Dirty polaroid of the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford. I love using this camera, but it’s so unpredictable.. Plus it’s like: ‘click..that’s a quid..click..that’s another quid..’. You gets the idea. Hate to say it, but digital is so much more productive. Plus a bit of tinkering with your raw editor, and you can replicate the colour tones and densities of film to a point. Occasionally I get folks asking me how to make their digital files look less ‘digital’, so here’s a little guide to some basics:
1. Make sure pictures aren’t oversaturated. Digital pics come out of the camera looking really shite in this respect.
2. Experiment with ‘mixing’ contrasts. You want to flatten the tones of the picture enough so that you don’t have any blown-out highlights/blocked out shadows, but still give the picture enough punch that it doesn’t look dull.
3. Try the split-toning feature in ACR. It’s meant for black and white, but it can help add hints of colour to your highlights and shadows in certain lighting conditions.
4. Build up an eye for colour: look at stuff as a painter might, for it’s actual colour rather than the one our brain automatically thinks it is. Ask yourself, ‘is that shadow just black? Or does that person’s skin actually look more cyan in certain light?’..
5. Be careful with the hue of large areas of colour. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the fact that the camera has recorded the sky (for example) with a slight purple or green hue, so adjust accordingly.
Hope that helps!