For the Love of Film – Part 1
The first post of a three part series covering film emulation in ON1 Photo 2017. Product Director Dan Harlacher and QA Engineer Jonny Davenport put together a fun project for emulating film looks in ON1 Photo 2017. These new film looks will be available as part of the next free update.
I grew up in photography. I got my first film camera, a Canon Ftb, when I was just 12 years old and haven’t been without a camera since. I used to spend my days and years in the darkroom while working in camera stores and studios. I’m not alone in this either. Several of us at ON1 have a similar background and love for film photography. My good friend and colleague, Jonny Davenport, works on our dev team and is the biggest filmophile I know. He has rolls and sheets twenty years old hidden away in cold storage. Most of us don’t shoot film anymore, but it’s all he shoots.
Back then, we (us photographers) knew every format, lens, film and paper. You used to select a certain film, developer and paper combination because you understood their characteristics, the look, they created together. This is something we lost when switching to shooting digital. Cameras vary little in their look. Every Canon camera looks the same, and doesn’t look much different from Nikon or everyone else for that matter.
Don’t get me wrong, I love shooting digital. I love the immediacy and the freedom to shoot as much as I want. Combined with great technologies like a powerful raw processor and you have so much control and potential. With all that power we have also lost some of the soul and craft of photography we wanted to bring back.
Years ago when we created Perfect Black & White it was almost like a home coming of sorts. We took the history of photography with our vast knowledge of film and showed our skills to recreate what you could do in the darkroom in digital form. We went after every black and white film stock we could get. We shot tons of test targets, scanned them, and created presets for each of the different films. We even recreated toners and film grain digitally. Those same great black and white looks live on in Effects today.
Now we’ve decided to do it all over again, but for color film. That’s right! We raided Jonny’s super top secret stash of film and shot 35 different rare (and no longer produced) color negative and slide films.
As you read this post, we are well into our next step of the film emulation process. Next I will scan the films and create presets in ON1 Photo 2017 to faithfully reproduce these classic film looks. Stay tuned, part 2 in this series will fill you in on the shooting and scanning process. Remember, these classic presets will be available, no charge, in the next update. #ON1Pics #HappyEditing