@ChristopherMarkPerez I assume this is digital? The first thought that jumped out at me is "This is film!" It looks like an older (not in current production) emulsion.

I see you tagged it #oldlens. Is that the secret? What lens? Is it coated? If digital, did you also do something in post to give it that look?

@Photorat - Digital, striving for a "film look." The "trick" isn't in the lens (in fact, any lens will do). The "trick" is in the processing. I wrote about it on one of my blogs -


@ChristopherMarkPerez That article was about B&W. (It broke my brain, though. I've been saying for years that I love high-contrast B&W with jet-black shadows. You're pointing out that the prints by the masters are lower contrast with subtle tonality. I guess I need to broaden my horizons and look at more prints!)

How did you approach getting that look you have in these color photos?

@Photorat - Sorry to "break the brain." I know, I can get a bit "wordy" as I try to understand as deeply as possible some subject or another.

Good high contrast B&W is wonderful. I remember seeing an Ansel Adams show in LA years ago that was spot-on perfectly printed, and tended toward high contrast. It was glorious.

@ChristopherMarkPerez It wasn't just you. The articles you linked to challenged my beliefs.

You're right about Ansel Adams. He liked high contrast. I was looking at one of his prints yesterday, marveling how you could actually see stuff (barely) in the shadows.

@Photorat - With both film and digital, if you're shooting B&W and exposing for (using St Ansel's terms) Zone5, both processes deliver (in general) tones that are more like Zone4 or even Zone3.

The trick with film is that silver halide print paper _raises_ those tones back to where you originally though they should be.

In digital, if you really want that old film "look" we need to raise the mid-tones.

Our artistic sense then allows modifications - contrast/brightness/luminosity/etc

@Photorat - Regarding the color - I found a filter that tends towards pinks/bronze highlights with blue shadows. Nothing strong, mind you. Just a hint of this and that. Then I modified the filter to pump the saturation and contrast, while adjusting the "curves" to see if I could make as consistant as possible the intensities of the highlights and shadows.

I know: Still overthinking stuff. But there you have it. πŸ™‚

@ChristopherMarkPerez I was wondering if it was a filter or some sort of more organic process.

You definitely have more of the warmer colors in there. The blue shadows might be one of the tricks I didn't try when I was striving for a warmer look.

I think my brain is calibrated on old film, due to all of the old photos I've seen over the decades. That's probably one reason digital is never that satisfying to me. You've managed to nail the look.

@Photorat - Specifically, in Capture One there is a filter called Gold (or something like that). I sometimes use that as a starting point. Then I saturate or desaturate various colors depending on what I'm after.

If you use RawTherapee, which I do, there is a very nice 12bit color depth film emulation package that does a great job. Again, using that as a starting point (and raising the mid-tones like film tends to do) a person can achieve some rather interesting results.

@ChristopherMarkPerez I haven't settled on a RAW developer. I've experimented with several commercial ones. I should probably give RT a try and see what happens.

@ChristopherMarkPerez I probably should. When I get more heavily back into digital, I'll probably give it a look.

@Photorat - A really simple way to get slightly warm tones in color is to bump the Kelvin temperature 200 to 500 degrees. Then de-saturate between 5 and 20 percent - depending on your taste.

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