Workflow: Local Adjustments to Negative or Positive copy?

Hi all,

Currently digitizing a very large project and coming up on some workflow questions/concerns.

I was wondering how the group tends to attack post-processing of their scanned negatives, particularly in regards to local adjustments?

Personally, I would love to work on the one copy of my negative, that is, the scanned and converted DMG from my scanner. The problem comes in with local adjustments, which, despite me reversing the direction in which I would move the sliders (less exposure slider = more exposure comp) the behavior of said local adjustments on the converted negatives winds up being drastically different than the same manipulations on the positive copy. Even simple things like a gradient filter on exposure value looks way different on the positive copy vs converted negative.

How does everyone deal with this? Use NLP to get a decent starting point and then save positives and do detailed work on those?

Thanks in advance for any insights

I’ve basically had the same experience, dealing with my negatives. There’s a lot more involved into converting a negative than simple inverting colours, so the sliders in LR are mostly not doing what you’d expect.

I tend to work inside of NLP as much as I can and if local adjustments are needed, I work off the positive – That’s basically the only way to make this work.

Thanks, that is where I am as well. It’s a bit of a pain since it really increases data size and makes file management a little more difficult. I would love to have one file and that is it; tall order I guess. Thanks for weighing in.

Yea… It can increase data size quite significantly. When it comes to management, you should see the NLP and TIFF being stacked up, so at least it’s not a complete mess.

Though I agree – Having it all in one file would ideal!

1 Like

Yes I’m also having the same workflow.

  1. try to create a solid starting point in NLP (mostly a flat version)
  2. removing dust manually
  3. converting to jpg
  4. applying my “NLP Preset” to fix the flat copy to a final image
  5. make small lokal adjustments

Works very well for me.

1 Like

Though NLP has been updated since these articles were written the basic principles remain the same. You may find them useful:

1 Like

Will take a look, thanks Mark.