Why you should edit your film scans

I am often surprised by the lack of editing I see in people posting their film photo’s. I don’t know of it is  a) lack of understanding of post processing b) laziness c) some sort of purity mentality regarding film d) just liking the look of it. When I get my film back from the lab I am rarely satisfied with the result. My images are often over or underexposed and very under saturated. I am not going to argue that everybody should edit their photos but I would like to show that sometimes it is really worth it. This is not a showcase for my photo editing skills, which aren’t the best, but just to show there are more possibilities with your film.

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Here is an example where the scan I received from the lab didn’t have any real black colors. I set a black point using curves and upped the vibrance.

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Here I shot some expired Provia film receiving a very green tinted image after having it cross-processed. Some people may like this color shift, but it is way too much for me. After some editing I got a bit of a more normal image out of it, though a bit muddy.

editing 35mm film (3)editing film

Here is another roll of expired roll of Provia I shot, but I actually developed as a slide film. I did not expect the green color shift so I did some editing to take it out.

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This was some basic Fuji Superia 200 film. The original scan was lacking contrast and color. When shooting sprocket with Superia the color lines are a good indicator what the right amount of color is. It’s quite easy to go overboard with the vibrance of saturation slider and those color lines should help you in determining the right amount of adjustment.

editing 35mm film (8)editing 35mm film (9)

Expired 100 Sensia which was then cross processed. My expired Fuji films tend to go green when cross processed ( except some crazy Provia roll which went nuclear pink on me). Taking out the green tones gives me a much better image. You may ask then what is the point of shooting expired film and crossprocessing it if I don’t like color shifts and tints. Well I love the unpredictability of it and sometimes it works, but in the images where it doesn’t work I like to have the option to edit them so I can have images I do enjoy.


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