Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
MCLV Senior Member • Posts: 1,134
Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

I noticed a strange effect in some of the images images posted in recent DPR article https://www.dpreview.com/news/8900522671/film-friday-a-q-a-with-large-format-motorsports-photographer-brandon-faith

Grain seems to be visible only in oval area in photos 5 and 6. I tried to indicate approximate position of boundary between grainy and smooth areas by red arrows below. Is there any explanation for this except digital manipulation during postprocessing?

Lensmate
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 7,976
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?
3

MCLV wrote:

I noticed a strange effect in some of the images images posted in recent DPR article https://www.dpreview.com/news/8900522671/film-friday-a-q-a-with-large-format-motorsports-photographer-brandon-faith

Grain seems to be visible only in oval area in photos 5 and 6. I tried to indicate approximate position of boundary between grainy and smooth areas by red arrows below. Is there any explanation for this except digital manipulation during postprocessing?

Looks like blur AI and/or noise reduction software error/dropouts.

-M

JohnSil
JohnSil Contributing Member • Posts: 876
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?
2

It could be also that he was using a cheap lens and it's only sharp in the center. We're so used to seeing small f-stops with everything in focus in these old pics. You know, 'sunny 16"!

John

OP MCLV Senior Member • Posts: 1,134
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?
2

JohnSil wrote:

It could be also that he was using a cheap lens and it's only sharp in the center. We're so used to seeing small f-stops with everything in focus in these old pics. You know, 'sunny 16"!

John

But how would a cheap lens blur the film grain?

JohnSil
JohnSil Contributing Member • Posts: 876
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

MCLV wrote:

JohnSil wrote:

It could be also that he was using a cheap lens and it's only sharp in the center. We're so used to seeing small f-stops with everything in focus in these old pics. You know, 'sunny 16"!

John

But how would a cheap lens blur the film grain?

I'm probably completely misinterpreting what you're even talking about. We have to  make some big assumptions here to start with. It's obviously been digitized at some point to be able to post. Is it simply a sooc image of a wet print or has it been manipulated in post? IF it's a sooc copy, the original, we'll assume a 4x5, could have been printed through a sheet of glass with Vaseline smeared in certain areas. That would be very easy to do on a negative that size, making the grain appear smoother in some areas. My guess is, that's all we're doing, is just guessing!

John

OP MCLV Senior Member • Posts: 1,134
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

JohnSil wrote:

MCLV wrote:

JohnSil wrote:

It could be also that he was using a cheap lens and it's only sharp in the center. We're so used to seeing small f-stops with everything in focus in these old pics. You know, 'sunny 16"!

John

But how would a cheap lens blur the film grain?

I'm probably completely misinterpreting what you're even talking about. We have to make some big assumptions here to start with. It's obviously been digitized at some point to be able to post. Is it simply a sooc image of a wet print or has it been manipulated in post? IF it's a sooc copy, the original, we'll assume a 4x5, could have been printed through a sheet of glass with Vaseline smeared in certain areas. That would be very easy to do on a negative that size, making the grain appear smoother in some areas. My guess is, that's all we're doing, is just guessing!John

It's mentioned in the original article that the author scans the film.

In addition, the author already replied that he does some adjustments in post. I would expect that he wouldn't word it like that if he would achieve such result in the darkroom.

Krusty79 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,347
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?
2

MCLV wrote:

JohnSil wrote:

It could be also that he was using a cheap lens and it's only sharp in the center. We're so used to seeing small f-stops with everything in focus in these old pics. You know, 'sunny 16"!

John

But how would a cheap lens blur the film grain?

My guess is that he blurred the outer parts of the image in post to bring more attention to the subjects. Is there such a thing as a focus vignette? ☺

-- hide signature --

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gkphotos79/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/greg79
"You can't be young forever, but you can always be immature" - Larry Andersen

 Krusty79's gear list:Krusty79's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Sony a7R IIIA Rokinon 7.5mm F3.5 UMC Fisheye CS Canon EF-S 10-18mm F4.5–5.6 IS STM Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3
Supisiche Senior Member • Posts: 1,940
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

It's the LF je ne sais quoi

sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 23,894
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?
1

MCLV wrote:

It's mentioned in the original article that the author scans the film.

It's possible to get blurred edges by intentionally allowing film to curve while scanning, though it wouldn't necessarily result in such sharp boundaries.

In addition, the author already replied that he does some adjustments in post.

Then it's far more likely that he digitally blurred the edges in post.

I'll add that the second photo has an awful lot of weird grain in the center area for a large format result. Looks like he actually applied digital noise there.

OP MCLV Senior Member • Posts: 1,134
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

sybersitizen wrote:

MCLV wrote:

It's mentioned in the original article that the author scans the film.

It's possible to get blurred edges by intentionally allowing film to curve while scanning, though it wouldn't necessarily result in such sharp boundaries.

In addition, the author already replied that he does some adjustments in post.

Then it's far more likely that he digitally blurred the edges in post.

I'll add that the second photo has an awful lot of weird grain in the center area for a large format result. Looks like he actually applied digital noise there.

I was also surprised about the graininess. He likely uses a fast film but it still should be a large format negative. I have never shot on film, let alone in this format so I don't have any experience what to really expect here.

Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 18,718
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

MCLV wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

MCLV wrote:

It's mentioned in the original article that the author scans the film.

It's possible to get blurred edges by intentionally allowing film to curve while scanning, though it wouldn't necessarily result in such sharp boundaries.

In addition, the author already replied that he does some adjustments in post.

Then it's far more likely that he digitally blurred the edges in post.

I'll add that the second photo has an awful lot of weird grain in the center area for a large format result. Looks like he actually applied digital noise there.

I was also surprised about the graininess. He likely uses a fast film but it still should be a large format negative. I have never shot on film, let alone in this format so I don't have any experience what to really expect here.

I used to shoot a lot of 4X5. You never get grain. It's just not something you worry about. The negative is too big to show any grain no matter how big you print.

-- hide signature --

Leonard Migliore

 Leonard Migliore's gear list:Leonard Migliore's gear list
Canon PowerShot G12 Nikon D300 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +11 more
OP MCLV Senior Member • Posts: 1,134
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

Leonard Migliore wrote:

MCLV wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

MCLV wrote:

It's mentioned in the original article that the author scans the film.

It's possible to get blurred edges by intentionally allowing film to curve while scanning, though it wouldn't necessarily result in such sharp boundaries.

In addition, the author already replied that he does some adjustments in post.

Then it's far more likely that he digitally blurred the edges in post.

I'll add that the second photo has an awful lot of weird grain in the center area for a large format result. Looks like he actually applied digital noise there.

I was also surprised about the graininess. He likely uses a fast film but it still should be a large format negative. I have never shot on film, let alone in this format so I don't have any experience what to really expect here.

I used to shoot a lot of 4X5. You never get grain. It's just not something you worry about. The negative is too big to show any grain no matter how big you print.

Based on what I know, I would also expect smooth gradients and basically no grain visible due to low magnification of the negative. But that's not how images in the article look like. Do you have any thoughts about this?

B L R Forum Member • Posts: 83
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?
2

Corel Paint Shop Pro has a tool called Depth of Field that creates that look.

 B L R's gear list:B L R's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S9000 Zoom Fujifilm X10 Fujifilm X20 Fujifilm X30 Pentax K10D +26 more
sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 23,894
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

MCLV wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

MCLV wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

MCLV wrote:

It's mentioned in the original article that the author scans the film.

It's possible to get blurred edges by intentionally allowing film to curve while scanning, though it wouldn't necessarily result in such sharp boundaries.

In addition, the author already replied that he does some adjustments in post.

Then it's far more likely that he digitally blurred the edges in post.

I'll add that the second photo has an awful lot of weird grain in the center area for a large format result. Looks like he actually applied digital noise there.

I was also surprised about the graininess. He likely uses a fast film but it still should be a large format negative. I have never shot on film, let alone in this format so I don't have any experience what to really expect here.

I used to shoot a lot of 4X5. You never get grain. It's just not something you worry about. The negative is too big to show any grain no matter how big you print.

Based on what I know, I would also expect smooth gradients and basically no grain visible due to low magnification of the negative. But that's not how images in the article look like. Do you have any thoughts about this?

He might be underexposing to get the fastest possible shutter speeds. If you shoot B&W film you can emphasize contrast and grain by underexposing and pushing the development.

http://canadianfilmlab.com/2016/04/03/black-white-film-exposure-test-comparisons-kodak-tri-x-400/

Or 'pushing' an underexposed negative when scanning will also increase contrast and noise.

But in my experience, the Epson V750 he says he's using would have a hard time resolving actual film grain with images that are anywhere near the full area of a large format negative. Maybe some of the images aren't anywhere near the full area.

In any case, there's no doubt that he's also manipulating in post.

Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 18,718
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

MCLV wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

MCLV wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

MCLV wrote:

It's mentioned in the original article that the author scans the film.

It's possible to get blurred edges by intentionally allowing film to curve while scanning, though it wouldn't necessarily result in such sharp boundaries.

In addition, the author already replied that he does some adjustments in post.

Then it's far more likely that he digitally blurred the edges in post.

I'll add that the second photo has an awful lot of weird grain in the center area for a large format result. Looks like he actually applied digital noise there.

I was also surprised about the graininess. He likely uses a fast film but it still should be a large format negative. I have never shot on film, let alone in this format so I don't have any experience what to really expect here.

I used to shoot a lot of 4X5. You never get grain. It's just not something you worry about. The negative is too big to show any grain no matter how big you print.

Based on what I know, I would also expect smooth gradients and basically no grain visible due to low magnification of the negative. But that's not how images in the article look like. Do you have any thoughts about this?

I'm quite mystified. Some of the shots look like 35mm Tri-X.

-- hide signature --

Leonard Migliore

 Leonard Migliore's gear list:Leonard Migliore's gear list
Canon PowerShot G12 Nikon D300 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +11 more
FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 18,963
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

JohnSil wrote:

It could be also that he was using a cheap lens and it's only sharp in the center. We're so used to seeing small f-stops with everything in focus in these old pics. You know, 'sunny 16"!

John

It has nothing to do with any lens.

A lens cannot give you that effect.

I made it a bit more obious  :

FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 18,963
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?

B L R wrote:

Corel Paint Shop Pro has a tool called Depth of Field that creates that look.

That or a similar effect from another programme :

FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 18,963
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?
1

From the photographer , Brandon Faith :

I’m not sure why it’s so controversial but sure! As mentioned in the thread it’s a combination of dof on the camera and tilting and swinging. If I want to increase the effect digitally (which I only ever do lightly,) in lightroom I’ll create an inverse radial filter following the natural lines of blur I get from the camera itself, and then play around with decreasing sharpness, clarity, and texture.

Thanks Brandon.

OP MCLV Senior Member • Posts: 1,134
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?
1

FrancoD wrote:

From the photographer , Brandon Faith :

I’m not sure why it’s so controversial but sure! As mentioned in the thread it’s a combination of dof on the camera and tilting and swinging. If I want to increase the effect digitally (which I only ever do lightly,) in lightroom I’ll create an inverse radial filter following the natural lines of blur I get from the camera itself, and then play around with decreasing sharpness, clarity, and texture.

Thanks Brandon.

Thanks for posting this. I wasn't able to find it in the comments section, have you contacted Brandon Faith directly?

Maybe I would comment on why I don't like it. Film photography in my opinion evokes a certain feeling of authenticity which is completely broken when you realize that this kind of digital processing was applied. The magic is lost and I start questioning what else was digitally adjusted and why was this shot on film at all.

The other thing is the way that the effect was applied (masking, abrupt transitions between sharp and blurry zones). To me, it looks that it was done hastily and not with enough care and attention to detail. That contrasts starkly with the perceived notion of high quality associated with large format film and significant effort and skill needed to capture such images.

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to like about author's photos, I just think that digital postprocessing like this undermines his effort and I was left with somewhat mixed feelings instead of being just impressed with his work.

All of this is of course my personal point of view so I would be interested in how you and others see it.

mga010 Regular Member • Posts: 450
Re: Large format motorsports photographer - What effect is this?
2

MCLV wrote:

I noticed a strange effect in some of the images images posted in recent DPR article https://www.dpreview.com/news/8900522671/film-friday-a-q-a-with-large-format-motorsports-photographer-brandon-faith

Grain seems to be visible only in oval area in photos 5 and 6. I tried to indicate approximate position of boundary between grainy and smooth areas by red arrows below. Is there any explanation for this except digital manipulation during postprocessing?

No. Clearly done in post. Rather simple too. And not well done.

 mga010's gear list:mga010's gear list
Nikon Z5 Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR Nikon Nikkor Z 28mm F2.8
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads