Add film grain to pho­tos

Make a high-con­trast pic­ture more pho­to­genic with a touch of grain

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

Give sharp pho­tos a more clas­sic ap­pear­ance

Speak to any ded­i­cated pho­tog­ra­pher and they’ll spell out, pos­si­bly in te­dious de­tail, the im­por­tance of tak­ing clean,

grain-free im­ages. The prob­lem: as cam­eras shoot in dim­mer and dim­mer light – in­doors, say, or af­ter the sun has gone down – they in­crease their sen­si­tiv­ity to light, with a con­comi­tant in­crease in the amount of noise, or grain, present in an im­age. Grainy im­ages are a bug­bear for pho­tog­ra­phers be­cause they make pho­to­graphs ap­pear less sharp.

How­ever, grainy im­ages are a hall­mark of vin­tage pho­tog­ra­phy. Flick through any cof­fee ta­ble book pro­duced un­til the late ’90s and ev­ery im­age will have plenty of film grain. This can be evoca­tive, giv­ing pho­tos a sense of time that ster­ile, uber-clean im­ages can lack.

Cre­at­ing ef­fec­tive, grainy black-and-white im­ages re­quires a few dif­fer­ent skills. An un­der­stand­ing of how Affin­ity Photo’s fil­ters works will get the grainy ef­fect done, and know­ing how to use the chan­nel mixer can cre­ate black and white im­ages much bet­ter than sim­ply choos­ing Doc­u­ment > Colour For­mat > Greyscale. Be­ing able to work with lay­ers will also help – we’ll aim, by the end of the process, to have pro­duced an Affin­ity Photo file that can be re­verted to its orig­i­nal state, or edited fur­ther if you want to.

The crit­i­cal place to start, though, is with a strong im­age that will work well with a monochro­matic, grainy fin­ish. This is by no means all im­ages: some por­traits will look dis­tinctly un­flat­ter­ing in black and white, while some land­scapes will lose all their pizazz the mo­ment you knock the colour out of them.

For de­cent black-and-white im­ages, look for shots in your cat­a­logue (or, bet­ter yet, go and take new ones) that have high con­trast; that is, ar­eas of dark shadow as well as ar­eas of bright high­lights. Cam­eras of­ten strug­gle with this type of im­age, and us­ing black and white as a treat­ment can make the most of im­ages shot in poor light. It’s also worth think­ing about the fact that grainy black-and­white shots are evoca­tive of a par­tic­u­lar time in pho­to­graphic his­tory – think re­portage

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.