Your opinion wanted!

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by modafoto, Oct 17, 2004.

Is it alright to adjust contrast and brightness on a scanned slide or neg?

  1. Yes, you do that all the time in the darkroom

    38 vote(s)
    80.9%
  2. No, print first and then scan...

    9 vote(s)
    19.1%
  1. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Hi

    Just a little question for your opinion.

    Is it alright to digitally adjusting the contrast and brightness on a scanned slide or neg?

    Morten
     
  2. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    I think that it is OK to make adjustments so that the scan matches the print.

    Often times when I scan a print it does not match, so in my opinion it is OK to make adjustments so that it does match.

    Jim
     
  3. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Of course, the act of scanning flattens an image (contrast and brightness wise).
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Contrast and brightness are mutually exclusive. if dealing with colour in the darkroom you have very little control over contrast, density/brightness is completely controllable.

    I seldom make prints smaller than 16" sq so I can't scan the print.

    IMHO
    It is fair to do what can be done digitally as long as it is in faith with the original and any deviation beyond is acknowledged.
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

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    My thoughts exactly. Scanning really destroys an image, you need a tool like PS to make it look like it does in the original transparency.
     
  6. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    I've been meaning to write an article on this topic for a while, but here is the jist.

    When you scan, most likely the scanning software is going to take a stab at adjusting the contrast, etc.. anyways for you unless you specifically say no. I don't see anything wrong with "scanning flat" and adjusting to taste with a human input vs. letting the computer do it automatically for you. I think many people miss the fact that their images re being "manipulated" automatically when they scan them, even if they don't have a say in it. I think the traditional photographer more then anyone appreciates the importance of having control at as many steps as possible.
     
  7. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I agree scanning doesn't truly reflect the print or negative, so adjusting the scanned image to reflect the true look is acceptable.
     
  8. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Thanks for your answers. Now I do not feel bad about adjusting before posting.
     
  9. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Mmm..yes...but one nagging doubt remains...how can we be sure your negs were really developed in Rodinal?
     
  10. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hans other than coffee is there anything else that negs can be souped in other than Rodinal? Surely not :wink:
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    As a neg scan and print scan are both distortions that require some correction, a screen that emits light just looks different from a print that reflects light, and much has to do with the equipment one has at hand, I don't really worry about this. I usually scan the neg/transparency and try to approximate the print in Photoshop for the web, and I usually get a closer approximation of the print this way than I do by scanning the print.
     
  12. ian_greant

    ian_greant Member

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    I believe it's often necessary to make contrast and brightness adjustments, however my preference is to scan prints.

    Sadly my photoshop skillz are better than my darkroom skills. Scanning the print makes sure I only show what I'm capable of printing.. not just what I'm capable of dreaming about.
     
  13. Art Vandalay

    Art Vandalay Member

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    I must say I was quite surprised by the poll results and the fact that the majority have no problem with scanning the film instead of the print!!! I thought it would be in the other direction, or at least 50:50.

    I voted yes for the same reasons that others did - scanning usually requires some levels adjustments to resemble the original. As for producing something from a scanned neg that you aren't able to produce in the darkroom, there's nothing stopping someone from making a normal print, scanning it and manipulating it past the point of their darkroom ability. For anyone who has taken the time to play with levels adjustments and dodge/burn in PS it's quite amazing at how powerful a tool it can be. Of course you still need good starting materials regardless.
     
  14. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Since my scanner and old computer are in a stand off of complete non-communication, this is almost a moot point. If I can ever get those two insulant objects to cooperate again, I would scan the print and try to adjust to represent the original print as faithfully as I can.
     
  15. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    I learned a handy technique from Per Volquartz. He doesn't do digital, but he does use computers and photoshop to help him in the darkroom. What he does is scan the negative. then he practices what the different burn in's or dogings. this way he can see what the finished picture would look like if he selectively did his darkroom work. That is as much as he uses photoshop for printing, as a previsiualization tool. He doesn't print his results on a printer. He then goes in the darkroom and knows in advance the areas that would most benefit.