Thursday, December 6, 2012

Getting That Film Look From Digital - Theme Presents a Nice Summary of Software Options

Black and White Conversion Done in Lightroom
It's pretty interesting how there seems to be a persistent interest in shooting film, or at least getting results that look like film. I started this morning's blog story search with an article on Theme about how some photographers (I won't say "many"), including some pros, are sticking with film.
(Click Here) to read how some pros are continuing to shoot with film.
That led me to another article on Theme, about using software to make your digital images look like film. In this piece, they cover five optional add-ons to your normal photo editing software (Adobe Lightroom in my case):
  1. DxO FilmPack
  2. Alien Skin Exposure 4
  3. Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 (for black and white)
  4. Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (for color)
  5. TrueGrain (specifically for grain effects)
(Click Here) to read the whole piece on Theme.
The article describes how Sebastiao Salgado refused to switch to digital until he could recreate the look he's always gotten with black and white film (Kodak TriX 400). Now that he's switched, he processes his images with DxO FilmPack, and even transfers them to a film base digitally.
Both DxO and Nik have free evaluation versions. Theme suggests that DxO is less expensive, and does the job very well.
Personally, I don't like spending time editing images, but do a fair amount of conversion to black and white. I have been doing it all within Lightroom, which allows me to save presets. However, I'm interested in finding out what I've been missing with one of these other packages.
I'm tempted to try DxO. However, I already have Nik's excellent HDR Pro software for high dynamic range imaging, so I may try Silver Efex. Maybe I'll try to do this over the holidays. I'll report back after I've had a chance to play a little.
Of course, I continue to shoot film as well. I see no reason to be exclusive in my approaches.