What makes a Gelatin Labs film scan so special?
In the digital age, film scans are one of the primary reasons why film photography has resurged. Once we have developed your photos, we scan them to a digital image. A film scan is a digital copy of your film negative, converted to a positive image that when scanned properly, contains a wide dynamic range allowing for more flexibility in the editing process.
Gelatin Labs is putting creative control back into your hands. Our film scans will have a flexible tonal range, which means that highlights, midtones and shadows are preserved. This makes editing a breeze.
Highlights are bright areas in the image like the sky and anywhere light is at its strongest intensity. Midtones are neutral tones that exist across your entire image. Shadows are the darkest areas in the image and can contain lots of important detail. We call our scans “Big” and “Flat” because (1) they are large in file size and (2) are neutral in contrast.
Upon first glance, your photos may seem flatter than the original scene, but that’s where the extra dynamic range comes in. The large file size stores more color and tone information that in your edit can be revealed.
You’ll quickly become a master at editing your images in the program of your choice. And if you just want to leave them alone, that’s fine too. All of the creative choices are up to you.
As film photographers, we understand that film scans benefit from this “flat approach” in order to best align with your vision. We believe in the value of shooting film and the effort, time and money you’ve put into your work. That’s why we offer film scans that are so good, you can actually edit them!
If you’re a nerd for the numbers and photo lingo like we are, this is for you. TIFFs, DPI, and color science not important to ya? The short of it: your scans are in good hands.
When it comes to the quality of your scans, more bits the better. We only deliver your scans at our highest available output of color depth. At 48 bits, our scans will display the color complexity that your negatives deserve.
By default, our scans are delivered to you in the uncompressed .TIFF file format. Compared to the JPEG format used by most labs, which strips your image of important data and color information, .TIFF stores everything the scanner sees. In today’s world of faster download speeds, larger hard drives, and faster computers, we think .TIFF should be the standard.
Invest in yourself
It’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to shooting film. Having scans that adapt to you, and not the other way around, is integral to developing your style as you become a more seasoned photographer. Harnessing the capabilities of our scans, you’ll be able to take full advantage of what your negatives have to offer.
When you invest in quality film scans, you’re investing in the future of your photography – one step closer to discovering your individual “right way” of doing things.
We’re proud to be able to give you the power to take photos the way you want.