Alien Skin Software has released a new plugin set called Exposure, which can reproduce the look and feel of specific types of film stock. “Simulate the warmth and softness of real world film, both color and black and white. Reproduce realistic film grain, and simplify your digital photography workflow.”
I had just yesterday been thinking about the need for this tool.
As I was browsing this photographer’s Flickr site, I noticed that I could tell which photos were digital and which were film. There doesn’t seem to be EXIF information, so I can’t validate whether I was right or not, but I am developing an eye that can tell the difference.
You can’t necessarily jump right out and say one is better or worse in all cases, but there is no question that film produces a feel that the digital images I’ve seen don’t have. I’ve had these discussions before regarding digital vs analog for film, photos and music, and I hold that in the end, digital wins, but that it needs to learn from analog along the way. I see the problem as surmountable. Vinyl records have a distinct sound, I don’t doubt that in many cases versus a CD it sounds better, but I will claim that given enough digital resolution, smart software and processor components, digital music can eclipse vinyl.
I’ve just started playing with this Exposure product, so I don’t know if it really delivers or not, but I am very interested to see where these things are going.