Tuesday, June 2, 2009

bring in da noise?

So, my fair readers, I'm looking for your opinion. I've viewed many a photographer's website/blog recently, and I can see that many of my fellow comrades use what are called "actions" or "effects" when editing their photos. I'm currently testing a rather expensive software that works with Aperture, which would allow me to overlay these effects onto my photos. One of these effects is to add film grain to your digital photo.

Take this photo of my daughter's dance class:

grand finale b+w

this photo is without any effects - mind you I did edit the photo. I converted the color to b+w and lightened the tones. But otherwise this photo is au natural.

grand finale (2)

with this version, I implemented a grainy look to it. Grain or "noise" in a photo is the teeny, tiny sort of dots throughout the image. The lower the light in your situation and the higher the ISO (such as ISO 1600), the more grain you will have in your photo. I actually like grain - I think it gives the photo character, as long as it's not distracting.

grand finale (3)

which leads me to this version - VERY grainy. I used an effect that mimics "real" film with this result. I like this version, but I do feel like it's a little too much grain.

I'm curious, though - what do YOU think? Do you like grain or "noise"? Do you prefer the first image? I have some other examples I'll post later of other "effects" - I would like to know, in all honesty, if you readers out there like these effects or find them gimmicky. I admit I'm torn - there are some pretty cool effects out there, but on some level I'm a bit of a purist. I love photography because it (in theory) represents the "truth" of what one sees. It is the truth of that moment in time, but at some point a photo that is overmanipulated loses that sense of truth. On the other hand, there is most definitely an art to applying effects to create some amazing photos.

Let me know what you think...go on. Do it. Leave a comment. You readers have been a quiet bunch lately...


Carebear June 2, 2009 at 7:31 AM  

I think effects or noise can be a good enhancement for some pictures BUT not all pictures. I think many people tend to create noise on every single picture but some of the best pics are untouched (or just touched a little for tone adjustment, b+w conversion, etc).

Patti June 2, 2009 at 8:32 AM  

I spend a lot of time trying to get noise OUT of my photos! I didn't even know it was a 'thing' to put it in! (Hmmm, maybe that means I'm hipper than I thought....)

Had I seen it independently, I would have said photo #2 looks great - but compared to #1, I don't like it as much. And I'm not really a fan of #3 - it feels messy to me.

heidistitches June 2, 2009 at 8:47 AM  

I like #2 the best (I like a little noise!). #3 looks like it was clipped out of a newspaper.

Anonymous June 2, 2009 at 5:53 PM  

In a complete surprise, I like #3. I wouldn't have thought I would, but feel like, since the photo isn't of one direct person or thing, it can handle the "noise". It adds a fun effect and makes it visually different than something as sharp and "perfect" as the first photo. To me, #2 almost seems out of focus and not grainy enough. For the untrained photographer (me), it may seem like #2 was an accident, where #3 clearly has a purpose. We have an EXTREMELY grainy picture of us at our wedding and it is amazing. Its a #3, but I feel like it just works. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me, but that is what I think. And I'm generally pretty traditional.

Jackie Kersh June 2, 2009 at 8:41 PM  

i like the original photo best.