Sunday, May 3, 2009

Film Scans with Gratuitous Dust

So I'm wondering, what does everyone think about leaving dust and hairs on film scans? I was thinking about how a lot of us like to leave part or all of the film frame in scans as a conspicuous nod towards process, and in a way dust is part of the process so in some sense why not leave it?

9 comments:

megan dunbar said...

if you wouldn't leave dust on a negative when making a silver gelatin print, why would you want it on a scanned negative? i think it's a matter of time spent on the image. if you have the capability to minimize the amount of dust, you should take the time to do that. the point of scanning and/or printing is to show our work. why wouldn't you want to have your image look the best it can?

Bek said...

I left the dust in those underexposed 4x5s because I think it adds to the images. However, that's a pretty extreme case. I think normally you would want your image to speak for itself, and not depend upon dust or other process-resultant flaws to increase interest

But as usual, it all depends on the image.

BrittanyNelson said...

Its the same reason why you don't use hot pink matte board. Its extremely distracting to your image.

hunter said...

right, if the image looks good with dust then leave it...obviously, you wouldnt want dust just for the sake of dust...

Ian Cavanaugh said...

i struggled with the same question. scanning is not a part of a photographic process, its a means to an end. dust that has been captured on the film while taking the image is ok. i like that dust, it all the white hairs that come from the scanner that are distracting. try it and play with more or less, but in the end it wont add anything, only take away form your image.

Ian Cavanaugh said...

i struggled with the same question. scanning is not a part of a photographic process, its a means to an end. dust that has been captured on the film while taking the image is ok. i like that dust, it all the white hairs that come from the scanner that are distracting. try it and play with more or less, but in the end it wont add anything, only take away form your image.

Camden Hardy said...

Dust/hair/etc. and full frame borders are apples and oranges to me. One should not follow from the other.

I graduated with a student who refused to dust/spot any of his images. His work was incredibly strong, but the dust on the images drove me nuts. It ruined the work for me. If it distracts in any way, it shouldn't be there. Period.

Chris E said...

I agree, full frame is a border to the image and therefore is not distracting. Dust however, is in the actual image space and therefore usually highly distracting. It also can break up planes of depth within an image because dust is always sharp and on a single plane.

zallen said...

SUCK IT UP and get a wacom tablet