The iGeneration (re-worked filmic look).

Thinking out-loud/on-line, and sharing one of my edits.

Generally speaking, I dislike making digital look like film.  If that was my goal, I’d just shoot film.

However, in light of the comment(s) that followed the first version of this image, I’m curious to know how this version is received.  In addition to not-so-subtly adding grain, I subtly played with the contrast (both local and global).  The end result is less perfect, but possibly more aesthetically pleasing.

You tell me.


The iGeneration (re-worked filmic look)


15 thoughts on “The iGeneration (re-worked filmic look).

  1. Andy Gemmell says:

    I like which direction this heading, though I think the grain from digital is just a touch to uniformed for my liking. Hence film is difficult to replicate.

    I’d choose this version over the original given the subject and contrast, though I think film would be different again.

    Now…time to get off the my Mac and back onto my iPad….with iPhone nearby. “I” really would love to go back to a simple world of basic smaller mobiles and text messages only!

  2. Giacomo says:

    Oh, now is… live! (maybe too much grain)

  3. mewanchuk says:


    I do think the grain seems a tad “contrived”.

    (What was wrong with the first version, exactly??)

    In any case, I’m glad to see we’re not the only family…in appropriate moderation, of course!!



    • For what it’s worth Mark, I agree with you. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the first one, other than it did look a little “thin” as our friend Karim said. However, I’m not a fan of “contrived” (as you say) digital files either. Slightly less grain may strike the ideal balance, but it would still be contrived.

  4. Gavin Pitts says:

    Nice photo Peter. If I had to choose, then I would probably say I prefer the first version slightly. A good photo though, is a good photo. This is a familiar scene in my house most weekend mornings.

  5. I think the grain from digital is just a touch to uniformed for my liking

    That’s a valid point. But it’s not possible to be completely objective, now that I know what was done to the file and where it came from. I think that inherent noise, whether from the sensor or from the emulsion, is preferable to artificial noise.

  6. greg g49 says:

    I seem to remember 100 years ago (or perhaps only 30 or so) when all there was was film, we used to try to shoot asa/iso 25 or 50 film to give the smoothest least grainy images possible. I’m not sure how a negative feature of that medium became an add-in-later desired artifact in the digital image. For me what happens is the transitions of tone and edge are more gradual and smooth in film images than digital, but in that regard I’m not sure I found the original version to look particularly abrupt in either regard, probably helped by the back lighting. As between the two, I like the slightly more light on H and C’s faces a little better in #2 (at least that’s what I think I see). The real merit though, as so often with your images (and as pointed out already by Karim’s original comment), is the lovely, lively (interesting how three reclining children seem so dynamic) composition and the alone/together dichotomy of digital kids.

    • Thanks Greg. As for the reclining/resting children appearing dynamic, that is an astute observation. For what it’s worth, when I came upon the scene their arrangement immediately reminded me of frozen wave crests…

  7. Karen says:

    I agree with….well, everyone. Slight preference for the first photo. I like the photo. The bear? Perfect.

  8. Antonio says:

    At normal enlargement sizes I hardly ever see grain in my prints (and only then you have to look for it).

    However, scanning negatives do seem to bring out the grain.

    Regardless, I find the on-screen digital version too clinical and lifeless. Perhaps it would be better printed?

    • Antonio, your last question is excellent. I find when printed, the digital files look better than they do on the screen.

      As an aside, I had refrained from pushing up contrast on the first version of this image (and only slightly bumped it up here) to maintain a “soft” look. I believe that these days, our eyes are more accustomed to seeing hard/contrasty images, secondary to more aggressive post-processing. I tend to oscillate between the two extremes.

      • Antonio says:

        Yes, I think computer screens are not the best ways to interface with the world 🙂

        This image itself is very good, perhaps I would have shot it from the other side so that the subjects were better lit (the eye is always drawn to the lighter parts), but the composition would have been different.

  9. Mitch Alland says:

    Must confess that looking at my MacBook Pro Retina, I don’t see that much of a difference between the two versions at this small JPG size. However, I find that for B&W pictures that I care about almost uniformly that processing with Silver Efex (SEFEX) is much better than Lighroom alone. Generally, I use Silver Efex for any picture that I care about. SEFEX adds an element of “randomness” — maybe “contingency” is a better word for this — in the way processing and printing film does and, therefore, yields more interesting results. However, SEFEX can be a nightmare when you first start using it and search through the myriad of presets and sliders to get the combination that you want. My own processing for the M-Monochrom uses SEFEX under Lightroom and is based on the ideas of this short video clip:

    The clip shows the method this photographer uses for XT-1 files and for producing a high-contrast look, but it can of course be tuned for the M-Monochrom, or the M9, and for a lower contrast look. For example, I use the Tri-X preset rather than the TMax 400 used in the clip — and I reduce or eliminate the Silver Efex grain setting somewhat. The basic idea of flattening the original file that you put into SEFEX is very good.


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