I am new to film photography, and am trying to integrate my films scans into my digital workflow.
For now, I am taking digital photographs of my developed films (using a crazy Lego contraption to hold the film, a smartphone as a makeshift backlight, and a macro filter on my zoom lens to get a passable magnification). I then import this picture into Darktable, crop out the Lego and film, and use the invert module to get a viewable picture. Here is an example shot using this process:
_DSF7709.raf (26.0 MB) _DSF7709.raf.xmp
All files are licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.
My question, or challenge, is how to process such black and white scans?
I am fairly proficient with Darktable for my digital images. But this black-and-white scanning workflow has me asking so many questions:
- Do I use Darktable in full linear mode (no base curve or filmic), because the film is already taking care of the S curve?
- It seems that the tone curve and levels work better in this case than their RGB brethren. Why is this the case?
- Since the image is only covering a small part of the file’s dynamic range, the tone curve is very unwieldy.
- Is there a better way of adjusting highlights and shadows of these files than the tone curve?
- What other workflows could/should I be using instead?
Essentially, I’d be grateful for any hints on how to process negative scans. And I am very much looking forward to the negadoctor next month.