I dug through the old to find something new. I found a Fuji Reala color negative from a roll of film that I shot way back in the Spring of 2001. This was when I first got back into photography after a long hiatus, but before I began using color transparency film exclusively for my macro shots.
This is a shot of a single branch from a barberry bush we once had in our side yard. I always liked this image but had forgotten about it until today when I went through my old color negative archives.
I scanned the neg with my Minolta Scan Dual III powered by VueScan software (highly recommended). Then I switched to my editor, Picture Window Pro (PWP). I cropped the left and right edges of the image from 4 x 6 to a 4 x 5 proportion, boosted the saturation about 10% and applied two rounds of USM sharpening. The first was a local contrast enhancement using a small amount (20%), radius = 40 and zero threshold. The second was 50% with a radius of 2 and zero threshold.
Just for kicks I decided to do a B&W conversion. I like it. I used the monochrome transformation with a green filter in Picture Window Pro, then I tweaked the contrast using curves and gave the image another sharpening with USM (not too much). The green filter darkened the berries nicely.
Which version is better? I like both.
I took this picture before I got my F3. I used a Nikon FG, probably my 100mm lens (I don’t remember now) and a cheap tripod. The FG is a nice little camera but not suited for serious macro work because you can’t stop down the lens to preview depth of field and the mirror has no lock up either.
The frustrations I went through early on led to my decision to buy a used Nikon F3HP on eBay. I got a good one at a good price not long after I took this picture. I’ve never once regretted the purchase.
I’m going to dig into my old color negatives again over the next few weeks to see what goodies I can find. I shot so much color negative film back then (in the beginning) that I don’t remember what I have. It will be fun.