Here is another image of Johannes at the Källtorpssjön Lake in Nacka, outside of Stockholm - made in 1996. Also here, the color negatives now show beautiful clear colors without funky color tints - and high detail sharpness (thanks to using a digital camera for the film negative).

The stone slap Johannes is lying on - shows clear nuances of brown, green and gray - without looking unnatural or funky (which often was the case in my earlier attempts to get the color balance right. Even Johannes blue yes come out very clear now, and so is the blurry background of the stone wall.

What for me feels remarkable is, that I am suddenly able to achieve much more clear, natural colors (fine color nuances are a matter of individual taste of course, as well how ones screen is calibrated / set). Nevertheless, my gratitude goes to the people behind Negative Lab Pro - for having made such remarkable plug-in for correcting color film negatives !

When I work with color negatives, I tend to treat them, or interpret them more like "slides" (Positive color film, E-6), in terms of color fidelity, clarity and contrast. (Not always of course, but I lean towards more vibrant colors if possible)

 

Cibachrome de Luxe

I guess my taste comes from the past habit of having worked in a real darkroom, with more contrasty color papers such as Cibachrome and Fujiflex de Luxe (the latter was and still is, an extravagant, super brilliant paper for color negative films made of polyester. Looks like exhibition quality !) - with a quality that is simply astonishing).

Cibachrome was a legendary print paper to make images from slides. In fact it was a "paper" unlike any other ever on the market. Also made on polyester with super glossy surface and unique brilliant colors - as well super easy development in room temperatures. Most popular in the 1980s.

In certain angles under bright light, the colors could have a sort of metallic sheen. Very unique. One major issue with Cibachrome was that it was almost impossible to get fine tuned color balance in shadows vs highlights. The highlights always tended to flip towards cyan, which made blue skies with clouds problematic, while the skin in portraits turned funky. It was the reasons why I abandoned Cibachrome, in favor of color negative film and print paper in 1993

Anyway - both print materials such as Fujiflex de Luxe and Cibachrome - were unique in terms of brilliance by setting themselves apart from all other color print papers.

 

Still more to learn

I only started with the Negative Lab Pro" plug-in very recently, which means that I am not familiar with many settings (I may have a hunch, but I do not fully understand them all). Over time, my aim is to learn how to use them, and what exactly they mean - so I know what i am doing. As of now, I only use things because "it look good" - but don't understand what exactly is happening and why.

 

The weirdo's

Some motives can still look a bit weird. 35mm negatives taken with different light sources (in color). When a friend and I were eating at a table outside, it was already bluish twilight while the light from the restaurant was warm-yellow. Here I had major issues with finding the right color balance. And tinkering with individual colors didn't made it better, either.

 

Sometimes it get's funky with colors

Here below you see that photo I am talking about. Tinkering with individual color channels made it in this case no better. ON top of everything else - the color film was a funky one: Konica color XG 100, which was a cheapo consumer film - the kind you snap away with like a paint brush. I am sure that color fading after 27 years, also plays into the whole.

 

Neither right nor wrong

Some images are taking in light conditions so different from daylight, that the final result is more a matter of taste; how you interpret colors etc. The image blow can be color-corrected made in several different ways, and I would say, you move on until your eye says "ok". Funny is however, that if you work with the same scanned image, creating a new "interpretation" several months later - you may see that your mind/eyes prefer a different color balance. (Or that the results turns out different) So, there is no right or wrong.

The light conditions, the flawed Vivitar 24mm lens with lots of flare and leaking light, the funky Ronica Ronica XG 100 brand, and on top tungsten light without filter and a longer exposure time (1-2 seconds)... Well, there were no standards.

Even the kiss was different... (being gay) *grin*

 

 

Konica Color XG 100

Very funky film, I must say, because now after 27 years, I don't really get so great results with Negative Lab Pro. In some cases I seem to have done a better job with totally manual filtering and tinkering.

So, the below image took a loooooots of tinkering, and I still lead towards the older scan (also with digital camera) resulted into better feeling. As you can see, the plain result from Negative Lab Pro, can often look very strange, kind of coolish pale. The reds turn more like magenta, which required me to tinker with the color channels (a lot), to get it right.

I assume now, that even older color negatives will turn out at strange with Negative Lab Pro. Individual fading inside the color negatives, can easily screw up the overall color balance - and that isn't so easy to address. Trial an error, kind of style. You play and tinker, until it feels right.

If it doesn't - start anew.


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