Guide: How to Make Photo from Negative – Professional Steps

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to make a photo from a negative. We will cover the necessary preparations for converting your negatives, the settings and options to consider in the conversion process, and how to edit your image using Negative Lab Pro. By following our professional steps, you will be able to transform your negatives into stunning photos effortlessly.

how to make photo from negative

Key Takeaways:

  • Converting negatives to photos is an exciting and rewarding process.
  • Properly preparing your negatives is essential for successful conversion.
  • Negative Lab Pro offers powerful tools for converting and editing your images.
  • Converting black and white negatives requires specific steps and settings.
  • Home film development is a great option for those interested in a hands-on approach.

Preparing Your Negatives for Conversion

Before you can convert your negatives into beautiful photos, it is essential to properly prepare them. The preparation process varies depending on the type of negatives you have, such as digital camera scans, Vuescan/Silverfast RAW DNGs, or TIF scans.

If you have digital camera scans, one important step is to use the white balance selector in Lightroom. By sampling off the film border, you can ensure accurate color representation in your final photo. Additionally, you may need to crop out any non-film elements that might be present in your scans.

For Vuescan/Silverfast RAW DNGs, you should make sure that the ‘Negative Lab v2.1’ raw profile is available. This profile is specifically designed for converting negatives and will help optimize your results. Again, sampling the film border for white balance is crucial for accurate color reproduction.

In the case of TIF scans, it is important to adjust the gamma if it is not already set at 1.8 or 2.2. This adjustment ensures that the tonal range of your image is correctly interpreted. Additionally, be sure to exclude any non-film elements from the analysis to avoid unwanted effects in the conversion process.

By following these preparation steps, you can ensure that your negatives are ready for conversion and maximize the quality of your final photos.

Preparing Your Negatives for Conversion: Summary

  • For digital camera scans, use the white balance selector in Lightroom and crop non-film elements if necessary.
  • For Vuescan/Silverfast RAW DNGs, ensure the ‘Negative Lab v2.1’ raw profile is available and sample the film border for white balance.
  • If you have TIF scans, adjust the gamma if it’s not at 1.8 or 2.2 and exclude non-film elements from the analysis.

By following these specific preparation steps for each type of negative, you can ensure accurate color representation and optimal results in the conversion process.

Opening Negative Lab Pro

Once your negatives are prepared, it’s time to open Negative Lab Pro. This powerful plugin for Lightroom allows you to convert your negatives into stunning photos with just a few clicks. To open Negative Lab Pro, you can use the shortcut key or go to the Plug-in Extras menu in Lightroom.

Before you start the conversion process, it’s important to adjust the conversion settings according to your preferences. Negative Lab Pro offers several customizable options to enhance your images. You can choose the color model, adjust the pre-saturation level, and even set a border buffer.

By selecting the appropriate settings in Negative Lab Pro, you have the flexibility to make the conversion process tailored to your needs and preferences. These settings will ensure that your negatives are transformed into vibrant and captivating photos.

Conversion Settings

When opening Negative Lab Pro, you will be presented with a range of conversion settings to fine-tune your images. Let’s take a closer look at what each setting entails:

  1. Color Model: This setting allows you to choose the color model for your converted images. You can select between Adobe RGB, ProPhoto RGB, and sRGB, depending on your specific requirements.
  2. Pre-Saturation Level: The pre-saturation level determines the initial saturation of your converted images. You can adjust this setting to achieve your desired level of vibrancy.
  3. Border Buffer: The border buffer setting adds a buffer zone around the edges of your images. This helps to prevent any color distortion or noise caused by the film borders.

By experimenting with these conversion settings, you can find the perfect balance and achieve the desired look for your converted photos. Remember, these settings are not set in stone, and you can always go back and make adjustments as needed.

Converting Your Negative

Now that you have prepared your negatives, it’s time to move on to the exciting process of converting them into stunning photos. With Negative Lab Pro, this conversion is made simple and efficient. To begin the conversion, click on the “CONVERT NEGATIVE” button in the software.

Negative Lab Pro will then analyze every pixel of your image, separating the color channels and calculating the necessary color corrections and tone curves. This analysis is crucial for transforming your negative into a beautiful photograph. The analyzed information is saved in the metadata of the image, allowing for future adjustments and edits.

“Negative Lab Pro’s powerful algorithms and intelligent analysis ensure accurate and realistic color conversions, giving your photos a natural and authentic look.”

Through this conversion process, Negative Lab Pro takes the guesswork out of color correction and ensures consistent results across all your negatives. The software’s advanced algorithms and intelligent analysis guarantee accurate and realistic color conversions, giving your photos a natural and authentic look.

With just a click of a button, your negative is transformed into a vibrant and captivating photo, ready to be shared and admired. Negative Lab Pro simplifies the conversion process, allowing you to focus on the creative aspects of photography and unleash the true potential of your negatives.

converting your negative

Table: Key Features of Negative Lab Pro Conversion

Feature Description
Automatic Color Correction Negative Lab Pro analyzes and corrects color channels to ensure accurate and realistic conversions.
Intelligent Tone Curves The software calculates optimal tone curves for each image, enhancing dynamic range and tonal balance.
Metadata Saving All conversion information is saved in the image’s metadata, allowing for future adjustments and edits.
Consistent Results Negative Lab Pro guarantees consistent and reliable color conversions across all your negatives.
Time-Saving The software streamlines the conversion process, allowing you to convert negatives into photos effortlessly.

Editing Your Image Using Negative Lab Pro

Negative Lab Pro provides a comprehensive set of editing controls that allow you to bring out the desired aesthetic from your film. These controls have been specifically designed to work with the original negative, ensuring natural and accurate results. One of the key features of Negative Lab Pro is its tone controls, which enable you to make precise adjustments to the tonal values of your image. This includes brightness, contrast, shadows, highlights, and midtones.

To start editing your image, simply open it in Negative Lab Pro and navigate to the tone controls panel. Here, you can choose from a variety of tone profiles to suit your desired look. These profiles serve as a starting point and can be further fine-tuned to achieve the perfect balance of tones in your photo. Additionally, you can manually adjust the brightness and contrast sliders to further refine the overall tonality of your image.

Furthermore, Negative Lab Pro offers advanced color and curve controls, allowing you to make selective adjustments to specific color channels. This is especially useful when dealing with color casts or correcting color imbalances in your negatives. By leveraging these powerful editing features, you can truly unlock the full potential of your negatives and create stunning, professional-quality photos.

Example of Tone Controls in Negative Lab Pro

Tone Control Description
Brightness Adjusts the overall brightness of the image.
Contrast Controls the difference between light and dark areas of the image.
Shadows Adjusts the darkness of the shadow areas in the image.
Highlights Controls the brightness of the highlight areas in the image.
Midtones Refines the tonal values in the middle range of the image.

With Negative Lab Pro, you have the tools and flexibility to edit your images with precision and achieve professional-looking results. Whether you’re enhancing the tonality, correcting color imbalances, or fine-tuning the overall look of your photo, Negative Lab Pro offers a seamless and intuitive editing experience for photographers working with negatives.

Converting Black and White Negatives

Converting black and white negatives requires a slightly different process than converting color negatives. To start, you don’t need to white balance the negatives. Additionally, it’s important to crop out any non-film elements from the image. Once you’ve prepared your black and white negatives, it’s time to open Negative Lab Pro and select the B+W color model.

When opening Negative Lab Pro, selecting the B+W color model is crucial for achieving accurate black and white conversions. This setting ensures that the software understands the specific characteristics of black and white film. After setting the color model, you can proceed with the conversion process.

The recommended settings for converting black and white negatives in Negative Lab Pro include using a linear + gamma tone profile. This tone profile helps to preserve the tonal range and detail in the image. It’s also important to adjust the brightness and contrast settings according to your preference and the specific characteristics of your black and white negatives. By following these steps, you can achieve high-quality black and white conversions with Negative Lab Pro.

Converting Black and White Negatives

Tone Profile Brightness Contrast
Linear + Gamma Adjust to desired brightness Adjust to desired contrast

Home Film Development – Black and White Process

For those who are interested in taking their film photography to the next level, developing black and white film at home is a rewarding and accessible option. This process allows you to have full control over the development of your images, resulting in unique and personalized results. To get started with home film development, there are a few essential tools and supplies that you will need:

  • A changing bag to load your film onto a reel in complete darkness.
  • A developing tank and reels to hold the film during the development process.
  • A digital thermometer to ensure accurate temperature control.
  • A timer to keep track of the development time.
  • Beakers or containers to mix and hold the chemicals.

When it comes to the chemicals used in black and white film development, there are a few key components. The black and white developer is responsible for developing the latent image on the film, bringing it to life. You can choose between liquid developers or powder developers, each with its own characteristics and effects on the final image.

The next step in the process is using a fixer, which removes any remaining undeveloped silver halides from the film, making it stable and ready for further handling. Additionally, a stop bath is used to halt the development process and prepare the film for fixing. It’s important to follow the recommended dilutions and timings for each chemical to ensure accurate and consistent results.

When developing black and white film at home, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Always work in a well-ventilated area and wear protective gloves and goggles to avoid any direct contact with the chemicals. Follow the instructions provided with the chemicals and dispose of them properly after use.

Equipment Needed for Home Film Development Chemicals for Black and White Film Development
A changing bag Black and white developer
A developing tank and reels Fixer
A digital thermometer Stop bath
A timer
Beakers or containers


Converting a negative into a photo is a fascinating process that allows you to unlock the true potential of your film. By following the professional steps outlined in this guide, you can easily transform your negatives into stunning photos.

Whether you choose to use Negative Lab Pro or explore home film development, these methods provide effective ways to bring your images to life. With a bit of practice and experimentation, you’ll be able to achieve the desired results and make the most out of your negatives.

So, don’t let your negatives gather dust. Start the journey of converting them into beautiful photos using the techniques shared in this comprehensive guide. Discover the joy of seeing your film come to life and share your unique vision with the world.

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