m4/3 photos win ASMP - NJ juried show

Started Jun 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
Guy Parsons
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Re: Adding grain.
In reply to Ednaz, Jun 4, 2012

I first met this "need some grain added" effect when experimenting with my early 3MP and 5MP cameras and trying to print big.

When increasing past a certain print size there was a very sudden change from nice to bad because of that flat digital look. But doing the same with 35mm film prints you could print any size, even 5 feet wide and there was always some "detail" somewhere in the grain that you were looking at to give the eye and brain something to work with.

Now I find with test crops that an A2 print would work nicely from my 10 MP Panasonic LX3 or 12 MP Oly E-PL1, but the main thing now is that I never use noise filters in camera (mostly jpegs for me) and very rarely even do post process noise filtering. And of course err on the side of under-sharpen for both screen and print display (I hate that raspy digital look of the over-sharpened images I often see here). Only have A4 size printer at home so no real worries about print size any more anyway.

But thank you, it is nice to meet someone who knows the truth about printing and that some noise is often necessary. I get tired of the "must have no noise anywhere at all" brigade.

Regards............. Guy

Ednaz wrote:

I can't being to tell you how many soapbox lectures I've endured when I mention adding grain before printing. I learned it way back in Nikon D1 days. Is it absolutely necessary? Not for a lot of pictures, if you're printing 13x19 paper size and below, but even at that size it can help dampen down the effect of those creepy looking liquid smooth blue skies. When you get to larger print sizes, where capture resolution is 12mp or 16mp, it helps a lot. The only experience I have with high pixel count sensors is in medium format, and that experience was all studio work, where adding grain won't make much of a difference because there's a lot of detail in everything. A couple of 40mp and higher medium format shooters I know do add grain at print time, a couple don't.

For a long time people thought film captured more detail than digital because of the presence of grain in film. It wasn't capturing more detail at all, but when printed, there was a lot more detail - random grain patterns.

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