Digital grain?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by eric, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. eric

    eric Guest

    Hello,

    When working with film there distinct grain structures for different
    films. At times these are used as an "enhancement" for the image. I
    was doing more photography 20 years ago. At the time one of my favorite
    photographers was Max Waldman. I enjoyed very much his dance and
    theater images. I seem to remember him using 2475 recording film
    developed in dk50. The images had *extremely* sharp grain that added to
    the quality of the image.

    Jump forward to today. A short time ago I picked up a Canon 20D. Nice
    camera, and I am learning and re-learning a lot. However, I don't see
    how to attempt the type of grain images that were done with film.

    I am just curious if the this is just a loss in the digital changes.
    Sure, I could go and do some post processing in PS or PSP, but I don't
    think it would be the same thing.

    eric
     
    eric, Dec 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. "eric" <> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:...
    > Hello,
    >
    > When working with film there distinct grain structures for different
    > films. At times these are used as an "enhancement" for the image. I
    > was doing more photography 20 years ago. At the time one of my favorite
    > photographers was Max Waldman. I enjoyed very much his dance and
    > theater images. I seem to remember him using 2475 recording film
    > developed in dk50. The images had *extremely* sharp grain that added to
    > the quality of the image.
    >
    > Jump forward to today. A short time ago I picked up a Canon 20D. Nice
    > camera, and I am learning and re-learning a lot. However, I don't see
    > how to attempt the type of grain images that were done with film.


    You might find something in the effects menue of your 20D but I'd guess
    not.

    > I am just curious if the this is just a loss in the digital changes.
    > Sure, I could go and do some post processing in PS or PSP, but I don't
    > think it would be the same thing.


    Hm... Of course digital photography and film photography are not the same
    thing. Do you consider it a drawback to have clean images that can be
    postprocessed easily with PS / PSE vs. the film era where you didn't have
    the choice? Personally I like the digital times which make it much easier
    to post process a picture than in darkroom times. YMMV. What exactly do
    you miss?

    Kind regards

    robert
     
    Robert Klemme, Dec 3, 2004
    #2
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  3. eric <> writes:
    > When working with film there distinct grain structures for different
    > films. At times these are used as an "enhancement" for the image.
    > I was doing more photography 20 years ago. At the time one of my
    > favorite photographers was Max Waldman. I enjoyed very much his
    > dance and theater images. I seem to remember him using 2475
    > recording film developed in dk50. The images had *extremely* sharp
    > grain that added to the quality of the image.
    >
    > Jump forward to today. A short time ago I picked up a Canon 20D.
    > Nice camera, and I am learning and re-learning a lot. However, I
    > don't see how to attempt the type of grain images that were done
    > with film.


    Well, if you pump up the ISO settings on your 20D, you get noise.
    Noise, like grain, are artefacts of the recording process. Some
    day we may see that somebody that are able to use digital noise
    creatively.

    > I am just curious if the this is just a loss in the digital
    > changes. Sure, I could go and do some post processing in PS or PSP,
    > but I don't think it would be the same thing.


    In what way do you think it is different?

    Max Waldman was an artist, and he selected unusual materials and an
    unusual workflow to get a particular artistic effect. I would say
    that Waldman used (chemical) digital processing to realize his
    artistic vision. Today, an artist with a digital workflow will use
    (digital) image processing to realize /his/ artistic vision. I don't
    see that digital approach is very different (or inferior) to the
    chemical.
    --
    - gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
    ========================================================================
    When you say you live in the real world, which one are you referring to?
     
    Gisle Hannemyr, Dec 3, 2004
    #3
  4. *amused sigh*

    We spent the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s talking about how to get rid of grain.

    Now we're going to spend this decade talking about how to get it back? :)

    You could of course add it as a digital special effect. I doubt that any
    camera is going to provide that as an in-camera built-in effect, though.

    In the old days, grain was considered an undesirable side effect of using a
    small film format. Sheet film, or even big roll film, didn't have visible
    grain.
     
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 3, 2004
    #4
  5. eric

    Big Bill Guest

    On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 08:23:35 -0500, eric <> wrote:

    >Hello,
    >
    >When working with film there distinct grain structures for different
    >films. At times these are used as an "enhancement" for the image. I
    >was doing more photography 20 years ago. At the time one of my favorite
    >photographers was Max Waldman. I enjoyed very much his dance and
    >theater images. I seem to remember him using 2475 recording film
    >developed in dk50. The images had *extremely* sharp grain that added to
    >the quality of the image.
    >
    >Jump forward to today. A short time ago I picked up a Canon 20D. Nice
    >camera, and I am learning and re-learning a lot. However, I don't see
    >how to attempt the type of grain images that were done with film.
    >
    >I am just curious if the this is just a loss in the digital changes.
    >Sure, I could go and do some post processing in PS or PSP, but I don't
    >think it would be the same thing.
    >
    >eric


    Eric,
    The digital equilivent of grain for digital is noise. Noise is made
    when the data from the sensor is amplified above 'normal'. Your 20D is
    an exampkle of a camera that normally produces very little noise, so
    what you want will take a little work.
    Higher ISO numbers produce more noise. A little experimentation will
    show that on your camera, you really need to crank the ISO up to get a
    lot of noise.
    In situations where the available llight limits noise, you can add ND
    filters to cut the light so you can use a higher ISO.
    If noise is a definite *want to have* as in your case, shooting in the
    higher ISO numbers will do what the camera can to make noise in the
    pics. You can even set the exposure precompensation to underexpose and
    use post-processing to up the noise even more.

    --
    Bill Funk
    Change "g" to "a"
     
    Big Bill, Dec 3, 2004
    #5
  6. eric <> writes:

    > When working with film there distinct grain structures for different
    > films. At times these are used as an "enhancement" for the image. I
    > was doing more photography 20 years ago. At the time one of my
    > favorite photographers was Max Waldman. I enjoyed very much his dance
    > and theater images. I seem to remember him using 2475 recording film
    > developed in dk50. The images had *extremely* sharp grain that added
    > to the quality of the image.
    >
    > Jump forward to today. A short time ago I picked up a Canon 20D.
    > Nice camera, and I am learning and re-learning a lot. However, I
    > don't see how to attempt the type of grain images that were done with
    > film.
    >
    > I am just curious if the this is just a loss in the digital
    > changes. Sure, I could go and do some post processing in PS or PSP,
    > but I don't think it would be the same thing.


    Well, there are products to add fake grain, to duplicate that sort of
    effect. But don't expect viewers in 30 years to understand it!

    For me, much of my photographic life from 1969-2001 was an endless
    fight to subdue, minimize, hide the damned film grain. Digital
    signalled the end of this for me, and I'm *so* happy!
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Dec 3, 2004
    #6
  7. "eric" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello,
    >
    > When working with film there distinct grain structures for different
    > films. At times these are used as an "enhancement" for the image. I was
    > doing more photography 20 years ago. At the time one of my favorite
    > photographers was Max Waldman. I enjoyed very much his dance and theater
    > images. I seem to remember him using 2475 recording film developed in
    > dk50. The images had *extremely* sharp grain that added to the quality of
    > the image.
    >
    > Jump forward to today. A short time ago I picked up a Canon 20D. Nice
    > camera, and I am learning and re-learning a lot. However, I don't see how
    > to attempt the type of grain images that were done with film.
    >
    > I am just curious if the this is just a loss in the digital changes. Sure,
    > I could go and do some post processing in PS or PSP, but I don't think it
    > would be the same thing.
    >
    > eric


    In Paint Shop Pro, "Use the Add Noise effect to reduce the detail in an
    image and add a grainy texture. This effect can also be used for image
    correction. By adding a small percentage of noise to an image, you can
    reduce the appearance of small imperfections and scratches."
     
    Marvin Margoshes, Dec 3, 2004
    #7
  8. eric

    Guest

    Big Bill <> wrote:

    > The digital equilivent of grain for digital is noise.


    The Holy Priests of the One True Religion of Photography are not
    pleased with your blasphemies. Repent now or risk their wrath!
     
    , Dec 3, 2004
    #8
  9. eric

    eric Guest

    Robert Klemme wrote:
    >
    > Hm... Of course digital photography and film photography are not the same
    > thing. Do you consider it a drawback to have clean images that can be
    > postprocessed easily with PS / PSE vs. the film era where you didn't have
    > the choice? Personally I like the digital times which make it much easier
    > to post process a picture than in darkroom times. YMMV. What exactly do
    > you miss?
    >
    > Kind regards
    >
    > robert
    >


    I appreciate the comments from several people. Thanks.

    Typically, I, like most people, want clear, precise images. Film grain
    was not something that I would normally try to enhance. But on
    various occasions and with various subjects it can add to a composition.

    Different film/developer combinations yield various grain structures
    that can be interesting. Some things I liked working in were BW
    Infrared developed in D76. When push processing TriX I would choose
    Ethol UFG if I was trying to minimize grain, but use Ethol Blue when
    wanting to enhance grain. This, of course, depended on the subject,
    context and purpose of the images I was working on.

    Several have stated that noise is the digital equivalent of film grain.
    My problem is that I have yet to see an image where noise adds a
    similar effect to an image that film grain would. Most noise that I see
    in images just looks ugly. If anyone has examples of it adding to an
    image I would be most interested in seeing them.

    Thanks.

    eric
     
    eric, Dec 3, 2004
    #9
  10. "David Dyer-Bennet" <> wrote in message
    news:-b.net...

    > For me, much of my photographic life from 1969-2001 was an endless
    > fight to subdue, minimize, hide the damned film grain. Digital
    > signalled the end of this for me, and I'm *so* happy!


    Exactly! Digital photography shows us just how bad film really was! :)
     
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 4, 2004
    #10
  11. eric

    Guest

    In message <41b07ebc$>,
    "Michael A. Covington" <>
    wrote:

    >*amused sigh*
    >
    >We spent the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s talking about how to get rid of grain.
    >
    >Now we're going to spend this decade talking about how to get it back? :)
    >
    >You could of course add it as a digital special effect. I doubt that any
    >camera is going to provide that as an in-camera built-in effect, though.
    >
    >In the old days, grain was considered an undesirable side effect of using a
    >small film format. Sheet film, or even big roll film, didn't have visible
    >grain.


    True, but when you blow something up big and it gets too soft, some kind
    of texture makes the image more palataboe to many people.

    Getting rid of grain in the '60s also implied replacing it with more
    detail, did it not? The compromise there is between grain and detail.
    For a grainy look in a digital capture, it is really more of a
    grain-or-no-grain decision, as you will not lose any detail if you
    upsample the image first.

    Of course, if you want to texturize an over-magnified digital image, you
    can do it many other ways than grain.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Dec 4, 2004
    #11
  12. eric

    Guest

    In message <>,
    Big Bill <> wrote:

    >The digital equilivent of grain for digital is noise. Noise is made
    >when the data from the sensor is amplified above 'normal'.


    There is also noise in the image before it is read out. Noise
    associated with readout is generally only visible at higher ISOs. Noise
    in the lower ISOs is mostly native sensor noise.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Dec 4, 2004
    #12
  13. "eric" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Robert Klemme wrote:
    >>
    >> Hm... Of course digital photography and film photography are not the
    >> same
    >> thing. Do you consider it a drawback to have clean images that can be
    >> postprocessed easily with PS / PSE vs. the film era where you didn't have
    >> the choice? Personally I like the digital times which make it much
    >> easier
    >> to post process a picture than in darkroom times. YMMV. What exactly do
    >> you miss?
    >>
    >> Kind regards
    >>
    >> robert
    >>

    >
    > I appreciate the comments from several people. Thanks.
    >
    > Typically, I, like most people, want clear, precise images. Film grain
    > was not something that I would normally try to enhance. But on various
    > occasions and with various subjects it can add to a composition.
    >
    > Different film/developer combinations yield various grain structures that
    > can be interesting. Some things I liked working in were BW Infrared
    > developed in D76. When push processing TriX I would choose Ethol UFG if I
    > was trying to minimize grain, but use Ethol Blue when wanting to enhance
    > grain. This, of course, depended on the subject, context and purpose of
    > the images I was working on.
    >
    > Several have stated that noise is the digital equivalent of film grain. My
    > problem is that I have yet to see an image where noise adds a similar
    > effect to an image that film grain would. Most noise that I see in images
    > just looks ugly. If anyone has examples of it adding to an image I would
    > be most interested in seeing them.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > eric


    I mentioned in my earlier reply that Paint Shop Pro has a noise addition
    effect that is claimed to mimic film grain. Try it on your own images by
    downloading the free trial from www.jasc.com.
     
    Marvin Margoshes, Dec 4, 2004
    #13
  14. eric

    Big Bill Guest

    On 3 Dec 2004 13:49:34 -0800, wrote:

    >Big Bill <> wrote:
    >
    >> The digital equilivent of grain for digital is noise.

    >
    >The Holy Priests of the One True Religion of Photography are not
    >pleased with your blasphemies. Repent now or risk their wrath!


    LOL!

    --
    Bill Funk
    Change "g" to "a"
     
    Big Bill, Dec 4, 2004
    #14
  15. writes:

    > Big Bill <> wrote:
    >
    >> The digital equilivent of grain for digital is noise.

    >
    > The Holy Priests of the One True Religion of Photography are not
    > pleased with your blasphemies. Repent now or risk their wrath!


    Tough bippies, he's right. It's certainly not identical, but it's a
    non-pictorial element that appears preferentially in low-light photos;
    it plays the same role as grain does.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Dec 5, 2004
    #15
  16. "Michael A. Covington" <> writes:

    > *amused sigh*
    >
    > We spent the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s talking about how to get rid of grain.


    I certainly did.

    > Now we're going to spend this decade talking about how to get it back? :)


    Not me! I'm a happy Noise Ninja licensee.

    > You could of course add it as a digital special effect. I doubt that any
    > camera is going to provide that as an in-camera built-in effect, though.
    >
    > In the old days, grain was considered an undesirable side effect of using a
    > small film format. Sheet film, or even big roll film, didn't have visible
    > grain.


    Well before the digital era, there were people whose personal style
    depended significantly on grain.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Dec 5, 2004
    #16
  17. David Dyer-Bennet wrote:

    > Well before the digital era, there were people whose personal style
    > depended significantly on grain.


    ....though they were usually farmers... ;^)
     
    Bob Harrington, Dec 5, 2004
    #17
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