Cheater! (digitally editing scans of film)

For a while I felt that my shots had to be perfect straight from camera if I wanted to consider myself a good photographer.  That phase has definitely passed.  I’m not saying I rely on editing to salvage crappy shots (though I’d be lying if I didn’t say that happens on occasion), but if I have the tools, why not use Photoshop to give my images a little boost?

That mental hurdle is still in place for my film photos, however.  I did touch up the contrast in my last set of Analog Ambassador black and whites, but it still feels like cheating to adjust analog shots with digital means.  What are your thoughts–should film be left unaltered, is a little bit of nudging here and there OK, or do you see no reason to hold yourself back on digitally editing film scans?

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2 responses to “Cheater! (digitally editing scans of film)

  1. Film was always subject to alteration. When you develop a film and project it onto the paper, you can alter the exposure and crop it to change it from the original shot. In days gone by, some photographers even mastered the art of painting onto the negative itself. I always edit my film scans on Photoshop but usually not much more than level adjustment to put some punch into the monochrome.

    • True. And it’s funny, I know that film has always been edited, there’s just some part of my brain that thinks if I’m editing my film, I shouldn’t be doing it digitally. I’m not actually a purist, there’s just part of me that thinks along those lines on occasion. Not sure why.

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