iStock - Stock Photography Training Manual

5.0 Film Scans

Although the vast majority of images submitted to our collection come from digital cameras, there are still many successful iStock users filling their portfolios with beautiful film or even print scans. If you are Leica, Kiev or Hasselblad lover, you probably know quite well how to take good photos, but the process of digitizing analog media may still raise some problems. It is evident that scanning requires much practice, skill and insight to get the image good. Many small cumulative problems damagingly affect the final image in the film scanning workflow. These problems might include some of the following:

  • light dispersion in the film emulsion during exposure,
  • halation (blurred effect at the edges of a highlight area of a photograph caused by reflection of light that passed through the film),
  • film grain aliasing during scanning (apparent magnification of film grain; result of the CCD image sensors imperfection),
  • Newton's rings (caused by air being trapped between the film or photo and the scanner),
  • lack of critical film plane flatness in the camera and/or film scanner,
  • digital noise incurred during scanning,
  • scanner lens and focusing issues,
  • inaccurate color interpretation by the film dyes and/or by the scanner.

Most of the defects mentioned above are quite easy to spot, but not all of them are fixable.

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