We have this really funky jacuzzi tub stuck inside a shower stall in one of our three full size bathrooms. Yes, we have three full bathrooms for the kids to fill their bath toys with. No wonder they are water fiends.
So the other night I put bubbles in the bath and then Merrik begged for me to turn on the “geysers.” So I did and the bubbles got so thick we lost Maliea in there for awhile. The kids were cracking up and it was definitely a photo op…
…except for the lack of light. There is a burned out lightbulb in the tiny bathroom where the tub is that I can’t figure out how to get to it to change it out. It’s been that way for a year now. And the tub is so tucked in to a hole with such a small access area that barely any light can reach it-especially after the sun goes down.
So, I set my ISO on gazillion and took some pictures. The result reminds me of good ol’ Polachrome slide film that you processed in a little crank case. Gosh I miss that stuff. I actually shot my first wedding on it. It’s beautiful but OH so risky because it scratched easily and didn’t always process right. The best part was it gave you really beautiful torn edges if you peaked too soon and it made absolutely gorgeous photographs.
So, grain is not bad if you know how to make it work for your image. I love the textures in these shots. I love the soft color palette and low contrast. It’s what makes these images work. Just because you have a noisy image doesn’t mean it’s ugly. Digital photographers today are so inundated with ultra sharp, super saturated images that they think that’s what’s desirable.
I find both of these attributes inappropriate for portraits so I am constantly going back to film for the look and feel that I want in my portraits of life. I tend to overexpose and under develop my digital images. This means that I sometimes blow out the whites to hold the blacks. Then I pull back on the highlights and shadows in the Tone Curve in Lightroom. This gives me the look of film. And now I even add grain to my digital images to give them even more of film’s soft ambiance.