Ever wanted to add some "better" grain to images than just Photoshop's plain "Add noise"?
Here's a short recipe:
- Create a new empty layer on top of your image and bucket paint it with an almost white grey.
- Add noise, 50%-400%, gaussian, monochromatic.
- Apply a gaussian blur to the layer, 0.4-0.8px radius.
- Set blending mode to multiply or overlay and adjust grain intensity through the layer opacity.
- Add a curves layer to adjust brightness and add some hard contrast.
Cool shot! And some interesting PP techniques as well. Heath @ 2006-June-12 00:29
I came across your site a while back and have been checking it almost daily since. Simply love your work. Each photo is well constructed, balanced and definitely photo-worthy.
I'm a bit on the fence in terms of photoshop. I see it's advantages, but often ponder the ethics involved. What's acceptable and what is not...
I do use photoshop to improve colour, contrast, or to add effect. It's when I am unable to recognize the photo as the same image I took with the camera that I question the boundaries of manipulatig any further.
What are your thoughts on this? (it is not my intention to challenge your work flow or use of photoshop, but only to seek your opinion on the matter) percy @ 2006-June-12 01:45
nice technique for adding noise. however i find i achieve more pleasing results from overlaying a scan of actual film grain, changing the layer blending to 'overlay' and then playing with the opacity.
i find the electronically added noise that photoshop adds is too evenly distributed. then again, that's probably just me being picky. nice shot all the same! chris @ 2006-June-12 02:11
It's unclear why there would be an ehtical issue in using Photoshop. The moment you frame an image within your camera, you're imposing your own "truth" upon reality. In film-based photography, cross-processing a photo certainly alters the color of the original scene. Using a high-grain film stock adds texture that wasn't there when you looked through the lens.
The photos on this site, as well as many photoblogs, generally represents a form of art photography. I can certainly appreciate documentary-style, which tries to replicate reality as close as possible. But, if no one is making any claims that their photos are of that style, then there shouldn't be any issue with post manipulation.
The question, in the end, should be whether or not you find the image pleasing, evocative, challenging, resonant -- no matter how it was achieved. Brandon @ 2006-June-12 03:14
greetings guys .. been busy - got a week of posts to catch up on! all good over there? ;)
this one .. love the subject matter - great shape, nice framing, love the colour .. not entirely sure about the noise (bit of me likes, bit of me doesn't!)
;) MrC @ 2006-June-12 06:46
unbelivebly great shot, i just love it. great color tone! take care :)) Bruno @ 2006-June-12 08:18
After a while I realised that there was a way that my camera could add noise on its own. Whacking up the ISO to something like 1600 or (3200 or whatever is the highest), then either using ND filters, fast shutters or stepping down the aperture should compensate for the new high light sensitivity.
But Sometimes the noise isn't that obvious, so you have to tweak it a little.
Your method's quite good (just tried it out), but I still like the idea of trying to get everthing right in camera for each shot.
I like the shot BTW, reminded me of:
http://jamesdodd.net/?area=gallery2&do=view&start=33 JD @ 2006-June-12 09:44
good method. an unusually cool image ? sìkò @ 2006-June-12 09:47
nice work! thanks for the tip! cheers :)) david kleinert @ 2006-June-12 11:28
Interesting technique - another one to try out. garyx @ 2006-June-12 12:34
Still too artsy fartsy for this poor sod :)
But it looks nice to me.
Love the technique comments you post up. Should start doing that on my blog but mne too lazy :) Suby @ 2006-June-12 12:46
This is so cool! Going to have to try it out. Michael @ 2006-June-12 13:36
sppokily effective photo: great idea to tell us how you acheived it too! david @ 2006-June-12 14:56
Wieder schön düster :-) Homajon @ 2006-June-12 17:41
@percy and Brandon: Interesting question you brought up. Definitely justified, as I reckon that many photobloggers or photographers rely heavily on post processing - including us. So I???m going to use the occasion to elaborate on our stance regarding the issue.
I???d like to start by paraphrasing the writings of Andreas Feininger. Basically what he says is, that it???s a big mistake to consider photography a naturalistic mean of reproduction, and that by doing this you???ll be taking away one of photography???s greatest aspects. As Brandon already mentioned, there are so many abstractions and alterations taking place in the moment you take a picture, not even mentioning the steps until you hold a print in your hand, that I find it amazing that this issue is so controversial. Even documentary or war photographers are constantly in search of aesthetical images and try to come closer to their visions by relying on manipulations done in their labs??? *
Yet many still rate photos by their (pseudo) naturalistic quality, including photographers and editors.
Ironically impressionistic painters also had to fight the accusations of not being realistic, a pressure which was taken away from them with the appearance of photography???
With that out of the way, let???s move on.
Why do people judge photos by rules? Isn???t art to be judged mainly subjectively?
I think the ???that???s not photography??? attitude towards pictures that do not correspond to certain rules or notions is very poor. At this point I???d like to direct you to this text by the like-minded photoblogger Nitsa (from Non-Photography) on the rules-issue: www.nonphotography.com/Whatis/about.html
I do not see photography and the other graphical arts as being isolated from each other, but rather as overlapping. Some photographers make digital art with their pictures, some paint on them, cut them with scissors to make collages, beat and burn their polaroids, and so on???
We wish to express an idea with the pictures we put up, be it a message, story, mood or just visual beauty. The means to achieve this is secondary. Digital manipulation is just another tool. Quoting Wikipedia:
Some say we are now in a postdigital era, where digital technologies are no longer a novelty in the art world, and "the medium is no longer the message." Digital tools have now become an integral part of the process of making art.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_art In other words, digital tools have become so ubiquitous as to be taken for granted by today's composers and producers; what is interesting is not the tools in themselves but rather the new horizons of artistic possibility they open up.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postdigital
I don???t see why a picture that has not been digitally manipulated should have a greater value. The manipulation can be overdone, but that???s not to be determined by rules, but subjectively, by taste, and is thus dependant on the viewer???
Yes, quite a few of our pics wouldn???t be online or wouldn???t cause as much impact if it wasn???t for post processing, but I don???t see the problem. We still have to focus on finding interesting subjects and shooting good pictures.
Of course, there are some post processing clichés that don???t please me at all, those over photoshopped eyes, corny soft filters or unfitting color cutouts, to name a few.
Actually I think that the photoblogging community, instead of debating about the definitions, measures, rights & wrongs of photography, should be trying to find out why sadly conformism gets rewarded though there is plenty of variety and creativity out there...
*On a side note: In my experience analog film stylizes the image more than the digital sensor does, plus the lab influences the development, which doesn???t apply to digital. So, to achieve comparable results post processing digital photos is a necessity. Sebastian @ 2006-June-12 18:03
@chris: yep, that is a good idea. Added some bits to the method, btw.
@JD: I tried it, but the noise from the cam isn't really pleasing me. There is color noise which you can get rid of, but also some sensor banding which can get very apparent depending on noise intensity. Even in b&w photos I think I prefer the manually added grain.
A cool thing about noise is that it helps to hide bad editings and other unwanted detail. So, if there's something fishy going on in your image, just up the grain!
@Suby: I'm desolate!
Thanks for all the comments. Sebastian @ 2006-June-12 18:26
Schön! Ist das jetzt ne Spinnenwebe oder eine zerborstene Scheibe? Karl Baumann @ 2006-June-12 20:10
Beautiful, moody, and spooky shot. Justin Gaynor @ 2006-June-12 20:52
That's a great shape- delicate and unusual. Thanks for sharing your technique. Love the debate you got going on manipulation too! To me photoshop is a tool that can be used to extract what you want to convey in an image, or a potential that you can see. fotojo @ 2006-June-12 23:47
rules are there to be broken.
in former times, photographers used the darkroom with all the tricks to improve their photographs. about that, there are a lot of books showing how special fx can be made in the darkroom.
today, in the digital age, we have photoshop and many other things. I don't see an ethic dilemma....
as long the photograph brings the message to the viewer, any technique is allowed :)
anyway, this shot is the best example how simple "the mood" of an image can be changed.. from a litte bit boring to something weird, spooky :-)))
kind regards, vernon trent. Vernon.Trent @ 2006-June-13 07:09
those that can; use photoshop
those that can't; bitch about others that use photoshop schmee @ 2006-June-13 15:56
Visualisierung der Zeit - in meiner Lieblingsfarbe.
Sehr sehr fein. grapf @ 2006-June-13 17:49
Great point, Sebastian. I agree with you completely. Tomasz @ 2006-June-16 07:50
Best of your shots!! CoinDealer @ 2006-August-7 14:07