Introduction to Editing for the Film Look
We just did a beautiful shoot, all digital and now I wanna show you how I take the whole process from shoot all the way to edit. To finish it off and have digital images that will, whether you are a hybrid shooter or a digital shooter that just wants your photos to look more filmy, how it can all blend together and look like film. So I wanted to go a little bit about my, my workflow. So I am a hybrid shooter which means that I shoot both film and digital. So how do I make the two marry together? So when I'm done with my film I send all of the film off to Richard Photo Lab. I have what they call a color pac there, it's a color profile basically. They know how I like my images to look. So it's kind like, in digital world it's equivalent to your editor. So they know what to do with my film. They develop it, scan it and then they do whatever tweaks that needs to be done to get it to look the way I do. Which a lot of it has to do with the amount of contrast, how bright you like the photos, ...
and how much saturation your like the photos. So I'm going to show you a digital version of what my film lab does for me. And then in order to process the usually thousands of digital photos really quickly, I use Photo Mechanic. So we'll do a live cull, where I'll cull all the images we took today. So how do you take those hundreds of images that you took and quickly narrow it down to you know, however many you want to deliver. And I do this before I open up Lightroom because Lightroom can take a long time when you're waiting for things to import. So the Photo Mechanic allows me to cull all of the images without having to wait for that importing process. So then when I opened up Lightroom it's only importing everything I want to keep and I don't have to worry about wasting time waiting for it to load all of the other ones. And then I will be editing and I do use the assistance of refined presets to dial in my look. As I mentioned a little bit earlier, I'm not a computer person. I don't thrive being behind the computer. I get depressed to be honest or I fall asleep. Like, literally on the, on the keyboard. And when I was pregnant with my first son and I was up like at 2 am and I found myself like this on my desk, I was like something's, I gotta do something about this. So at the time I didn't have my digital editing, I didn't have a solution for my digital editing. So that's why I shot more film. And it was great because it allowed me to do what I love which is being with my clients, making those connections, doing those really pretty shoots. And I can put my energy into the shoot and not have to worry about sitting in front of a computer, right? And so now I feel like I'm kind of find I have like a happy medium because I found a digital solution as well where I can get both. So I do shoot both film and digital. Why, like if digital's so great why do I still shoot film? I love the process of film still. And sometimes just that, creaminess is a little bit hard, like, especially for like the pretty portraits. If I shoot a wedding a lot of those portraits will still be in film because it just lends itself to it better. But digital is great as well. Like a lot of my kids I shoot digitally with them running around and all. And I do, I do it in film too but I also found that I'm able to replicate that look fairly well digitally and so there's not a need for that and refined presets help me streamline, like do most of the heavy lifting. So then I only have to go in and fine tune. And again with any kind of computer or automated system, it can only do so much automated. So you do need to go in and put your little final touches. Right, like, for example white balance. I think that's kind of a personal preference of how warm you like your images. Contrast, saturation, I think those are all personal preferences as well. And same things with the film scans. My lab, the only reason why I get my film scans ready to go is because they are personally editing it for me. They know what my personal preferences versus if I was to take it to like a I dunno, Walgreen's or like one hour photo, right? They're just running it that's equivalent to just running your digitals through auto, right? That's all they're doing. And so when you work with a professional lab like this and one that will personalize it for you that's where you're getting these really individualized scans. And again, it's pretty minimal. White balance, contrast, saturation. It's pretty much all that needs to be adjusted at this point. So let's go into a little bit about what I'm going to be trying to show you when I'm editing. So when I'm editing for the film look, the first thing that I have to adjust is the exposure. I'm looking for that kind of light and airy look and so I need to pull up the exposure to get the images bright enough for me. At that point then I can see how are the contrast the shadows. Like is it remember when I was saying her looking this way versus this way? Like how black are the blacks and is that how black I want it? Or do I wanna lighten up the black a little bit. And then same thing with the highlights. Do I want that big of a difference going from black to white or do I want it to be a softer transition? So those are personal preferences that I'll show you how to adjust for your taste. The, I think biggest issue that I run into is white balance. That a lot of times when people are saying oh, like I can't get the images to look the way I want it to look, it's because of white balance. Your white balance is off. And the nice thing is when I'm shooting film my lab is taking care of that and so a lot of times when people ask me like oh, how is it when you're shooting this way versus that way. I'm like you probably should ask my lab tech 'cause (laughs) to me the results look the same. But that's part, I don't know how much post production he's putting into it to make it look the same, right? And so I think if you can, if you can get the white balance down then that solves most of the editing hurdles. And the other one is I wanna take you through how when with film there tends to be a very bright look. When you try to do that digitally, I see a lot of who try that digitally and the result is they get very blown out highlights. And you just get like really whitewashed image instead right? So how do you find that medium is another thing that I will be going through. And then one other tool that sometimes works and we can try it out is match tonal exposure. So that one is, you know when you sync your images? That one tells it to sync it in kind of a smarter way so that it's not just blatantly copying all the settings over but it's more like match the tones of this one and sync the tones instead. So sometimes it works and sometimes it not and I'll show you where it shines and where it is iffy. (laughs) And then lastly when there's a lot of haze. How do you deal with that?
The classic, timeless look of film is making a comeback. Its popularity among commercial photographers is soaring, and it’s in particularly high demand in the world of wedding photography. But if you shoot digital or hybrid, how can you make your photos look like they were shot on film? Caroline Tran, a wedding photographer whose work has appeared in countless books and magazines, will teach you how to create the look of film through light, exposure and editing. Come along on a live shoot where she’ll show you how to find the light you need, expose to get 90 percent of the photo in camera, and use Lightroom® to achieve her signature look.