Grain. Use it or lose it?

Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
29,243
Location
Moscow, Idaho
Gain and digital noise are different beasts.
Grain is good when it adds to the picture and/or the story.
Grain is bad when it hides key details.
Grain is your friend.
Grain is your enemy.

Yeah, all of that may go against the grain! :rolleyes: :D
 
Digital "noise" is often in color, which can be displeasing. I think of "grain" as being in B&W and at times, yes, adding an element of texture and complexity to an image, but it must be handled with care. In the old days we sometimes deliberately shot and processed film to emphasize grain in the images. These days we have choices, and, yes, some people are using grain in their B&W, and in the right choice of image, it can be very effective.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
1,812
Location
Central Ohio
Real Name
Andrew
Digital "noise" is often in color, which can be displeasing. I think of "grain" as being in B&W and at times, yes, adding an element of texture and complexity to an image, but it must be handled with care. In the old days we sometimes deliberately shot and processed film to emphasize grain in the images. These days we have choices, and, yes, some people are using grain in their B&W, and in the right choice of image, it can be very effective.

Before getting the Fuji cameras, I used to love the monochrome conversions on my Olympus cameras. The 16mp sensors and the 20mp sensor in the PEN-F had very little color noise. The luminance noise was often very film grain-esque. I've gotten a few old Oly cameras - both 16mp sensors (EP5 and EM1.1).
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
2,610
Location
Auburn, Washington USA
I shoot Ilford HP5+ 400 speed B&W film. Depending on the subject sometimes I smooth the grain a bit, otherwise I leave it as-is. With digital I cannot think of any time recently I added grain for effect. Basically, It's whatever you like.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
17,460
I very often use the film emulations from either silver efex or DxO FilmPack as part of the b&w conversion process.
These come with the resulting amount of grain. I never enhance the amount of grain that is added as a consequence nor do I dial it back.
I do let the result on the image help in the choice of the emulated film I pick.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
2,880
Location
Winter Haven, florida
I shot hp5 film a lot, that and triX was about it.
I like grain, but it is not worth rowing upstream all the time. I do let dxo filmpack film add grain, but others than that I think I am done adding it. That is my decision for today, it will likely change next week.
gary
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
1,000
Location
Arizona
Real Name
Chris
It’s so easy to over do grain in a digital process. If you make the individual granules smaller, and with less brightness range, it will blend into your photos much better.

I make a transparent brightness map layer, add grain to that, and adjust opacity until I need to examine the picture very closely to see it. To emphasize the grain (over developed trix, HIE, anything shot over 1600 iso, etc.) adjust the size, not the range or opacity.

You can’t really simulate real grain digitally because the shape of each granule is different, like snowflakes. Don’t try to reproduce the “grain” you get by scanning film. I scan film at 45 MP and about half the visible grain is an artifact of scanning known as grain aliasing. This is caused by overlap of grain clumps, and is much larger than a darkroom print’s grain would be.

if you can’t tell, I’m a huge grain fan. I prefer it in real film though, then you don’t need to do anything to get it right.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom