If you own a newer slide scanner, you’ve probably heard of Applied Science Fiction, developers of Digital ICE, the fantastic scratch- and dust-removing software.
Now, ASF has released two more of its software wunderkind as Photoshop plug-ins: Digital ROC and Digital SHO.
Many photographers find their older transparencies suffering from fading or chemical color shift. Digital ROC is designed to restore that original color and in my testing, it works like a champ. This amazing software doesn’t just shift a color cast, it analyzes the three channels of color and calculates what the original should look like.
This 40-year-old Ektachrome of a dock at Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, had lost its vibrancy and reverted to a blue cast, as old Ektachromes are wont to do. Digital ROC was able to restore its original color in less than 15 seconds. A series of slider bars is available to tweak images.
I should have used Digital ICE to scan the Agfachrome of Diamond Head, made in 1961 and since gone totally to hell. Dust and scratches blemish the slide. Mold from organisms in Honolulu’s water supply make it look more like a medical specimen than a Hawaiian sunrise.
Still, I was thrilled to see this disaster of a slide transformed into the scene I saw New Year’s morning, 1961. Digital ROC proves to be a perfect color correction plug-in, eliminating green casts from fluorescent-lighted shots and the orange of tungsten situations.
Digital SHO has a rougher row to hoe. It’s designed to reveal shadow detail and it does a good job on images where detail is present. This side-lighted shot of a young waitress could have been lightened with Photoshop Curves or Levels, but at the sake of the detail on her shoulder.
Digital SHO did an excellent job of bringing up detail in the shadow areas without sacrificing highlights.
A bigger challenge for Digital SHO was this image of a Venetian glassblower. The original on the left was underexposed considerably. Still, the plug-in did a decent job of revealing detail in the man’s face and shirt.
Each filter sells for $49.95 and is available for Mac and Windows. You can find out more by visiting Applied Science Fiction on the Web at http://www.asf.com.