About a year ago I read an article in a magazine about the legendary Tri-X film from Kodak and as I looked thru some of the iconic photos taken with this film, I started to feel a bit jealous at the generations of film shooters before me. At the end of the articles where listed several ways for the digital shooter to achieve the characteristic look of the Tri-X film, listed was also the price.
I managed to find the article at www.photopromagazine.com, although with fewer images than the printed article.
At one point I chose Aperture as my go to software for filing and editing my images, but it so happens that all the awesome software for adding film effects like grain etc. is quite expensive and will often be a standalone piece of software that makes a processed copy of the image, prolonging the processing time and adding a new file to Aperture that is three times as large as the original file. These problems can however be totally avoided by creating a Kodak Tri-X preset for Aperture and I did so by looking at how a program like Silver FX from Nik Software renders the b/w tones and what kind of curve adjustment it uses.
Below you can see the result of my efforts and I think that I managed to nail the b&w conversion pretty well, but the grain is hard to recreate with the adjustments found in Aperture and it is really a big part of the Tri-X look. A grainy look can still be achieved if you bump up the ISO on your camera, and turn down the noise reduction in both camera and Aperture. Notice the difference in file size on the two images.
Feel free to download the preset, try it out and leave feedback. I hope you like it.
Keywords: Tri-x, b&w, black and white, classic look, contrasty, film, journalistic look, kodak, kodak tri-x, preset
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