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Thread: Digital photos appear dull compared to velvia film

  1. #1
    perth45's Avatar
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    Digital photos appear dull compared to velvia film

    I am new to digital, using a Nikon D3....so far I am still just taking pictures and learning the differences between digital and film....so far I'm not impressed one bit....despite trying to remain true to doing everything 'in camera'....the results are pretty dull in comparison to Fuji Velvia....even with a polarizer and 81C warm up....So far I have not used any software....I have the Nikon 'Capture' which came with the camera....but I just don't get it at all...and as usual...it fails miserably in explaining itself......so I probably need photoshop.....I do landscapes and architecture mainly....ANY SUGESTIONS PLEASE.....

  2. #2
    Raycer's Avatar
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    Re: photoshop

    Hi Perth,
    have you tried different picture control modes? customized vivid mode? download D2X modes? have you download velvia picture control? there are also Astia and Agfa picture controls out there that you can download.

    Ray

  3. #3

    Re: photoshop

    Perth45

    I too am relatively new to DSLR. One thing I would say is try not to compare film and digital too much. If you are shooting RAW your images will appear dull and flat. The digital processing is part of the deal much the same as chemical and optical processing with film. I assume (I use a Canon myself) your Nikon came with some pretty powerful RAW conversion software. I personally use GIMP (open source...free software) this allows me to open the image in UFRaw where white balance and exposure can be adjusted as required when I am done the image is transfered to GIMP (very similar to Photoshop) for the almost inevitable levels and curves treatment polished off with Unsharp mask. I have found that most images need sharpening (with my lenses at least). The workflow becomes second nature quite quickly. If you are shooting jpeg and your images are dull and flat I suggest you play around with picture styles and use the on camera custom settings to set sharpness and vibrancy etc. Whilst there are still a few purists who believe that images should come straight off the camera to be authentic I personally think this is a lost cause with digital photography. It is just not the way the digital SLR was intended to be used.

    I hope you soon start to get images you are satisfied with and there are many more members in this forum who are better qualified than me to give advice.

    Steve

  4. #4

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    Re: photoshop

    Editing software has improved considerably over the past couple of years and there are several reliable makes available now which vary in price between free and around £1000. So which end of the market are you considering?

    Obviously the more you spend the more you get; but the top end programmes may take a bit more effort to understand. The free Gimp is liked by many people. Photoshop ranges from free basic Elements 2 to rather sophisticated and expensive options. With several other software companies producing programmes which come somewhere in between.

    I never got on well with Photoshop Elements which I found confusing and needlessly complicated to use. Much like you said. But Photoshop, in its many forms, is the most widely used software worldwide and most of the other options operate in a similar format.

    Eventually I went for Serif Photo Plus, currently using version X3, which is moderately priced and I find to be more 'user friendly' with excellent Help advice and a choice of starter or advanced settings.

    But whatever you decide upon I would recommend printing out the Help files and having a good read until things start to make sense. There are also many good digital editing books available which will take you from beginner to advanced level.

    After that, and when things begin to make a bit of sense, it is really just a case of reading some of the many excellent editing tutorials then asking for more specific advice as you start to encounter some of the more technical quandries.

    It is true that it is initially a steep learning curve to understand basic digital editing but I think that a good starter book will give you the basic grounding that you require.

  5. #5

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    Re: photoshop

    i think if your using a "decent" dlsr and are not findingt he images good or as good if not better than film....then your doing something wrong...especially if you printing and exspecting what u see on your monitor to be what come out of the printer...

    But thats just my opinion.....

  6. #6
    Raycer's Avatar
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    Re: photoshop

    one more thing, turn off active d-lighting to increase contrast.

    Ray

  7. #7

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    Re: Digital photos appear dull compared to velvia film

    I'm myself a film shooter. In the beginning I am very confused of digital results, their lack of some color pattern is disturbing. If I shoot velvia, preview the results is easy, the same with reala or elitechrome, each film have their mood and I am very used to then. In some situations I prefer some film over others because their color rendition is better for the subject. In digital this thing is a little messy.
    When I start to compare film and digital, I see that film superimpose his characteristics over the image. Sinse I was used to film, I look for the images with film eyes not really seeing the real scene. In a sunny saturated day velvia give me less saturated images than the real scene, and in a cloudy day images from velvia is much more saturated than real world, the film impose their look on the scene. I start to take pictures from my window in digital to see the results compared to real images. In a sunny saturated day the image is very saturated, contrasted heavily, more like the real images. In shadow the images become dull, no color saturation and low contrast, but it is more close the real scene.
    I used the same workflow to develop images, and the treatment you use is extremely important for the final output. Don't exist a digital image that are not treated, because the bayer array renders a very dull image after demosaicing. If you don't treat your images the eletronic brain of camera will do for you. I think that humans are better on this than machines.
    In some sense shooting digital is more troublesome than film, after take a shot you develop your film and the final image is there, very easy. In digital you need to treat every image, thats a lot of work. I try to see color digital like B&W were I need to print my vision of the scene. Like using the darkroom is of paramount importance to B&W shooter, the post processing in digital have the same function.
    If you go to front page of my flickr ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexb2010 ) you will see three photos that are taken on the same street, all have the same treatment, the photo in the middle is shoot in a sunny spot and the others on shadow, see the diference.
    Best,
    Alex

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    NIK Software

    I haven't used NIK Software but, according to this video, you can automatically mime the results of any film with a click or two of your mouse. I notice that the film selections include Fuji Velvia as well as a multitude of other films.

    http://niktrainingvideos.com/video/c...CEP3_Film.html

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