The Linear RAW Scans Photoshop panel has been designed to correctly convert a linear (raw) scan from a negative to a positive form. I find that creating a straight linear scan with no scanner software adjustments gives me a good strong starting point.
A linear scan produces information which has been directly captured by the scanner sensor. This type of file is not gamma corrected and has a gamma value of 1.0. In practice, we use a gamma value of 2.2 in our workflow and therefore the linear scan needs to be re-mapped for a better word to our working gamma value.
The two common scanning software, VueScan and Silverfast both offer the option to scan the negatives in RAW Linear format. A third part plugin for Photoshop called ColorPerfect is also available to convert the Raw Linear scan into a gamma 2.2 working space.
My VueScan scanning black and white negative video tutorials include a section on how to scan a Raw Linear negative with VueScan and also touches on the ColorPerfect plugin.
In conjunction with re-mappping the gamma, the image which is still represented as a negative requires converting to a positive. The Linear Scans panel will take care of both these steps for you.
The gamma remap is performed on import to Photoshop via a custom profile which is automatically installed with the Photoshop panel.
The conversion from negative to positive is performed by simply pressing the Negative To Positive button on the Photoshop panel.
By the nature of just collecting data directly from the scanner sensor, the produced image in most cases will lack contrast and could to the human eye appear to be flat. The panel comes pre programmed with a series of contrast adjustment curves. Each contrast adjustment is fully adjustable and is placed on it’s own layer keeping your workflow completly non-destructive. The Auto contrast option is used used to re-map the black and white points to a more acceptable level.
The panel has been designed to work with black and white film negatives when scanned in 16bit Greyscale and not as RGB.
- Photoshop CC 2014 and above
- Windows 7 and above
- Mac OSX 10.9 and above