*Who the @#$! needs film? Comparing film to film replication software w/ @alienskin

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(*this article was originally written for, and appeared on the Alien Skin blog, by me, HERE.)

Put out your torches, and put down your pitchforks.  I love film.  I shoot film, and have a freezer and fridge full of it from 35mm Kodak Gold and Ilford Delta, to 120 Tri X and Portra 160 NC.  The question I’ve struggled with though, is why?  Why do I still shoot film?  It’s expensive to process, ridiculously tedious to digitize and even with expensive drum scanning, still doesn’t reach the depth and range of modern digital files.  Well, the answer for me has been nostalgia, the feel of the image, and the ability to take a step back, and focus on shooting in a more organic way that coincides with my initial falling in love with photography in the first place.  A beautiful reality though, is that through software, and remarkable sensor technology, we can quickly and easily replicate the look of film if we want, taking care of one of those (my) criteria.

This post is not meant to be any more than a personal experiment in which I’ll look to answer this question for myself when using my go to digital solution when wanting to help analogize results within my digital reality and workflow because, while I may not need film, I sure do love to replicate the look and feel of it.  C’mon in…

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*Fun with soul windows. Eye retouching techniques using Photoshop.

 

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A couple years ago, I’d posted a tutorial on simple eye enhancement techniques and I wanted to revisit and build on that.  Lately, “Photoshop” has seemed to be getting absolutely bludgeoned and cast as some evil, socially destructive outcast.  Used as a verb, photoshopping has become akin to kicking a blind puppy, and then forcing it into a life of anorexia.  While I am in no way a fan of, nor support using photoshop to unnaturally build unrealistic body proportions, or overly plasticize a face to perfection, I will make the case that retouching is an art and like anything has boundaries.  If viewing retouching from a creative angle, there are things that can be a lot of fun.  If viewing retouching from a practical angle, it can be effective.  Going overboard in any direction can certainly lead to criticism, but so many forms of artistic manipulation have and will always continue to draw ire.  For this post, I want to play around with both the creative and practical angles in regards to enhancing one’s eyes in a portrait.  Thank you to my friends Mat and Heather from Mirrorlessons – Bestmirrorlesscamerareviews.com for the shot you see above.  Eyes are often a focal point in many a good portrait, so why not add a bit of punch to that focal point?  Come on in to see how I achieve this quickly and easily.  If interested, you can download these eye enhancement Photoshop actions for free…

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*Exposure 4, it just keeps getting better.

I’ve been a huge fan of Alien Skin’s software for years now so I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’m excited by their recent update to an already killer plugin.  Exposure 4 keeps the functional structure in tact and further enhances its skill set to fine tune it into a plugin that will help any photographer, or digital artist further realize their final vision.

Read on for my experience through this exciting new release…

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