Forums > Photography Talk > Is this film or digital?

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5366

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

WMcK wrote:
I remember a similar post on another website a few years ago asking the same question, except that it was a portrait of a young lady. No-one got the answer right, as it was actually a pencil drawing by an artist who did photo-realistic images in that medium, complete with realistic DOF effects. It had everyone fooled.
So I will stick my neck out and say neither, it is a drawing.

Look at it this way. If you're wrong, you'll be with half the people on this forum. And if you're right, you'll probably be the only one.

Nov 13 12 03:57 pm Link

Photographer

beta

Posts: 2065

Nashville, Tennessee, US

Well,,, if it is film, it has been digitally phucked with and now deserves the "digital" brass name plate...

Or - it is a drawing..  lol

Nov 13 12 04:58 pm Link

Photographer

ybfoto

Posts: 668

Portland, Oregon, US

print it I will let you know...looking at a 150 resolution on a monitor its impossible to tell with 100% accuracy.

Nov 13 12 05:04 pm Link

Photographer

MMR Digital

Posts: 1792

Doylestown, Pennsylvania, US

It's a 6' x 10' photorealistic airbrush rendering from a slide projection. No? I once saw a gallery exhibit in Soho (NYC) back in the 80's. Huge airbrush works that were truly photorealism.

Nov 13 12 05:08 pm Link

Photographer

Bunny 007

Posts: 274

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

Nov 13 12 05:10 pm Link

Photographer

Bunny 007

Posts: 274

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

Does the OP know?  Maybe that's why he's asking.

Nov 13 12 05:13 pm Link

Photographer

Mark Laubenheimer

Posts: 8921

Seattle, Washington, US

Bunny 007 wrote:
Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

+1

Nov 13 12 06:54 pm Link

Photographer

salvatori.

Posts: 4004

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, US

I'm voting for digital.

Nov 13 12 07:02 pm Link

Photographer

Michael Broughton

Posts: 2260

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

changed my mind. it's film... but the cat is digital! tongue

Nov 13 12 09:28 pm Link

Photographer

Art Silva

Posts: 9651

Santa Barbara, California, US

penn wrote:
Well,,, if it is film, it has been digitally phucked with and now deserves the "digital" brass name plate...

Or - it is a drawing..  lol

It's a digital drawing.

Nov 13 12 09:37 pm Link

Photographer

Carlos Occidental

Posts: 10548

Glendora, California, US

Since drawing wasn't an option, it's not a drawing. 
If that's the case, we are cheated and deceived.

Nov 14 12 04:44 am Link

Photographer

hbutz New York

Posts: 3296

New York, New York, US

Digital

Nov 14 12 09:01 am Link

Photographer

Toby Key

Posts: 322

Chichester, England, United Kingdom

Looks digital to me, grain structure doesn't look quite right, but impossible to tell for sure at this size.

Nov 14 12 09:19 am Link

Photographer

Marty McBride

Posts: 3132

Owensboro, Kentucky, US

Apparently the OP lost interest in his post, or is looking for 10 pages of guessing and speculation! He posted this yesterday, but his last login is the Nov 5th...only in Mayhem Land!

Nov 14 12 09:27 am Link

Photographer

alessandro cecconi

Posts: 164

Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

at this point....who cares move on

Nov 14 12 10:01 am Link

Photographer

Carlos Occidental

Posts: 10548

Glendora, California, US

alessandro cecconi wrote:
at this point....who cares move on

No fucking doubt.  I don't even care anymore.  Yesterday, it was ALL I cared about.

Generational family shame to the OP for this heinous crime!

Nov 14 12 10:36 am Link

Retoucher

Rob Mac Studio

Posts: 1105

London, England, United Kingdom

First of all sorry It's taken so long to get back(especially Carlos O), I had to tend to my allotement.
I hadn't fully appreciated how twenty four hours is a lifetime on Model Mayhem, Thank you everyone for your considered responses, and also the rest who replied.
And the answer is............




















Super Takumar 1:2/55  (1962)...... bokeh too modern?
Canon 1ds II  1/1000 iso 500 from 1ft away
Raw processed in RPP and grain added in ACR.



Once again thanks for all your answers either  insightful, humorous or asanine.

Nov 14 12 11:09 am Link

Photographer

Carlos Occidental

Posts: 10548

Glendora, California, US

Vindication!

Thank you!

Nov 14 12 11:41 am Link

Photographer

PicBack

Posts: 621

New York, New York, US

Fooled me...

Nov 14 12 11:44 am Link

Photographer

Toby Key

Posts: 322

Chichester, England, United Kingdom

Rob Mac Studio wrote:
Super Takumar 1:2/55  (1962)...... bokeh too modern?
Canon 1ds II  1/1000 iso 500 from 1ft away
Raw processed in RPP and grain added in ACR.



Once again thanks for all your answers either  insightful, humorous or asanine.

For future reference what gives it away is there is more apparent grain in the shadows than in the highlights. A black and negative would be the opposite grain is most prominent in things like skies, shadows would be less grainy, blacks grainless because the film emulsion is almost all washed away during the developing process. This is an old picture but compare the sky to the black areas. Also grain tends to diminish in sharp ares of the picture and be more obvious in out of focus ones.

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/171/397912183_161e4c5173_z.jpg?zz=1
beach portrait series 5 by Tobias Key, on Flickr

Nov 14 12 01:12 pm Link

Photographer

Gabby57

Posts: 429

Coppell, Texas, US

Toby Key wrote:

For future reference what gives it away is there is more apparent grain in the shadows than in the highlights. A black and negative would be the opposite grain is most prominent in things like skies, shadows would be less grainy, blacks grainless because the film emulsion is almost all washed away during the developing process. This is an old picture but compare the sky to the black areas. Also grain tends to diminish in sharp ares of the picture and be more obvious in out of focus ones.

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/171/397912183_161e4c5173_z.jpg?zz=1
beach portrait series 5 by Tobias Key, on Flickr

Good observation and photo!  Thanks!

Nov 14 12 01:27 pm Link

Photographer

alessandro cecconi

Posts: 164

Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Toby Key wrote:

For future reference what gives it away is there is more apparent grain in the shadows than in the highlights. A black and negative would be the opposite grain is most prominent in things like skies, shadows would be less grainy, blacks grainless because the film emulsion is almost all washed away during the developing process. This is an old picture but compare the sky to the black areas. Also grain tends to diminish in sharp ares of the picture and be more obvious in out of focus ones.

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/171/397912183_161e4c5173_z.jpg?zz=1
beach portrait series 5 by Tobias Key, on Flickr

very very good point!

Nov 14 12 01:36 pm Link

Photographer

John Malloch Caldwell

Posts: 2563

Hastings, England, United Kingdom

SPV Photo wrote:
Neither -- it's a cat!

Best answer

Nov 14 12 01:36 pm Link

Photographer

Danny DD

Posts: 347

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Bunny 007 wrote:
Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

Nov 14 12 01:42 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Toby Key wrote:
For future reference what gives it away is there is more apparent grain in the shadows than in the highlights. A black and negative would be the opposite grain is most prominent in things like skies, shadows would be less grainy, blacks grainless because the film emulsion is almost all washed away during the developing process. This is an old picture but compare the sky to the black areas. Also grain tends to diminish in sharp ares of the picture and be more obvious in out of focus ones.

Are you sure about that? This seems fly directly in the face with everything I've ever read on the subject. Case in point, a study published by Kodak reads, "Graininess is more obvious in shadow areas and underexposed areas because the fastest, largest grains are predominantly exposed." Page 55, second sentence.

http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploaded … f_Film.pdf

Nov 14 12 01:58 pm Link

Photographer

Mark Laubenheimer

Posts: 8921

Seattle, Washington, US

Ruben Vasquez wrote:

Are you sure about that? This seems fly directly in the face with everything I've ever read on the subject. Case in point, a study published by Kodak reads, "Graininess is more obvious in shadow areas and underexposed areas because the fastest, largest grains are predominantly exposed." Page 55, second sentence.

http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploaded … f_Film.pdf

well...not everything you've read on the subject. you did read his post, yes? tongue

Nov 14 12 02:16 pm Link

Retoucher

Rob Mac Studio

Posts: 1105

London, England, United Kingdom

Toby Key wrote:

For future reference what gives it away is there is more apparent grain in the shadows than in the highlights. A black and negative would be the opposite grain is most prominent in things like skies, shadows would be less grainy, blacks grainless because the film emulsion is almost all washed away during the developing process. This is an old picture but compare the sky to the black areas. Also grain tends to diminish in sharp ares of the picture and be more obvious in out of focus ones.

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/171/397912183_161e4c5173_z.jpg?zz=1
beach portrait series 5 by Tobias Key, on Flickr

Thanks Toby
In my simulation I had accounted for that maybe weighted a bit more to the darker midtones , but there is no grain in the real dark shadow areas
and more in the mids to quarter tones and getting less to nothing in the highlights.it wasn't  a case of adding a grain equally over the entire surface. This is achieved by the use of relevant luminosity marks. Admitedly this maybe harder to see at this size.

Nov 14 12 02:17 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Mark Laubenheimer wrote:
well...not everything you've read on the subject. you did read his post, yes? tongue

big_smile Yeah ya gotta point there buckshot. lol

Nov 15 12 01:00 am Link

Photographer

Toby Key

Posts: 322

Chichester, England, United Kingdom

Ruben Vasquez wrote:
Are you sure about that? This seems fly directly in the face with everything I've ever read on the subject. Case in point, a study published by Kodak reads, "Graininess is more obvious in shadow areas and underexposed areas because the fastest, largest grains are predominantly exposed." Page 55, second sentence.

http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploaded … f_Film.pdf

I think that's talking about colour neg film, and for colour neg film yes it is correct. Black and white film is different don't know why but it is.

Nov 15 12 07:19 am Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Toby Key wrote:

I think that's talking about colour neg film, and for colour neg film yes it is correct. Black and white film is different don't know why but it is.

The article addresses both black and white as well as color films actually. I can't seem to find anything on postive slide film so there may be difference there.

Nov 15 12 03:59 pm Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5366

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Ruben Vasquez wrote:
Are you sure about that? This seems fly directly in the face with everything I've ever read on the subject. Case in point, a study published by Kodak reads, "Graininess is more obvious in shadow areas and underexposed areas because the fastest, largest grains are predominantly exposed." Page 55, second sentence.

http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploaded … f_Film.pdf

Toby Key wrote:
I think that's talking about colour neg film, and for colour neg film yes it is correct. Black and white film is different don't know why but it is.

This is vastly oversimplified and thus can easily be critiqued or picked apart, but…

A black-and-white negative film emulsion contains millions of tiny silver halide salts or grains. The individual grains vary widely in size. The smaller the individual grain (this refers to a grain of silver halide, not to “graininess” of the negative), the less light is required to turn it black. The larger the grain, the more light it takes.

Grains that were not sufficiently exposed to turn them darker do not remain in the film after development. (In large-scale processing operations they were typically recovered and sold for their silver content.)

During processing the grains of silver halide have a tendency to clump together. Clumps of grains, more than individual grains, contribute to graininess in a negative - and of course in prints made from the negative.

It is in the darkest areas of the negative (which will be the highlights in the print) where the most (and the largest) grains remain, which means this is also the area in which there will also be the most clumping and the largest clumps because of the number and the size of the grains that remain.

Most so-called fine-grain developers reduced the tendency of the trains to to clump (in some case by smoothing the jagged edges of the individnal grains).

In theory, the most graininess will exist in the highlights (dark areas of the negative) and the least in the shadows (light areas of the negative).

However, for whatever reason, grain in a print tends to be the most obvious in large, gray areas – such as a large. gray expanse of sky. I think most people who have worked extensively with black-and-white films will agree – as did several books on photography that I read in a past life.

By the way, in b&w slide or transparency films (yes, they did exist), the most and largest grains will remain in shadow areas, not the highlights.

The chemistry and the process of making color films (negative or positive) are much different than those related to black-and-white. Color films use dyes that adhere to the silver halide grains, and there are least three (or as many as 12) layers in the emulsion of color films. For reason I don’t clearly understand (I believe they are related to the layers in the emulsion), this tends to mitigate the appearance of graininess in color films to some extent.

Whatever the reason is, it’s also the reason that chromogenic films (including T-gel and Kodak’s TMax films) appear less grainy than older varities of b&w film such as Tri-X, Plus-X, Panatomic-X and their counterparts from European and Asian manufacturers (which use chemistry and processes related to those used in color films) tend to appear less grainy than traditional b&w films. These films also use multi-layer emulsions and pigments or dyes.

Nov 15 12 07:32 pm Link

Photographer

Vintagevista

Posts: 11309

Sun City, California, US

Kind of pointless - unless you can read exif data off of it. smile

So, no matter what it started out as - you are looking at - for better or worse - a jpg digital image on the screen.

And can you really take the word of a JPG as to the original image?

It's well known that JPG's are lying shifty bastards.

Nov 15 12 08:16 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Camerosity wrote:
This is vastly oversimplified and thus can easily be critiqued or picked apart, but…

A black-and-white negative film emulsion contains millions of tiny silver halide salts or grains. The individual grains vary widely in size. The smaller the individual grain (this refers to a grain of silver halide, not to “graininess” of the negative), the less light is required to turn it black. The larger the grain, the more light it takes.

Thats a bit backwards actually. Larger grains require less light which is why faster films appear more grainy. Even that concept is a bit off actually as both require the same amount of light but large grains can collect photons of light faster than smaller grains. Think of it like a shot glass next to a bucket out in the rain. Because the bucket is wider, it'll collect drops of rain quicker than the shot glass. Same thing with film. Larger grains will collect photons of light quicker than smaller grains.

Camerosity wrote:
Grains that were not sufficiently exposed to turn them darker do not remain in the film after development. (In large-scale processing operations they were typically recovered and sold for their silver content.)

During processing the grains of silver halide have a tendency to clump together. Clumps of grains, more than individual grains, contribute to graininess in a negative - and of course in prints made from the negative.

It is in the darkest areas of the negative (which will be the highlights in the print) where the most (and the largest) grains remain, which means this is also the area in which there will also be the most clumping and the largest clumps because of the number and the size of the grains that remain.

Most so-called fine-grain developers reduced the tendency of the trains to to clump (in some case by smoothing the jagged edges of the individnal grains).

In theory, the most graininess will exist in the highlights (dark areas of the negative) and the least in the shadows (light areas of the negative).

This part is also a bit misleading. When printing the image, a light is shined through the negative on to light sensitive paper that reacts in the same way that film does. The silver-halide grains in the paper clump together in the regions that are exposed to the most light and are rendered dark. What were highlights in the negative are dark so they act as a mask to the print so instead, highlights in the negative are reversed in the print to be the shadows. Same thing with the highlights. So the most grainy areas of the print will be the shadows and other underexposed areas as well.

To the viewer, the extreme highlights and shadows will have little to no grain (even though grains are there), but the shadows appear the most grainy as will areas of the image that don't have a lot of detail (such as sky's). Thats only because variations in smooth areas are easier to notice than areas with a lot of detail such as a sandy beach. Even though the grains are there, they're a bit more camouflaged.

Nov 15 12 08:38 pm Link

Photographer

Leggy Mountbatten

Posts: 12562

Kansas City, Missouri, US

Rob Mac Studio wrote:
Super Takumar 1:2/55  (1962)...... bokeh too modern?
Canon 1ds II  1/1000 iso 500 from 1ft away
Raw processed in RPP and grain added in ACR.



Once again thanks for all your answers either  insightful, humorous or asanine.

Actually, that bokeh looks just like one of those old 55's. Those lenses had terrible bokeh, and this image does (look at the double-line bokeh in the upper left).

Nov 15 12 08:51 pm Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5366

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Ruben Vasquez wrote:

Thats a bit backwards actually. Larger grains require less light which is why faster films appear more grainy. Even that concept is a bit off actually as both require the same amount of light but large grains can collect photons of light faster than smaller grains. Think of it like a shot glass next to a bucket out in the rain. Because the bucket is wider, it'll collect drops of rain quicker than the shot glass. Same thing with film. Larger grains will collect photons of light quicker than smaller grains.


This part is also a bit misleading. When printing the image, a light is shined through the negative on to light sensitive paper that reacts in the same way that film does. The silver-halide grains in the paper clump together in the regions that are exposed to the most light and are rendered dark. What were highlights in the negative are dark so they act as a mask to the print so instead, highlights in the negative are reversed in the print to be the shadows. Same thing with the highlights. So the most grainy areas of the print will be the shadows and other underexposed areas as well.

To the viewer, the extreme highlights and shadows will have little to no grain (even though grains are there), but the shadows appear the most grainy as will areas of the image that don't have a lot of detail (such as sky's). Thats only because variations in smooth areas are easier to notice than areas with a lot of detail such as a sandy beach. Even though the grains are there, they're a bit more camouflaged.

Looks like I should dig out the old books again and read up.

Btw, the silver in b&w paper is silver chloride or silver bromide.

Nov 15 12 11:00 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Camerosity wrote:

Looks like I should dig out the old books again and read up.

Btw, the silver in b&w paper is silver chloride or silver bromide.

Hence the name, silver halide. The halides are either bromide, chloride, iodide or flouride (not used in photography). It's my understanding that bromide is the most common halide used. Exclusively silver chloride prints aren't all that common any more and is generally regarded as an alternative process. Though I believe there are emulsions that use both bromide and chloride.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_halide

Nov 15 12 11:53 pm Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5366

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Ruben Vasquez wrote:

Hence the name, silver halide. The halides are either bromide, chloride, iodide or flouride (not used in photography). It's my understanding that bromide is the most common halide used. Exclusively silver chloride prints aren't all that common any more and is generally regarded as an alternative process. Though I believe there are emulsions that use both bromide and chloride.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_halide

Silver chloride was used in contact printing papers. Silver bromide was used in papers for enlarging. It's my understanding that something more sensitive was used in film - but I couldn't debate the point without digging out some old books.

Nov 15 12 11:58 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Camerosity wrote:
Silver chloride was used in contact printing papers. Silver bromide was used in papers for enlarging. It's my understanding that something more sensitive was used in film - but I couldn't debate the point without digging out some old books.

As interesting as it is, it's some what of a moot point any way. The discussion has more or less shifted to how to tell a digital image from a analog image. The OP was pretty clever using a digital camera coupled to an old lens and adding noise through various luminous masks which fooled a lot of people in this thread (including me). But Toby's assertion that you could tell because film grain is more prevalent in the highlights just doesn't quite jive with any credible source I've found...

Nov 16 12 12:20 am Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5366

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Toby Key wrote:
For future reference what gives it away is there is more apparent grain in the shadows than in the highlights. A black and negative would be the opposite grain is most prominent in things like skies, shadows would be less grainy, blacks grainless because the film emulsion is almost all washed away during the developing process. This is an old picture but compare the sky to the black areas. Also grain tends to diminish in sharp ares of the picture and be more obvious in out of focus ones.

Ruben Vasquez wrote:
Are you sure about that? This seems fly directly in the face with everything I've ever read on the subject. Case in point, a study published by Kodak reads, "Graininess is more obvious in shadow areas and underexposed areas because the fastest, largest grains are predominantly exposed." Page 55, second sentence.

http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploaded … f_Film.pdf

Here's what another Kodak publication that applies strictly to black-and-white films says on the subject:

"Large, even-toned areas in the mid-tones of a photograph will appear more grainy than dark- or light-toned areas or areas that include fine detail.”
- Kodak Professional Black-and White Films, Pub. F-5 (1984), Page 33

Nov 16 12 01:41 am Link

Photographer

RSM-images

Posts: 4226

Jacksonville, Florida, US

.

Since the subject image is being shown via the internet, it is a digital image in its displayed form and is subject, therefore, to digital image constraints.

.

Nov 16 12 02:42 am Link