors. Something amiss in the way the Canon TWAIN driver talks to the app I guess. Reversing the negatives gave a purplish hue, opposite the orange of the negative’s acetate (no color or exposure corrections doing it this way). Converted back to black and white in Photoshop.

Rio Grande near La Mesilla

Rio Grande near La Mesilla

The currents made these patterns in the sand

The currents made these patterns in the sand

My sweetie wearing the "Kill The Wabbit" hat

My sweetie wearing the “Kill The Wabbit” hat

52 Cameras: Week 7 part 2 – Olympus Pen EES

This is a fun camera to use. It did well considering I suck at guesstimating distance and I forgot my human rangefinder card. I took it with me while we did a tour of Breaking Bad locations.

John B. Robert dam in Albuquerque - CanoScan 9000F at 9600 DPI

John B. Robert dam in Albuquerque – CanoScan 9000F at 9600 DPI

Waiting for the vacuum cleaner repair guy - CanoScan 9000F at 9600 DPI

Waiting for the vacuum cleaner repair guy – CanoScan 9000F at 9600 DPI

Same negative scanned with the old 5MP ImageLabs

Same negative scanned with the old 5MP ImageLabs

Because it’s 1/2 frame, The Camera Shop of Santa Fe couldn’t scan right away. I was impatient so I just had them process the film and dusted off my old scanner. Literally. It was covered in dust and sadly some is inside on the sensor. I had bought a nice Canon CanoScan 9000F a while back and finally set it up. I’m still learning my way around the new scanner so hopefully, results will improve. Images are resized but no exposure or color correction. On the 3rd image I used the clone tool in Photoshop to clean up dust and cat hair.

I’ll do a separate post about the scanners and put up some more pictures from the Pen EES.

Phun with Photoshop on Chinon images

Sometimes having pictures that aren’t very good can be liberating. With a good photograph, you don’t want to mess with it much. It feels like a cheat. With one that’s crappy to begin with, it’s more like, “Well, it can rot on a CD, never to be viewed again, or I can have some fun with it.”

Aspen Vista - original

Aspen Vista – original

I’m trying a demo version of Neat Image, a noise reduction plug-in for Photoshop. The demo will only work on small images so I started with the reduced-for-the-web images.

For the Aspen Vista image, I cranked up the saturation in Preview, used the dry brush filter in Photoshop, and finished it off with heavy noise reduction to get rid of the speckling in the sky. It doesn’t look like a photo but it wouldn’t make me vomit if I saw it on an office wall.

Aspen Vista - edited

Aspen Vista – edited

Flowers near Santa Fe River Park - original

Flowers near Santa Fe River Park – original

For the flowers, I started in Preview and used the “Auto Levels” correction. It mostly drags the highlight and shadow adjustments closer to the histogram peak. In Photoshop, I used the default noise reduction of Neat Image. Back in Preview, I dragged the mid-tone slider to the right. A little Instagram-y but it could pass for an old Polaroid.

Flowers near Santa Fe River Park - edited

Flowers near Santa Fe River Park – edited

Building art on Pen Rd. - original

Building art on Pen Rd. – original

I didn’t want to use too much artistic license on this one since it’s a photo of well, art. I used the default noise reduction in Photoshop/Neat Image and dragged the mid-tone slider to the right in Preview and that’s it. It’s cleaner and brighter without changing the underlying subject. Me gusta.

Building art on Pen Rd. - edited

Building art on Pen Rd. – edited