The best color negative inversion method

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How to use

1. Preparations

Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo required. How to install and use actions.

Best results are achieved with linear scans saved as 16bit RGB .tif files.

You must ensure that the scan doesn't have missing/clipped data, caused by inadequate scanner exposure.

2. Base sampling

For the action to work, we have to first sample the color of the negative base.

This can be done either from a separate frame, or from leaving a bit of base visible outside of the scan crop.

Once the base is sampled as the foreground color in Photoshop, the action can be used on all scans from the same batch, but the scans have to share the same settings. For best accuracy, use a 5x5 pixel sample size on your Eyedropper Tool, and ensure that the sampled coluor is the lightest tone in your uninverted scan.

3. Adequate Cropping

Leaving the film rebate and visible base of the film outside of the frame in the crop is fine, but it might affect the final contrast.

For best results, crop the image first so that most of the film base is no longer visible.

Special care must be taken to avoid black parts outside of the frame, such as these caused by negative carriers, masking tape, etc. These can cause loss of contrast and colour casts