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Reversing a negative image...

Resoman

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#1
I'm finally getting around to doing something I've been thinking about for a while: making digital "internegs" of some of my 6x6 b/w negatives, with the intent to work with them in LR. I'm using a DSLR w/macro lens, glass negative carrier and a TTL flash for illumination. My initial results are promising but I realize that I now have to "reverse" this negative image I've created (that was so easy to do in the darkroom!). I don't see how I can do this in LR, and assume this step will have to be done in PS, which I rarely use.
But, I thought I'd ask here first; is there any way of reversing a negative image in LR CC?
Thanks,
Gary,
Elgin, TX
 

Hal P Anderson

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#3
You can do it in Lightroom. Go into the Point Curve (button on lower right). Drag the left endpoint of the curve to the top, and the right to the bottom. That will turn your negative positive (or vice versa):



Note that the Basic slider's (some of them at least) action will be reversed.
 

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clee01l

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#4
You can do it in Lightroom. Go into the Point Curve (button on lower right). Drag the left endpoint of the curve to the top, and the right to the bottom. That will turn your negative positive (or vice versa):
Note that the Basic slider's (some of them at least) action will be reversed.
Then save that custom Point curve as a preset and you can invoke it on any image.
 

Resoman

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#5
Thanks, Hal & Cletus!
Is this technique just as good as using "Invert" in PS?
Gary
 

Ferguson

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Yeah, but in Photoshop after inversion the other adjustments, like curves, work as one would expect. I find it VERY hard to do this in Lightroom adequately. You can get somewhat close, but some negatives are just awful to process in Lightroom but quite viable in Photoshop.

In Photoshop just invert, the sample with the mid-dropper and you frequently get really good results. Try it in Lightroom and it's LSD inspired psychedelics.

Thousands of negatives later I'm still hoping for a better non-destructive solution as I don't want huge TIF's of every show. I've also used Vuescan to do the inversion, it does a VERY nice job in most cases, better than Photoshop. I highly recommend it as an alternative (but like Photoshop it means huge TIF's).
 

JohanElzenga

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#8
I'm not sure what you're doing with the mid dropper, but you can't use curves (at least not the point curve) to adjust the images after you've applied the inverted curve, if that is that you're doing. That curve must stay the straight line from top left to bottom right, because that's your non-destructive 'invert' command. True, it takes a little getting used to the fact that some sliders now work exactly opposite, but I find that after a while it will be quite easy.
 

I-See-Light

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#9
I did a job for a friend- 200 6x9cm B&W negs.
Lightrtoom did all the basics I needed to get some decent images. Only a few required more work in PS.
As well as inverting the tone curve I gave it the traditional S-Curve to increase contrast at the same time as inverting the tones. This was one step closer to final that could be included in one preset "Invert+Contrast"
Some negs required vignettes or gradients as well.
 

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johnbeardy

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Yeah, but in Photoshop after inversion the other adjustments, like curves, work as one would expect. I find it VERY hard to do this in Lightroom adequately.
That would be my view too. I just can't get my head around Lightroom's adjustments all working backwards. Even if I originally scan as a raw file, it's unlikely I'll want to make many "real" raw adjustments. So I'll get the file into Photoshop, invert there, and then work on this TIF in Lightroom or Photoshop, depending on how much needs doing.
 

Ferguson

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I'm not sure what you're doing with the mid dropper, but you can't use curves (at least not the point curve) to adjust the images after you've applied the inverted curve, if that is that you're doing. That curve must stay the straight line from top left to bottom right, because that's your non-destructive 'invert' command. True, it takes a little getting used to the fact that some sliders now work exactly opposite, but I find that after a while it will be quite easy.
I'm talking about using curves in Photoshop post inversion. It very nicely takes the color cast out from the negative, something that is not done by the inversion itself (i.e. the orange cast you see by eye on color negatives).

B&W by the way are much, much more straightforward in Lightroom.
 

clee01l

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#12
I did a job for a friend- 200 6x9cm B&W negs.
Lightrtoom did all the basics I needed to get some decent images. Only a few required more work in PS.
As well as inverting the tone curve I gave it the traditional S-Curve to increase contrast at the same time as inverting the tones. This was one step closer to final that could be included in one preset "Invert+Contrast"
Some negs required vignettes or gradients as well.
I use an inverted "S" curve preset too.
 
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JohanElzenga

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#13
I'm talking about using curves in Photoshop post inversion. It very nicely takes the color cast out from the negative, something that is not done by the inversion itself (i.e. the orange cast you see by eye on color negatives).

B&W by the way are much, much more straightforward in Lightroom.
Ah, sorry. I thought it was a post of the OP. The OP was talking about B&W negatives, so there's no problem having to neutralize the orange cast.
 

JohanElzenga

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#14
I use an inverted "S" curve preset too.
I sometimes do that as well, but a very nice option is that Lightroom has two curves. You can use the point curve for the inversion, and then the parametric curve for any contrast adjustment that is needed.
 

Resoman

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#16
Thanks to all for your ideas!
I've made a few "conversions" now, and I've been inverting in PS and doing further adjustments in LR.
One thing I knew I'd be dealing with is the issue of dust spots. I can clean these up quite well with the Spot Removal tool, although I might have 100 such procedures to do on a given image. I'll work on cleaning my old negatives!
It seems that, as these individual adjustments stack up in the History panel, LR's overall performance suffers considerably: it takes a few seconds to remove a spot that I could remove instantly at the start of the task. Does this make sense?
Anyway, I tried taking a Snapshot of my work at a later stage, hoping I'd get a fresh start, but I see no difference in performance, still a lot of time lag.
So, my questions are:
Am I just seeing things or does it make sense that performance will suffer after perhaps 100 spots are removed?
Is there any way I can avoid this delay?
thanks,
Gary,
Elgin, TX
 

Ferguson

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#17
If you are inverting in photoshop, you might want to remove the dust spots there, as it then gets baked into the image in lightroom (if you don't mind that it is baked in, i.e. you can't un-do the dust spotting later). Photoshop is often better at cloning type operations anyway.

I don't think I've ever done a hundred, but local adjustments have to be re-applied all the time in lightroom since it is non-destructive, so the more local adjustments you have the more likely it will go slow. It's not the history per se; if you had 100 or 1000 exposure adjustments it still just applies the last one when rendering; but each local adjustment is a separate thing that must be done each time.
 

mgolin

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#18
While not directly relevant to the thread, the inverted curve allows an easy "effect" of trees, etc silhouetted against a bald sky to become evenly flash-lit night scenes.
 

happycranker

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#19
Does Photoshop filter Dust & Scratches, help when trying to get rid of dust spots?
 

johnbeardy

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Does Photoshop filter Dust & Scratches, help when trying to get rid of dust spots?
To some extent, but it's not a cure-all solution. Photoshop has such a variety of cloning tools that allow you to cope with (almost) any damage to a scanned negative or slide.
 

happycranker

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#21
I just wondered because the OP has a large number of neg's to edit, if this function helps. Obviously the clone tool will have to be used in the end!
 
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