Your secrets & tips ... Creating ‘Dirty’ jpgs/dngs


Mystery & Mayhem...
Local time
11:09 AM
May 31, 2008
The only thing I dislike about ‘digital’
is too perfect, too real and clean a file
Sometimes I keep it but mostly that’s what turns me off to shooting digital

I prefer to do very little or no PP
Just a hint of more or less saturation, contrast, adjust shadows, midtones

Obviously I will need to change & experiment...
So my Question To You:

What are your secrets ?
How do You make your photos more ‘Atmospheric’, softer in feel

I suspect crank up quite abit ISO
Play with exposure ... not always be spot on
What else?

Thank You for participating in pushing me forward with your Ideas / examples
If you want more "grain" in your images, try pushing the ISO really high. This brings up the noise, which is equivalent to grain in silver-based film. Some cameras offer built-in filmic look in the settings options. Just play around until you find something that suits your pre-visualization.

And post some of your experiments! :D
Thank You ... will do
I loved shooting NeoPan 1600 day & night
Created such interesting ‘Atmosphere’ during the day , how I miss that film

ok, understood but not presently shooting a Fuji
ThankYou ~

Am also wondering if less megapixel makes for a softer file
Good question I'm not able to answer, but interesting for me as well!

The few times I got an acceptable "dirty" effect (love this definition!) I tried very slow shutter speed and increased the contrast of the blurred photo. Now the grain...I have to think about that!

I'll look in my LR catalogue for samples, if any!

Nice to see you here :)
Small sensor, high ISO, cropping, Silver efex


Helen, in thinking of some of your representative images, I’ll add the following (based on Lighroom, coz that’s how I work):

Expose for highlight, especially if you have a lot of shadow and black in the frame, and

Increase blacks 1-2 stops—especially if you’ve softened contrast or shadows. There are a lot of blacks in your work, as I know it.

Experiment with the radial filter—e.g., identify the element you want to stand out, border it with the radial, then invert the filter so it applies to the rest of the frame and then (any or all of these) decrease exposure, -/+ contrast, shadow, texture, dehaze....

If you’re converting RAW to BW, -/+ the luminance sliders can affect tones—especially perceived lights and darks — a good deal, depending on the proportions of RBG n the scene. (I used to drink a koolaid some digital photographers endorsed, that in-camera BW JPGs were perfectly fine. It’s just not true for me, and I have many images whose JPG limitations I regret because they’re impervious to further development.)

Most of all: Have experimental fun with *nondestructive editing*. What you like now may annoy you in five or ten years, but if the file is big and robust enough, you can eat your cake now but still have it later.
Turn the sharpening down maybe off..... and yeah crank the ISO.... if your using a newer digital you'll have to really crank it 3200, 6400 which feels more like 400 on film maybe even 320.... Use an older lenses if possible
Not looking much for dirty. This one is clean but has the mood:


Here I wanted grit. In Lightroom I raised the contrast, clarity only ever a little bit, blacks down, highlights up a little. And I added a bit of grain:


This one I added a vignette to lend more mystery, but the key I think is just a slower shutter speed, 1/60s: very often that will erase the too crisp look of digital.

The closest thing to a film experience I've had is shooting the Epson RD1. Both in tactile and output sense. I strongly recommend one to you. OOC jpgs are wonderful, both the color and the B&W results.
I've given up, I'm like you; in the no PP camp. So now I don't do conversions, I just go with what I get from the digital camera: (RAW file to Make Tiff, then use ColorPerfect RAW) that is someone elses PP but it is consistent.
Being a SOOC shooter myself, I find I can get the most uhm 'character' out of my camera by using really old lenses. I find my A7ii lends itself to this 'character' building more readily than my A7iii since it isn't as proficient at the higher ISO settings.
I don't fault the camera's for not recording the image like an old film camera would. It's more a case of the old film cameras didn't have the medium to record the image as well back then.

[Yes, you can read that as digital is better than film.]
Your secrets & tips ... Creating ‘Dirty’ jpgs/dngs

Your secrets & tips ... Creating ‘Dirty’ jpgs/dngs

Although I don't own a digital-M, I totally get what Helen is saying.

To my eyes, digital-M output is too clean and "glassy" for want if a better word. I love and admire your film work Helen and am not sure what to suggest other than finding a post-processing program you are comfortable with and laying a bit with the settings be it curves, filters etc.

Actually, are you using a particular program at present?

If you don't have a program yet and are on a Mac, the native Photos app had some decent post-process functions in the edit section.

Best of luck! Look forward to seeing more of your work.
Zeno, Robert blu, Richard:

Yes, Yes and Yes !!!
Fab photo examples
Just what I had in mind , Thank You for Posting and explaining

LOVE the way You all played with The varying factors in the shot
Be it either in Motion, Blur, OOF, Blacks/Contrasts, Grit and Grain
That’s the way I want to move , the direction

Funny, the shots that instantly caught my Eye were shots Two
in your set: Zeno, Richard, Robert blu
the RD1,x,s was truly a magical camera
Agreed , so sorry I sold it numerous times / variations to chase the megapixel marathon

What have I learned... a fool I have been and how a 6mp camera ruled supreme

Cool, I too will be using old lenses... Summaron, collapsible cron, 21 Super Angulon so hopefully that will tone down sharpness, perhaps a touch more imperfection
Have not looked into Sony A7’s variations , yet ~
Thanks !

Thank You for noticing my film work
Presently I have an old LR version on a Sony desktop
on my MacBook Pro just have the normal ‘photos’ editing

So am not fully immersed in a system/ regimen
Free fall experimenting