Converting negative film to digital picture using Photoshop

How to Convert negative film to digital picture using Photoshop

Converting negative film to digital picture using Photoshop can be achieved in many ways – the simple formula below can white balance a negative and get to a satisfactory levels / contrast output in about 1 minute. You could also use a more advanced routine involving taking an additional picture of the film mask and incorporating it into the workflow – this undoubtedly gives even better result but triples the time to convert even one frame. The video is a little small, so press play and click on the square “full screen” box on the bottom right to see watch it comfortably.
The steps are as follows:
  1. First of all, invert the image.
  2. Make a levels adjustment layer.
  3. For each colour channel (R, G, B) hold down the alt key and slide the histogram tabs until the image just starts to clip.
  4. You then make a curves adjustment layer.
  5. In the curves palette, click the top-right menu button and select “Auto Options”
  6. Next, select the “Enhance Per Channel Contrast” option, and check “Snap Neutral Midtones”.
  7. Set Shadow Clip and Highlight Clip to 0.05 but experiment.
  8. Finally, when you’re done, flatten the layers.
The results of this are more than adequate – certainly better than using the inbuilt Nikon D850 digitizer.
Clolour negative to be processed in photoshop
A colour negative
Result of the colour negative processed with the above steps.
Result of the colour negative processed with the above steps.
 

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