I have always had this mentality — I suppose from viewing all these incredible images online on Blogs/Instagram/Social Media? that Film Photography, equates to the utter lack of Post–Production after having that roll of film developed and scanned.
Like I had this idea that all scans that came back from a Lab would be great. Like legitly jaws–dropping, pants dropping images with superb pastel–y tones and mood and all. But sadly no, the scans I get back from the Lab is definitely a no–go. Mine all looked like crap. The colours look stale and washed out, the mood + emotions that I envisioned did not come to fruition/surface. Reality of the much hyped film scans felt like shit. I felt like quitting too. I blamed my gear. I blamed myself — I firmly believed that such crap was only the consequence of my bad handling towards light.
Looking back / at present, it was and is indeed a stupid mentality to have had.
Reading articles/forums online, and a godsend of a book (FilmIsNotDead by Jonathan Canlas), it hit me, a revelation, laughable I guess — is that it is indeed okay to edit/tweak your scans back once you get them! Like dude.
The Lab actually scanning the frames to a disc is in itself converting that tangible medium to an intangible digital file. A digital file that like RAW files is malleable — to a certain extent of course (since it is not RAW format, it is JPEG as a basic scan. Unless it is TIFF, but that is another story + experimentation possibility altogether.)
But one thing is for sure, and definitely sure I am — editing the digital equivalent of Film scans are like the easiest thing ever! With Lightroom’s capability to batch–process too, I can easily refine my images as a lot with the tones + mood? I envisioned from the get–go.
So yes, please, please do not fall into a similar trap in thinking that the scans you get back from the Lab are the final end–products. It does not make any sense why the Digitally captured files can/should be edited while it’s Film cousin can’t.
It is super ridiculous to have thought that way and I hope that this rant/argument/brain–fart has made sense and would be worth a reminder/call–to–embolden/a story to chew upon.