Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Black And White Film Photoshop Actions - Silver by Sparkle Stock

I love black and white photography and used to spend a lot of time in the darkroom processing my own film and prints. There were dozens of different black and white films, each with their own characteristics. The film emulsions responded differently to different colors and they had their own unique constrast.

You could also make changes to those characteristics depending on the developer you used as well as processing techniques.

Unfortunately over the years some of my favorite black and white films have been discontinued and it's just so much easier to do things digitally these days. Getting those unique black and white film effects was still important to me.

By using the Channel Mixer and curves I would at least be able to get a more realistic black and white film effect but I was happy to recently find Silver from SparkleStock. I'ts a set of 28 Photoshop Actions that mimic real black and white films, including some of my favorites.

Silver also includes contrast adjustment actions as well as film grains. I'm still trying to get a hang of applying the film grain but this is a very powerful set of actions at a great price. Only paid $5 for the full version and there's a free version available with less film emulsions.

In black and white photography different colored filters on your lens would also change how the image was recorded on film. A red filter for example would cause reds to appear darker while causing the complimentary color (green) to appear darker. So reds would lighten skin tones and darken foliage. Actions are included to simulate these filter effects.

I grabbed a color photo to use as an example and ran it through all 28 film actions as well as a simple Photoshop desaturation to compare the different looks of different films.


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