I am well aware that many of you don’t have the time or inclination to try film out, but still would like to achieve the look in the digital darkroom. There are many ways to do so, but I am going to just go over the ones that I feel are the most authentic looking and the easiest to use.
I have been shooting with the VSCO app on my Iphone pretty much since the day they released it to the public. I had been following some photographers that were in beta testing with the app and It was killing me to not get my hands on the #VSCO that I kept seeing. This is a nominal investment for such a simple app with stunning results. The more lofty investment is the Lightroom presets, which I do own. I had waited until they had improved the .jpeg conversion as I don’t shoot in RAW. It’s one click, filmy goodness.
I mentioned 9 Lives Photoshop actions last year, but it deserves another mention. The designer of the actions, photographer Kim Miller has introduced more sets and is working on Lightroom versions Kim has made her actions very affordable and they truly emulate film. My only complaint is that the layers are not grouped, but you can always record that into the action if you know what you are doing. If you work with actions often you’ll understand why a grouped set is ideal, it may not bother you.
One of the signs of film is grain. In digital photography we are usually trying to avoid this at all costs, but for the sake of emulating the film look you could shoot in lower light raising your iso almost as high as it can get. I feel this produces lots of fine grain and when the photo is converted to black & white you get a very film like effect. This would be the most cost effective route to play with film effects in the digital darkroom. Or you could always start in film by picking up a disposable camera like the talented Amy Merrick has done and try your hand at getting beautiful shots like these.
Photo by Eleanor Petry
Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.