One of the places I visited during my trip to China in 1999 was the town of Suzhou. Established over 2500 years ago the town is famous for silk production, its gardens and, according to legend is home to the most beautiful women in China. (In hindsight, maybe I should’ve stayed there longer….! but I digress) One of the things to see there is the “Master of the Nets” garden and pavilion. In the evening musicians perform with traditional instruments and there are also displays of dancing. Today’s image, as you can see, is of one of the musicians performing on a balcony. Taken on colour negative film, the scanned image needed plenty of work in Photoshop to get an acceptable final result. Consider the scene, photograph taken with flash but at a distance which is right at the limit of the flash’s range so minimal flash effect, man in very light coloured clothing surrounded by masses of very dark, almost black timber and the only light sources in the image are the barely perceptible overhead lanterns.
The scan from the colour negative original was dark with no shadow detail visible and little colour, ouch. Not the way I recall the scene. The image would require brightening, contrast, and colour adjustments both to the overall image and also localized effects in order to arrive at a presentable image.
Original capture on colour negative film with Pentax SF7 and 28-80mm zoom lens.
**** Updated 18.11.16. The image now displayed was reprocessed using Lightroom 5.7. Exposure was increased, black point brought down, modest increases in Colour Saturation, Vibrance and Clarity. Localized adjustments were made to all but the person, additional noise reduction being applied to overcome excessive film grain present in the original scan. Further localized adjustments were made to the overhead lanterns with colour temperature and colour saturation both being increased. **** ~KD