It was a cold late afternoon to be standing in dense drizzle fiddling about with my Canon EOS 50 and Fujifilm Reala long exposures – something I’d be less inclined to do with a digital camera. Such has been the ups and downs of life (and further downs) that I’m only just now getting to process this negative, along with many others. It was shot 14 years ago, almost to the day – November 2004. Yes, it’s just a shot of an old tractor. In black and white. And yes, the colour original could have been snapped today on my non-iPhone. But for me it made a worthy still-life, of sorts.
I used a Plustek 8100 scanner to create the 18 MP TIFF which I then brought into ON1 for B&W processing. It’s tempting to process for ideal tonal results in the scanning software. However, I’ve learned it’s preferable to try to get the best range of tones possible and avoid distinct colour casts. There are a daunting range of tonal and colour controls in Silverfast software (see an example below). It’s all too easy to get bogged down at the scanning stage rather than making proper use of a fully-equipped software package such as ON1 Photo RAW, or whatever you prefer. However, it’s best to capture good colour strength when scanning.
There was power in this old tractor though I didn’t risk trying to start it. Someone had given it an indiscriminate paint job – especially the front wheel – perhaps in an attempt to make it some kind of garden ornament for the tourists, which is one reason why I converted it to B&W.