One of the things I miss about film (besides the fact that I had a life outside of the computer) is using Velvia. I loved the look and color palette of that film. And I loved using it with the Gold-n-Blue polarizer from Singh-Ray. This filter punches up the blues and golds in a scene, and if used correctly in the right conditions, could make late afternoon magic light much earlier in the day, or punch up the colors in a twilight or sunset scene.
So it was one of the filters I turned to right away when I went digital, and it slammed me between the eyes. It didn’t react the same way with digital as it did with film. Here’s what it looks like when it’s used properly with digital.
But that’s not the way it looks on your LCD. The way it looks on your LCD would send you running to the repair shop. For a look at what a file looks like shot through a Gold-n-Blue Polarizer and how to correct it, hit the jump.
While the Gold-n-Blue looked great on film, when it first comes out of the camera, it looks like this—low contrast with a horrible magenta/red cast over the whole shot. Sure you can clean it up in your RAW processor of choice, but even then the results were very magenta. I thought I had lost one of my favorite tools to the digital revolution, when one day I was really fooling around with the sliders in ACR (my convertor of choice) and stumbled upon the the settings that brought back the ole Gold-n-Blue of memory. It’s a counterintuitive set of processing instructions, but it works, and here’s the key.
Frankly, I couldn’t believe that these weird settings were working but they were. However, I kept it to myself because I’m no software or processing guru and I was sure this was some sort of anomaly and that I’d be branded a heretic or an idiot if I mentioned it.
Then I read a post on the Singh Ray blog by master landscape shooter and filter maven Darwin Wiggett, and he said he did more or less the same thing. Then and only then, did I feel safe to come out of the closet, so to speak. When it comes to the backshop stuff of digital, I’m one insecure hombre. But I was glad to stumble onto this formula for using the Gold-n-Blue again, because it just gives you a little boost in colors over a regular polarizer, and it brings me back to my Velvia days.
Now, if only I could get some semblance of my free time back from those days, when all I did was shoot and somebody else did all the processing and backshop work…ah well, we can dream, can’t we?