How To Edit Negative Film Scans Using Free Software: GIMP

How to scan negative film using GIMP

If Your Negative Scans Have Noise, Dust, Scratches, Flat Colours, Then Here's How To Use GIMP To Fix Those Problems

Here's what you'll get after reading this article...

  • Top 3 problems every negative scan has -- and a step-by-step guide to fix them
  • How to fix the colours if they are flat, faded, or don't look right
  • How to get rid of negative film grain, noise, and dust
  • How to adjust exposure levels so your scans aren't too dark or bright
  • Do all this with free editing software... download GIMP free, here

Ready? Fire up your scanner... load your negatives... and let's go!

Problem #1: Dust, Scratches, Noise, Film Grain

Check what ISO your negative film number is, this is causing film grain and noise

Take out a negative strip. If you look closely, you'll notice an "ISO" number. The more expensive the film, the higher the ISO number. A higher ISO number meant that you could shoot in dark and bright areas and get good quality photos.

But here's the problem when scanning...

Higher the ISO number, the more grain you'll see when you scan your negative film

ISO means more film grain. This is great for photo printing. The grain helped show more detail in low light situation. And your photos didn't turn out all dark.

And the higher the ISO number your negative film is, the more grain your scans will have.

But there is a way to fix this. Here is a the step-by-step guide to fix film grain, noise, and dust using GIMP...

Problem #2: Flat, Faded, Colours -- No Matter How Old Your Negatives Are

It doesn't matter how old your negatives are. Or how well you kept them safe from light and the elements.

Take a look at your negative...

Your scanner will also scan the light coming off your negative film

...your scanner will also scan the light coming off the negative film surface.

And what's so bad about that?

This extra light will cast a weird, filmy look over your scans. And it will make the colours look dull and flat.

Let me show you...

Even the shiney gloss coming off your negative will be scanned too, leaving a flat looking scan

This "colour cast" will make your photo scans look faded (left image).

So how do you get the colours back to their original luster? Check out...

Problem #3: Negative Scans Are Too Bright Or Too Dark

Another problem with negative scanning is sometimes your image will come out too dark or bright. Have look...

Below is an over exposed negative scan (left) and the same scan fixed (right). You'll notice the left image is too blown-out.

On the left is an over exposed negative scan... which looks blown out and too bright

Below is an under exposed negative scan (left) and the same scan fixed (right). You'll notice the left image is too dark.

On the left is an under exposed negative scan... which is too dark

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to fix negative scan exposure using GIMP...

Table Of Contents: How To Edit Negative Scans Using GIMP

Here are the steps again...

Free Ebook: Tells You Secrets To Getting High Quality Slide, Negative, Photos Scans In Half The Time

Which of these scanning troubles do you want to overcome?

  • What's the best resolution / DPI to scan your slides, negatives, and photos -- so you don't lose details
  • Best method to digitize slides, negatives, photos using your regular flatbed or film scanner
  • How to clean your negatives, slides, and photos before you scan them -- so you don't scratch them
  • What side should you scan a slide or negative -- so they're not backwards or facing the wrong way
  • How to setup your scanner to get higher quality digital images -- 24bit JPEG? 48bit TIFF?
  • How to fix your digital images using Digital ICE, GIMP, or Photoshop and make them look new
  • How to improve your scan workflow so you can double your productivity and finish your project twice as fast
  • Understand the technical stuff of a digital image so you can make sideshow videos, reprints, and more!

Hey, my name is Konrad. I've been scanning professionally since 2005. I've helped multi-billion dollar companies, pro sports teams, pro photographers, artists, museums, book publishers, etc. I've scanned over 930,000 slides, negatives, photos.

The reason I'm telling you this is because no matter what challenge or frustration you're having, I know exactly what you're going through. So, to help you RIGHT NOW, I've put together a super simple scanning guide to get you started.

How to scan slides negatives photos into digital, free ebook download

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