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Thread: Scanner profiling options

  1. #11
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA

    Re: Scanner profiling options

    Good summary, Ted.

    This is just an idea. I haven't tested it. For color negatives, you could take a picture of a MacBeth color chart in representative light. One problem is that you'll have to choose to treat it as illuminated by the main light or the fill light. So, if you go out on a clear day and illuminate the chart with the sun, the darkest square will be much brighter than the darkest area in a real scene, where the darkest area will also be in shadow. Personally, if I shot a lot of color negative, I'd shoot a MacBeth in both sun and shade, using the same exposure for both, ideally in one exposure, which would require two charts. Another option would be to make a shade for just the darkest tones of the chart. Scan. It doesn't have to be super high resolution. Take the scan into Photoshop. Compare readings to those on Babelcolor. Can you make adjustments in your scanning software, preferably hardware adjustments, that lead to a better scan? If so, do so. Now make three adjustment layer curves in Photoshop. Label the top one "color" and change it's blending mode to color. Label the middle one "luminosity" and change it's blending mode to, you guessed it, luminosity. Label the lowest one "invert". Drag the ends of curve to the other corners of the graph. This will invert the image. Go into the properties of the luminosity layer. Use the white eye dropper on the white square of the chart. Use the black dropper on the shadowed darkest square. Now try the mid point on some of the middle gray squares. Pick whichever one looks best, assuming you have a calibrated and profiled monitor. Now go into the properties of the color adjustment layer. Do the same thing. Your color should be pretty good. Look at the other colors and see if any need adjustment. Use any of the adjustment layers, such as spot color, hue/sat...., to get where you want. Now save all of these adjustment layers as presets. Or open this file and drag the layers to future scanned negatives. These will be just starting points.

    Note, this would be an attempt to get accurate color. That would minimize difference between films. Maybe that's not what you want. In which case, I's simply neutralize the grayscale, not bothering with spot color/hue/sat.....
    Last edited by Peter De Smidt; 27-Aug-2018 at 12:33.
    You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.
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  2. #12

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Del City, OK

    Re: Scanner profiling options

    Whenever I scan a photo on a new type of film and get a result I like, I save the curve preset. Then, when I rescan that type of film, I reuse that preset, at least as a starting point. It might go through a couple of revisions before I settle on a more permanent curve preset.

    I also made presets for each type of film in my scanning software. I use Vuescan. They’re pretty basic though. They’re basically things like multipass for slide films and color adjustments to keep all of the colors in the middle of the histogram. I’m not trying to do any major edits here, just get something I can work with. I’m just trying to create a base file that my PS presets will work with.

    With those basic settings, I can usually have a pair of photos color corrected in Photoshop before the next pair of photos are done scanning.

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