Well, to answer your question, our mildly shop’d tag has 53 posts on it. In comparison, our whole tumblr has 434 posts. That’s 12% photoshopped pictures, which I guess leaves 88% ‘unedited’.
As for the photos we ‘edited’ but posted without ‘stating that we did so’: We do this mainly when the editing is compensating for a bad scan. This includes removing dust, scratches, weird pixel clumps, etc (these sadly happen way more often than we’d like them to) and mainly adjusting the colours in minor ways. Most of the time this means correcting to what I think the picture does/should look like in person. I(Aviva) used to actually try to match the colours to the physical version, but that became too tedious and impractical, so I just started doing what I think looks about right/good. Chances are, if you’re not a photographer or insanely in tune with colour variations, you wouldn’t even have noticed we fixed them up. Some examples of this include:
There’s also the issue of different scanners potentially producing very different scans. (Let’s put it this way. If a scanner existed that scanned things with 100% accuracy, so they looked IDENTICAL to their real-life counterparts, chances are we’d just post a shitload of things without ever needing Photoshop.) For example, the picture on the left was scanned using one scanner, and the middle a different scanner. The one on the right would be the ‘edited’ version of the middle.
We also sometimes edit shitty/behind the scenes pictures, because we’re not exactly banking our artistic integrity on the quality of these shots, but it doesn’t do much good to have a picture of a print where the whites are practically yellow. For example:
Occasionally, but much less often than colours, we use photoshop to fix our little oversights – eg. editing out light switches or candy wrappers or other crap. Yeah, that’s our bad, but we don’t really see a problem with removing it in post if it’s such an easy fix. It’s not like we were going to magic that light switch away irl.
You also have to keep in mind that all computer screens display photos slightly differently based on how they are calibrated (this is sadly something I spend a lot of time thinking about) - so you might see something 10x more saturated on a mac screen for example, when I only actually made a minor adjustment, etc.
As you can see, the changes are much more noticeable. The main things edited are colour balance, contrast and levels. I’ll also often lighten/darken areas as I see fit.
It should also be noted that by and large, we edit our polaroids the least, digital the most and medium format or 35mm when the urge strikes.
In general, though, we love film. A lot. We think different types of film have different qualities to love about them. Medium Format somehow produces amazing results in all kinds of light and even when we fuck up. Our resident 35mm camera has a tendency to get light leaks that somehow don’t overpower the shots themselves. Instax makes a lovely format despite the guesswork involved in framing. Polaroid converts sunlight into pure magic and Impossible project film has a charm of its own. Digital has a way of making us settle for less, because we know we can always fix things up in post-processing. But that’s not even a bad thing sometimes!
I don’t know if it’s possible for us to say this in a way that doesn’t make us sound unbearably high and mighty (we truly are not) but we find the whole ‘did you shoot it that way or edit it’ thing so old. Why can’t we all just appreciate good pictures, regardless of how you got there? I don’t see how choosing the right kind of film and exposing it correctly is more impressive than perhaps not getting the exposure quite right but instead editing it to have wonderfully vibrant colours and stand out more? Like why does it always have to be a competition? Can we not agree that each is an impressive, and totally different, skill in its own right? Okay no more question marks, you think what you want to think, and now you know our stance on the matter too.
Phew, that was a long answer! Thanks for giving me an excuse to write a bunch of really unnecessarily wordy, nerdy stuff on here. Anyway, do any of our followers want to weigh in on the neverending discussion about the merits and downfalls of photoshop? Some sample cheesy questions for you to answer: How do you feel about ‘sooc’ photos vs edited ones? Do you think post-processing is important? Would you feel we were ‘lying’ if we didn’t tag every single edited picture? Are there any pictures you’d like to see a before/after for? Was this helpful at all or completely boring? Does the fact that we edit photos make you like us more/less ARE YOU REALLY STILL READING AT THIS POINT? Whatever it is, COMMENT/ASK AWAY!
So I actually received this question on thatartzygirl (not entirely sure why?) but decided it’d be better off answered here, for any fellow film photographers to see. If you’re not interested in the actual details of film photography beyond “hey that’s pretty”, I suggest you just skip over this. It’s about to get pretty boring up in this tumblr. Or look at the pretty pictures because why not!
First off - thanks! I don’t know how I tricked you into falling under the impression that I (Aviva) take pictures on a medium format camera but I don’t, that’s all Michelle! Secondly, kudos to your camera porn (and we raise you this - we’ve got a secret Hassie of our own!) and now to question answering;
We actually pretty much have used the same three types of film throughout our two-ish years of amamak shooting (we’re creatures of habit) and they are:
First off, Kodak Portra 400VC - they don’t actually make this film anymore, as in they don’t make “vivid colour” but a mixed vivid/neutral colour type of film, which is not quite as vivid, (do-doy) but still quite nice from what we’ve seen/heard. It’s also entirely possible that our pictures have been turning out so nicely coloured because our lab (Photoservice in Montreal - represent) actually corrects our colours. We’d rather not think about that possibility and instead just appreciate the good fortunes the photo gods have seen fit to bestow upon us. Anyway, it’s basically totally awesome and like 90% of our medium format pictures are taken on it.
Secondly, Ilford Delta FP4 Plus is what we use for all of our black and white photos, both on 120 and 35mm cameras. I know very little about this film, except that the box is black, white and blue and we’ve had really good results with it in all kinds of light.
Thirdly, Fuji Velvia 100. (It has its very own tag!) Which we started using on a random recommendation - it’s actually really NOT recommended for portraits because it tends to ruin skin tones, instead it’s intended for capturing landscapes etc in super vivid colours. We use it regardless because we’re kind of totally in love with it. On the con side, it costs a lot more to buy and develop because it’s slide film, and it is really not recommended for indoors/low lighting shoots unless you WANT your pictures to turn out like this seeing as how it’s such a low iso/asa (which is it? will we ever know?), it’s also super easy to overexpose in bright light as well. Also it’s pretty hard to find. On the pro side: amazing soft colours with tones ranging from salmon/magenta to violet (or, if you’re not a snob; pink). Also, the film is really really cute.
FURTHERMORE, we use the same film in our 35mm cameras, (portra+FP4) with the addition of Kodak Ektar on occasion - which is really awesome film we’d recommend to any beginners or really whoever because it produces lovely colours, interesting lighting/flare effects unlike portra, and is super inexpensive to boot.
In regards to your question about flash - huh? Michelle has an external flash for her digital camera (an SB-600) but we mostly use twin lights+softboxes for indoor lighting.
Anyway, hopefully that adequately answers your question; if any of our followers have any other film suggestions to add, feel free to leave a comment!
Okay, so over the past few months, we’ll admit we’ve been neglecting most of the questions we’ve gotten. Mainly because we think it kind of breaks up our whole ‘thing’ of posting a picture daily. And in general, questions seem (theoretically?) a lot less interesting than, you know, PICTURES!
So, in the event that you’ve ever sent us a flattering message complimenting us: Thank you! Really! It’s always nice to hear that. We’re just not the kind of people who necessarily want to brag about that (Though don’t be fooled, we can brag pretty hard when we feel like it. You’ve all read some of our posts.) In any case, know that your words are heard and appreciated. We’re just too awkward to formulate an adequate public response.
Anyway, the majority of them were actually compliments (thank you!) or speculation about me being pregnant (ahahahaha NO). In the future, if you guys have, you know, questions, feel free to ask us! We’ll try to make a habit of answering them on the weekends in the future.
Okay, here goes.
While we really appreciate this sentiment and the suggestion, we’re really very big on things being properly credited, especially when they’re ours (one might say we’re just the tiniest bit paranoid.) That being said, we do watermark our photos, and the new one is kind of a beast. Ideally we would like to offer at least a 1000px wide version of our photos (that’s how we re-size them for web posting purposes) and we know how annoying it can be only getting to see a wee little picture. However, we can’t seem to find an option on our current theme that allows you to see a hi-res of our pictures. If anyone has any recommendations on how to circumvent this issue, that’d be super helpful eh.
We have a full list of cameras/film we use up on our Flickr Profile & our top three cameras are featured in our very neat new logo:
If you’re really, really averse to clicking things and scrolling down a little, here’s a list of cameras we use, attached to their amamak tag (because I love you hypothetical lazy people enough to do all this tedious work for you):
It’s actually incredibly simple. Pick two photographs you’re fond of, open them both in Photoshop (or really any other editing program that allows for layers and layer types, I don’t know if other programs generally have that but I’m sure there must be some out there that do, so, you know, I have faith in you to figure it out) copy+paste the patterny picture (the one you ostensibly want to be the layer ‘on top’) into the same file as the other, set the layer type to ‘screen’. Fidget until you’re pleased with what you’ve got. Done. That’s really about all there is to it! Simple as pie! (well, actually, I’ve made a bunch of pies lately and they take a whole lot longer, though they’re less annoying really so, you know, whatever idiom you want.)
That really is the incredibly simple way I “combine” photos, but of course you should feel free to edit and modify little bits at your own discretion. it’s more in finding the right combination and working out all the little details that there lies any kind of difficulty. My suggestion is just play around! Experiment! Drop, like, ten different patterns on one picture and see what you like best. Just be prepared for the pictures to eat up a ton of space on your harddrive if you’re saving PSDs. And careful not to save over your originals!
TLDR; Open two pics in Photoshop, layer them, set top layer to screen. Have fun!