Imperfection is perfect
Somewhere along his photographic journey Matt found himself applying basic texture layers in Photoshop to give the images “life”. He realised that film photos come off the scanner looking pre-photoshopped with all of the imperfection already in place. “I was immediately converted to analogue.” It wasn’t long after he starting shooting film that he decided to develop black and white film at home. A few years later, he finally made the jump to develop colour film with C41 chemicals and found it was much easier than he had anticipated, wishing he had done it sooner.
After the film is developed and dry, he scans the negatives using an Epson V800 flatbed scanner and opens the images he wants to process in Photoshop. For black and white film he’ll usually adjust contrast curves, increase sharpness and clone out any dust particles. He repeats the same process with colour film yet where needed, colour grades the film scan to get the colours back to how he remembers them in the scene.
“I use many different films and try to match the film stock to the light levels, colours and mood of the shoot.” Film with fine grain can give a more digitally smooth look whereas film with a traditional grain structure (more obvious grain) gives a classic look. To accentuate greens and purples in a scene, he’ll use Fuji Pro 400H and overexpose slightly. For colour film, such as a beach shot, where a lot of latitude is needed, he’ll use Kodak Portra 160 and 400. To capture the most detail and colour, his number one choice is Fuji Provia 100 slide film. When it comes to black and white film, he prefers Ilford Delta 100 and Ilford Pan F 50, provided there’s enough light.