Archivi categoria: Tutorials

What is the ‘Orange & Teal Look’ and Why is it So Popular?

Many a blockbuster movie and several popular travel photo/video creators out there use something called the ‘Orange and Teal look’ when they color grade their work. Today, Parker Walbeck of Fulltime Filmmaker will explain what that look is, why it’s used, and how to apply it to your creations.

On the surface, the ‘Orange and Teal look’ is easy enough to get: you simply push Blues/Teals into the shadows and Oranges/Yellows into the highlights, creating contrast by using these complementary colors to add depth to your shot. But why Orange and Teal? Why not another set of complementary colors?

There are a few reasons.

The first has everything to do with skin tones. Parker explains that skin tones (with some obvious exceptions) typically “sit somewhere in the orange spectrum,” so pushing teals into the shadows will help skin tones stand out from the rest of the image. It’s a different way to create depth, separating your subject from the background using color instead of depth of field or light.

The second has to do with contrast. This grading technique/style is all about creating color contrast, and Teal and Orange have the highest contrast between their exposure values of any pair of complementary colors on the color wheel. Again: we’re adding depth.

Lastly, the third and final reason is more of a speculation. Parker believes Orange and Teal are used at least in part because they replicate golden hour: warm orange light against a blue sky.

The theory portion of the tutorial is pretty much over by 2 minutes in, where Parker changes gears and explains how to install something called a color look up table or LUT in Premier Pro and use it to quickly and easily color grade footage in this “Blockbuster” or “Orange and Teal” style.

That last bit is more of a sales pitch for a great LUT package he found online, and more applicable to filmmakers unless you’re a big fan of LUTs in Photoshop, but if you’re interested it’s there for you and could potentially come in very handy.

So check out the full breakdown up top. And good luck not noticing this golor grading look everywhere from now on…

How to Shoot & Develop the Sharpest Possible Black and White Film Photos

If you want sharp black and white images with fine grain, then you’ve come to the right place!

I’m a bit of a freak in terms of image quality and I love very detailed photos. That’s why I’ve been searching for the combination of film and developer that would get me the best results. The technique I’m about to share is not for every situation and, ideally, you will need either a decent amount of light or a tripod.

The reason behind this is that we need to reduce the size of the grain, and the first step in this process is to use a slow film.

Usually, fine grain films go from ISO 25 to ISO 100. A small grain will automatically result in an increased sharpness as it makes the definition thinner on the negative. It’s the same with digital cameras, the smaller are the sensor’s pixels, the more there are, the higher the definition.

For today’s article, we are going to use a roll of Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros. I often hear good things about it and wanted to give it a try since a long time. If you are into digital as well, you may have heard the name Acros in the past months. Fujifilm has added a new film simulation in their high-end cameras that replicates the look of this film.

Back to the film version, it’s considered a medium-speed film and can be used both out- and indoors. It’s also known to be very capable for long exposure thanks to its admirable reciprocity capabilities. For those of you who have never of reciprocity, it’s basically how a film reacts when being exposed to light. In other words: it means that different films won’t handled exposure—especially long exposure—the same way.

In this case, the film has very good reciprocity characteristics, which makes it the ideal partner for Astro or night photography. On the other hand, a film with poor reciprocity would not support long exposures very well, and tend to develop some sort of halo effect around the highlights known as “Reciprocity Failure.” If you are interested to read more about this topic, check the definition on Wikipedia.

The second key element for crisp images is the developer. All developers are not equal in terms of grain quality and in this case, Rodinal (aka R09) is known to give fine grain with slow films (this is different with medium speed films). It’s also notorious for being a high acutance developer—this means it increases the grain which results in an increased edge sharpness.

To make grains smoother, some developer use a silver solvent. This makes the edges between grains softer, which results in a decrease of perceived sharpness. Rodinal doesn’t contain such a solvent; that’s why it may increase the grain appearance on some films but, as we are using a fine grain film, there is no such problem.

The last element that will help us achieve fine detail is decent glass. In this case, I used a 45mm on my Hasselblad Xpan, but I’m sure you can get similar quality with cheaper lenses. For this series, most of the images were shot between f/4 and f/5.6 at 1/60 of a second and exposed for the mid-tones most of the time. I’m sure I would have got a little more detail by closing down to f/8, but there was not enough light on this day and I was shooting handheld.

About the development, I went for a standard development as it was the first time for me using Rodinal. If you want to reproduce the same steps here are the details:

  • Dilution : 1+50
  • Temperature: 24°C (75°F)
  • Development time: 8 minutes
  • 1-minute agitation at the beginning and 4 inversions each minute
  • Stop bath for 10 seconds with Ilford Ilfostop
  • Fixer for 3 minutes with Ilford Rapid Fixer

You can also develop at 20°C, but need to extend the time to 13.5 minutes.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results. It gives to these images a timeless feel and classic B&W look. I will certainly order more of this film and experiment with other developer and stand development as well to see how it performs.


About the author: Vincent Moschetti is an Ireland-based photographer who is in the middle of a year-long experiment where he’s shooting only film photography. You can find more of his work or follow along on this adventure by visiting his website or following him on Facebook and Instagram. This post was also published here.

How to Blend 3 Bracketed Exposures for Greater Dynamic Range

Want to learn how to blend 3 bracketed exposures of the same scene to create a single photo with greater dynamic range? Here’s a great 17-minute video tutorial by travel photographer and educator Jimmy McIntyre on how to do so in Photoshop CC.

“In this example we use 3 exposures because the difference between the brightest exposure (also the base exposure) and the darkest exposure is too much,” McIntyre says. “So we bridge the gap by using a middle exposure.”

His technique is a clean, 100% non-destructive workflow. While he shows how easily the job can be done using his own Photoshop plugin, Raya Pro, McIntyre also demonstrates how you can do the same things using ordinary Photoshop.

Things you’ll learn in the tutorial include precision masking and working with smart objects imported directly from Adobe Camera Raw.

(via Shutter Evolve via Reddit)

One of the Best Recipes for Fake Blood Uses Poisonous Kodak Photo-Flo

Need to add some fake blood to your photo shoot? Instead of going the digital route, you can easily whip up some realistic fake blood using recipes developed for Hollywood movies. The 2-minute video above is a quick look at some of the fake blood recipes that were used over the past decades.

One of the most famous fake blood recipes was concocted by legendary Hollywood makeup artist Dick Smith, who worked on movies such as The Godfather and The Exorcist. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to recreate his faux blood:

  • 1 quart white corn syrup
  • 1 level teaspoon methyl paraben
  • 2 ounces Ehlers red food coloring
  • 5 teaspoons Ehlers yellow food coloring
  • 2 ounces Kodak Photo-Flo

You’ll notice that the last ingredient is Kodak Photo-Flo, a darkroom product that decreases water surface tension and helps to minimize water marks and drying streaks on photographic film. Here’s the rub: Photo-Flo is poisonous when consumed…

So, you’ll probably want to avoid using Smith’s famous recipe if there’s any chance of the fake blood getting into your model’s eyes or mouth. To make the fake blood less toxic, there are safer liquids you can use (e.g. creamer) as a substitute for Photo-Flo.

(via Great Big Story via Laughing Squid)

How Color Filters Affect B&W Photos

If you’re new to film photography, chances are that you’ll get into shooting black and white sooner or later because you have been inspired by the masterpieces of old masters. But before you become the next Henri Cartier-Bresson or Sebastião Salgado, there are a few introductory things you should know.

Seeing the world in black and white is the main struggle for everyone at the beginning, but like with everything else, it can be learned and practiced with a simple understanding of how colors are translated into B&W. The human eye can distinguish approximately 500 shades of gray (well, some are limited to 50, but that’s another story). On the other hand, the scope of colors feels almost unlimited by comparison.

Why are some colors identical when turned into B&W?

Imagine a bus with only 50 seats (and no standing space) that has to carry 200 hundred people at the same time. If they all want to get in, some people will have to share the same seat. It’s the same with colors turned into B&W, there are too many to fit into the 500 shades of gray, so they must be compressed to all fit in the bus. To put this into an image, I’ve turned the 6 basic colors into gray so you can see how they translated in B&W.​

We can see that some share the same seat. Look at the yellow and orange: they are nearly identical, so that affects sunset pictures. Another interesting comparison is the red and green: they are almost identical, which makes pictures of poppy field look like a muddy gray landscape… how disappointing!

Picture by Friederike Hiepko

Does that mean that I can’t take a good B&W picture of a poppy field?

Hopefully not! There are ways to change the way B&W film responds to colors. For this, you will have to rely on colored filters. Let me briefly introduce each of them:

Yellow filter: The classic among black and white photographers. Blue skies are darkened, which helps to increase the separation with the clouds. Other colors like green, red, orange and yellow will appear brighter.

Orange filter: It comes right after the yellow in terms of strength. Blues will become even darker for a more dramatic effect. Most warm colors will also show brighter than greens.

Red filter: This one is the strongest. Red will turn into white and foliage appear very dark. If you want your poppy flowers to pop out that’s the one but pay attention to the background. We can see at the horizon the light green turned also into white. It works best with darker shades of green like in the foreground.

Green filter: The opposite of the previous one. Red will turn darker and green brighter. It’s not very popular because of its limited span of action, but it can give very interesting effect when used on the correct scene.

Blue filter: Another uncommon filter but if you want to brighten blues it’s the one! Warm colors will be darkened and red turned into black, which can help to separate elements in a mixed colored scene. It also increases fog and haze which can help to emphasize a moody landscape.

One important thing about using filters is that they all reduce the amount of light by 1 or more stop. So you must compensate this loss of light when exposing. It varies depending on the filter so refer to the manufacturer’s product information.

Considering contrast when shooting B&W

Now that we know how to manipulate each color, the other element to consider when shooting B&W film is contrast.

Depending on which style you are going for, contrast will play a major role. There are no colors to define the mood of your image so the type of light is probably the most important element to create the ambiance you want to achieve. Direct sunlight can be a nightmare for color photographers, but not in B&W. If you want to shoot street photography, for example, it’s exactly what you are looking for as it will create contrast and harsh edges in your image. It will help to detach the subject from its environment and re-enforce your composition.

If you prefer a softer ambiance, look for an atmosphere with low contrast. Cloudy or foggy days are perfect for this type of images. The light is evenly distributed which result in a mellower ambiance. It’s also the ideal situation for shooting female portraits, as it makes skin looks softer and more pleasing.

Another crucial element that affects contrast is the type of film you shoot with. B&W films don’t react the same way and it’s important that you choose the proper one based on what you are looking for. This is really a matter of personal tastes and there is no right or wrong film here, just the one you like.

If I want to go for a contrasty image, Ilford HP5 or Kodak Tri-X are my go to films. If I’m aiming for a softer image, Fomapan 200 or 400 is the one I prefer.

“There are so many films, which one is the best?”

Choosing film can be overwhelming when beginning so if you are not sure about which one you should use, check out the “Film Dating” quiz I created. It helps to find the right film for you in just a few clicks.

The last point that will influence the result of your image is the development technique or chemicals you will use. There are many ways to go when developing and the combinations of film/developer can completely change the look of a negative.

I’ll take the example of stand development, as that’s the one I’m more familiar with. Depending on the film and developer you are using, it can completely change the contrast of your photo. I have tried this approach with Fomapan 400 (low contrast) and Kodak Tri-X (high contrast).

When developed using the stand technique using Ilfotec DD-X developer, Fomapan 400 turned into a super contrasty film. On the opposite, Kodak Tri-X, which is known for being contrasty, turned into a flatter image with this process. These are just examples and combinations are infinite when developing. The best is to experience yourself with the chemicals and films you have at home. If you want more information about developing time for each film and chemical, check out this Massive Dev Chart.

We’ve now seen that many factors can influence a B&W image, but the most important point is your ability to see the world in monochrome. That’s what requires the most practice but with experience, you’ll become better — it’s just a matter of training your imagination.

If you are just starting out, forget about everything else and just concentrate on imagining a scene in B&W. Once you’ve gained more experience, it’ll be easier to apply what you’ve read above.


About the author: Vincent Moschetti is an Ireland-based photographer who is in the middle of a year-long experiment where he’s shooting only film photography. You can find more of his work or follow along on this adventure by visiting his website or following him on Facebook and Instagram. This post was also published here.

Wet Mount Scanning: How to Get the Highest Quality Film Scans at Home

Getting high quality film scans usually means taking your film to a local lab or sending it to a not-so-local one if there’s not a lab nearby. But there is a way to get high-quality scans done in the comfort of your own home using a flat bed film scanner; it’s called wet mount scanning.

Marc of the YouTube channel Analog Process put together this easy-to-follow, step-by-step tutorial on wet mount scanning that will show you how to get the highest quality scans possible at home.

You’ll need some Scanner Mounting Fluid, acetate sheets, glass cleaner, a rocket ship duster, a couple of cloths, and your preferred flat bed scanner (Marc uses an Epson V700). Using all this instead of the film holders that came with the scanner, you will sandwich your negative between two thin layers of scanning fluid, allowing you to capture a much higher quality scan than you previously thought your scanner was capable of.

“Not only are you gonna get a really high quality scan with this, probably comparable with your local lab,” says Marc. “You’re also getting it pretty much for free.”

Check out the video up top to see Marc’s step-by-step guide, and if you’re interested in trying to wet mount yourself, head over to this link where you can find all the necessary wet mount scanning materials individually and arranged into convenient kits.

(via ISO 1200)

How to Create a ‘Double Exposure’ Using Photoshop

We love a good in-camera double exposure; done right, they can look as surreal as anything we can create in post. But if you don’t have the skills, expertise, or interest in doing it in-camera, this quick tutorial shows you exactly how to fake the ‘double exposure effect’ in Photoshop.

The video is a bit dated—originally released in May of 2015—but the information and techniques work just as well today as they did a year and a half ago.

In it, Spoon Graphics shows you how to take a clean portrait and combine it with a landscape to create something beautiful and etheral. Going beyond just “this is how you drop a landscape into a portrait,” the video also shows you how to manipulate the image and background to produce the most pleasing final image possible.

No, it’s not a real double exposure—and the purists always bristle at creating something digitally that can be done in-camera—but it’s a technique many a creative would enjoy having in their tool box.