Panoramic Undulations: Digizing an Xpan image shot on Ektar
A quick guide to how I processed an image today, originally shot on Ektar 100.
Load files into ACR and adjust as necessary (sometimes I go back to this stage after a trial run through the preliminary inversion steps in photoshop
Import into Photoshop as a stitch (with the 60mm micro I use for 120 and 35mm films I use the auto feature here since it’s not possible to keep everything perfectly square, unlike with the tilt-shift I use for the 5×4 sheets)
Duplicate the bottom layer.
Make a new blank layer, use the eyedropper tool to select some of the film rebate, use this foreground colour to fill the new layer, and set the layer mode to divide, removing the major cast from Ektar’s film base.
Merge this layer with the layer beneath, and use that layer to work on for spotting the film.
Invert – resulting in a horrid blue mess.
From here on things can be pretty much trial and error, though I’ve worked out a few things following some online guidance from Tim Parkin.
The next stage, which is the important one, is to get the colour balance back. Using a curve layer, and holding down alt (on a mac), press the auto button. Then select ‘Enhance Per Channel Contrast” and set the clipping for highlights and shadows anywhere from the default up to 9 for each (play around until it looks at least in the right ballpark). For this image I think I went for 9 for each but didn’t play around too much with the clipping in the colour pickers (which you also need to do quite a bit).
This step can be done using a variety of tweaks using colour balance but it’s easier to try to get it close in one go by playing around with this method. Things now look better, but the colours still aren’t right, and things are too flat and unsaturated.
After this, various curves layers and hue/saturation layers can be used to saturate colours and further adjust the colour balance and contrast in the image until it’s about right. For the present image I’ve used quite a few darken/contrast layers to work on the balance across the width of the image between top and bottom, as well as playing around with the saturation and hues quite a bit, to make a more ‘Velvia’ style image (though with a lot more dynamic range).
Here is the final image:
Hasselblad XPan ii, 90mm
Loch Leven, November 2016