Basic Film Scan Edits in Lightroom

Everyone always asks, "Does film need to be edited?". Truth be told, usually a little, yes. But that's honestly based on your personal style. While you all know how much I love love loveeee film, it's rare that you get back a batch of photos that don't need to be touched by editing software at least a little. A lot of factors effect the end result of an untouched film scan, most being the lighting conditions + changes throughout the day, the natural reflectors creating colors casts around the subjects, the way you metered for the image, and lastly the eyeballs of the actual person sitting in front of a computer at the lab scanning your roll of negatives into the computer creating digital versions. For the most part I like to "clean up" film photos to make sure colors in the same lighting are consistent, they are nice and bright and sharp where they need to be. With a few quick edits of exposure, tint, sharpness and mayyybbeeeee curves and/or contrast, film scans are transformed into final presentable files. As I can't speak for other shooters, I'm pretty confident that what we THINK we are looking at when we see bright, perfectly colors and exposed shots are images straight from Richard Photo Lab are in fact scans that have been given some love. At least a lil hug. Everyone's editing style is different, but here are the minor but helpful adjustments I make from original film scans resulting in final photo. So don't be fooled, it's rare to get all of your rolls back looking 110%. And if you do, then freaking BRAVO!

These photos are a mix of both Fuji 400h + Portra 800, shot on a Contax 645 at different times in the day.

ps: See all those lightroom actions on the left? Yeah, those. I have ALL the popular ones and STILL none of them I love. To me those all take WAY longer than this to get right with digital and still can't compete. So, they just sit there. But that's a post for a different day... ;)

pps: In editing the first photo I say "add a little bit of contrast" when I really meant exposure.