Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Imitating Film Cameras in Photoshop

I can well understand how the idea of using Photoshop to try to make a digital image look like one from a film camera could be a horror to many. However I have to admit that on occasion I like to play around with such effects. Still I do believe that these effects, like with most imitations, while they may be interesting and entertaining they aren't a replacement for the real thing. 

The newest version of Topaz Adjust has some film effects. There are some presets or you can make your own settings.

This is another one done with Topaz Adjust.  Topaz makes several plugins that are useful for digital photos.  And they are generally more affordable than other plugins for Photoshop.

This is one of the many sets of effects in the Filter Forge plugin.  It is called Memeroid and is supposed to imitate a Polaroid photo.

Another Memeroid.  While not of the same proportions as this type of Polaroid I think it adds some interest to the image.  The Filter Forge plugin is sorta expensive, however it does let you make your own filters.  And you can download a large number of useful filters made by Filter Forge users. 

This is a filter from Filter Forge called Analogue.  Some of the effects in Filter Forge can take a while to render.  I had a cup of coffee and went outside and took some pictures while this one was processing. Normally my computer handles Photoshop stuff quickly.  Some Filter Forge effects are the exception.

I think this effect fits the character of the buildings.  This one is from Topaz Adjust.

Here is one from Filter Forge call Toycam 82.  The buildings on this page are in Danville IL.  An interesting town to take pictures in although they have a tendency to tear down their most interesting buildings.

Lastly, one from Alien Skin Exposure.  This is supposed to be an imitation of one of my favorite 70's slide films, GAF 500.  When looking at a much larger version I thought it did a pretty good job. At this size I am not sure if the looks so good. Generally I don't find the Photoshop versions of films to be very satisfying.

So here you have some of the results of my playing around with these filters. If you are like me and enjoy this kind of look than you may find that these effects can liven up some otherwise dull digital photos.  Still as someone who has experienced both I think you can more easily get more satisfying and interesting results using real film cameras.