Tag: Grain

Grain is one of those characteristics of film that we complained about enough at the time but we miss it now it’s gone. The noise created by digital camera sensors is not the same at all, so we have a strange situation where we’re trying to create digital images which are as noise-free as possible, then adding old-style analog ‘grain’ effects in software. Well, maybe not all of us.

Digital ‘grain’ is now rather good. The Grain effect in Lightroom is very authentic-looking, even down to the erosion of hard edges by grain ‘clumps’, and Capture One Pro offers a grain effect as a standard processing choice. A fine patina of grain, whether it’s real film grain or digitally induced, gives fine detail a subtle texture that’s often missing in ‘straight’ digital images, and helps makes photographs look more natural in a way that’s hard to explain.

Naturally, grain effects are a standard feature in film simulation plug-ins and other ‘analog’ effects tools.

 

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