Burning in Wedding dress

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Matt5791, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    I have been printing some colour wedding photographs recently.

    With any wedding where the bride wears a white dress (obviously 99%) the eternal problem is retaining detail in the dress - It's easy with modern colour negative film to retain it on the negative, however I still need to bring it out in the prints.

    What I have found is, when burning in the dress when making the print, it is easy to bring out detail, but it seems to develop a Cyan cast too.

    Can anyone give me any pointers on this one?

    Many thanks,

    Matt
     
  2. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Only the perhaps too-obvious suggestion that if the whole print can't stand a filtration correction (which would make it warmer, which is usually acceptable in a portrait), then switch filtration for the burning-in only.

    Regards,

    David
     
  3. Richard Harris

    Richard Harris Member

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    If you have a cyan cast in white then you should have it in grey, which is only dark white, get my drift? You need to filter out the cyan cast with less magenta and yellow filtration. Incidentally i believe that scanners and computer software use white as the reference for making colour corrections. they assume that the brightest point of a scene is white and adjust the photograph for levels and colour accordingly. I often overexpose a test strip with white in the scene to see which way my filtration is leaning and make corrections based on that during my RA4 printing sessions.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Recommend vintage dresses to your brides :smile:.

    I think some wedding dresses have fabrics that use optical brighteners so as to appear extra white. Somewhat similar to the old "bluing" that used to be used for men's dress shirts.

    Also, if like me you use a fair amount of open shade lighting when you photograph a wedding, you end up with a fair amount of blue or cyan in the scene.

    The open shade lighting will respond to changes in filtration. The special, "extra white" fabrics are a challenge.

    Can you use a blue or cyan filter for your burns?

    Matt
     
  5. Heinz_Anderle

    Heinz_Anderle Member

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    Try scanning...

    ... with e. g. VueScan, where you can set the white point and contrast, so that all shades are resolved, and get the scan printed onto silver halide color paper (Fuji Crystal Archive!!). VueScan is tricky to adjust, but delivers much more detailed results than direct printing would do.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Heinz-

    while that may be true, that's not the appropriate solution for this forum. Better on the www.hybridphoto.com site.
     
  7. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks for the replies - sounds like the best way is to reduce M & Y or increase C for the burning.

    Matt - interesting point about the modern fabrics.

    Heinz - well this would be an obvious alternative solution, however I want to keep printing optically because I only have a cheap scanner, fine for scanning for the web or other electronic use, but not for printing from. Also I think optical printing deliveres, most of the time, more beautiful prints than those created with a "digital intermediate"

    I've switched from FCA to Endura because I can buy a box of 100 8X10 Endura for £16 and the best price I can get FCA for is £23. Plus I like the "Kodak look".

    I noticed the packaging for the Kodak paper - those boxes are a work of art! so beautifully made, they can never be thrown out after the paper is finished.
     
  8. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Matt, it would appear to me, that you could be suffering from blue sky shadow reflections.

    Having printed quite a few weddings that I have shot, as well as for other photographers, this is not an unusual problem.

    If the bride and groom are in open shade, then often the light is made up of a fair amount of skylight, which is bluish, cyan or just plain cool light, whatever you wish to call it.

    If that is the case then you may have to make the overall print more yellow to kill the blue, or more red to kill the cyan.

    Remember also that with colour printing, density will effect the colour. As a colour print picks up density (becomes darker) from longer exposure under the enlarger, the print will go more reddish, on the other hand as the print goes lighter, it will go more cyan.

    In colour printing you will note that you only use two colours in your three colour head. The reason is, that cyan (as well as red) is controlled by density.

    If you are shooting the colour weddings, I would suggest you look into a very slight warming filter as a near permanent fixture. It is not an absolute rule, but my personal experience is that it does make it quite easy to hold a white dress, white, whilst retaining warm natural looking skin tones when photographing a bridal couple in open shade, which is where most pictures seem to be done.

    I would also suggest you check to ensure that you really do have correct colour before you start a printing session. Not as easy as it sounds, but when you do achieve what you call correct colour, which means you are happy with the colour, then you are away!

    Mick.
     
  9. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Just a thought...
    How about putting light cyan (5 or 10 cc) gel or acetate filter over the hole in your burning card?
     
  10. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    Hi,
    I would second the points about the color temperature of the scene illumination and fluorescing brighteners causing havoc with whites. One quick way to mitigate the CT problem before you get to the darkroom is adding some filtration to your fill flash. Adding UV filtration may help to mitigate the optical brightener problem.

    However, as it is unlikely that you can "return to the scene of the crime," I would suggest another possible approach. One useful method for holding detail without printing down the shadows is flashing the print. The flash can be combined with selective filtration to mitigate the cast. Because the the flash affects the print proportionally by density and does not require careful local application (as e.g., required by burning) it is a particularly useful tool where density boundaries are intermixed. As there are many effective ways to implement flashing I won't append a dissertation on my pet method. However, as those who know me will attest, I would be happy to share if you are interested.

    Finally, I assume you have thoroughly tested for safelight fog, but do remember that it can contribute a pesky cyan cast in the highlights. Different papers can have varying fog thresholds (and different mal-reactions with the same chemistry) and you did note in one of your posts that you had switched recently.
    Best.

    Celac
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think many of us would enjoy reading the dissertation. If no there in this trhread maybe you could start a new thread on yout flashing style.
     
  12. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    Ok,
    I will write up something. I think topics like this would be great for a wiki. (or a collaborative document built through something like google docs)
    Celac
     
  13. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I recognize that a flashing exposure will help to get tone (if not detail) into a print from an overexposed neg, but I don't understand how flashing helps get rid of a cast. I really would think it's a heck of a lot easier to burn in the affected areas, using an increased effective cyan exposure (i.e. reducing magenta and yellow), particularly as with color neg film you would have to make a flashing exposure through a piece of processed blank film to retain the orange mask.

    Regards,

    David
     
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  15. Richard Harris

    Richard Harris Member

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    Matt, I still would like to hear from you about the affect of more cyan/less magenta & Yellow filtration. Some of the other posters seem to be making a meal of this. I may be wrong but I would have thought it nothing more than a filtration problem. White is very sensitive, just like grey and to remove a light cyan cast in your whites will not in my experience leave a red cast over the whole picture. The use of warm up filters for negative film is pointless, automatic machine prints would filter it out and pro printers or we ourselves can warm the scene with filtration when printing. In fact so many scenes look better when given a false cast. Warming has a well known look and is appreciated by many, however, a cool look can add mood and or sophistication to a mundane shot; it's subjective; this is an analogue forum yes!
    Finally Matt, how are you getting on with the kodak endura paper? I have a mind to change, Fuji seems difficult to balance and PE said that he thought Kodak behaved more like the Konica paper that I used to Love.
    I have tried Endura but only in satin finish which I hate, I think this rather poisoned my attitude to it.
    I use Fuji superia and pro 400H film both of which print well with Kodak paper I think. I am thinking of dumping Fuji all together and going to Kodak for the film also. Wouldn't dump velvia and provia though.
     
  16. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks very much everyone for the help.

    Mick - this particular shot could easily have been affected by blue sky light - mid summer and cloudless day. So I may weel consider a slight warming filter in such circumstances in the future.

    All in all I think that I will have a crack at varying my filtration for the buring in and basically experiment a little.

    Richard - In my next session I am going to have a play with this negative more extensively. As regards the Kodak paper, I've only used the Endura a little so far, but I can see myself sticking with it. I have been using the Lustre surface.

    Next year I am going to be going for my BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photographers) qualification, which will give me more credibility as regards my wedding clients - you have to submit a panel of work for scrutiny by the judges and I want to be printing all the images myself. I think that, from my limited experience, the kodak paper has an edge, but I can't quite put my finger on why at present......maybe it is just the very high quality feel of the packaging and the way they have a piece of card on the top and bottom of the pile of paper when you get into the bag!
     
  17. Heinz_Anderle

    Heinz_Anderle Member

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    Pardon me, but splashing and playing around with inappropriate means, i. e. chemicals and above all photographic print paper with exaggerated contrast inherently limits the true capabilities of analog silver halide information recording.

    It takes me only a few moments to adjust all the parameters to obtain a better result than a halfway-acceptable darkroom print.

    I am a chemist. I understand the reactions in processing and prefer to avoid its limitations.
     
  18. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    The color shift may be due to the difference in exposure time between the print as a whole and the burned-in section.

    If this is the cause you may try opening the lens up when burning so as to minimize the burn time. Stopping the lens down, or using the head's ND, and lengthening the overall time so the burn time can be even shorter wrt the overal time might be required.

    Then there is dialing in more cyan when burning the dress (assuming color neg).
     
  19. FilmIs4Ever

    FilmIs4Ever Member

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    Or, you could dial out yellow and magenta to avoid a needless lengthening of the exposure time :rolleyes:
     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Hans- you are missing the point. I am not arguing with you about the relative merits of scanning and printing via inkjet. I am saying that APUG is not the place to discuss them. If you want to continue participation in THIS thread on THIS site, please confine your commentary to positive commentary on how to deal with the OP's issue in the context of an analog, chemical-based solution. If you want to discuss digital solutions, please do so, on www.hybridphoto.com .
     
  21. FilmIs4Ever

    FilmIs4Ever Member

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    Well, since this thread is HERE, it is silly having to go elsewhere to post about how scanning and outputting may be the only way to solve this problem. While I appreciate this forum's attempts to ban "well you should just do it digitally" posts like the ones that get bandied about by all the assholes on Photo.net, you are taking things way to far, in my opinion, attempting to effectively sensor all conversation relative to digital print manipulation. I mean, you can only stick your head so far into the sand. Now again, let me emphasize that I shoot 100% film, and analog-optically print every negative I possibly can. But, like it or not, this stuff digital is prevalent in about 95% of labs now. I'm sitting in the last commercial lab in the greater Clveland area that still offers it as I type this, but they frankly hate when I bring them printing that I want done this way. Analog printing is most definitley harder, and cannot always afford the same degree of control. Now, in the past, and maybe in some custom custom labs out there today, you can hire a master printer at over $50 an hour to make you custom prints. With the exception of these highly-skilled artists, I would recommend that the average printer stay away from making anything other than straight analog-optical prints. I'd say it's fair to say that it would take at least two or three YEARS to fully master color printing. I spent six months of intensive practice and I still couldn't get the hang of color dodging and burning, or even get to the point where I could match colors in people's skin from print to print, when I was doing weddings by hand. Unless you have a video analyser, color is ten times as hard as B&W. I got so good at B&W at one point that I could eyeball a negative and be within a half stop of the proper exposure, the first time. LIke I say, that sort of control would take years, and a good knowledge of logarithmic mathematics to match in color. You are workign against three distinct color curves and their respective reciprocity failures, maximum gamut, base fog, color shifts, paper time reciprocity, and a whole host of other issues like light bounce, paper fogging, fringing and fuzziness due to using a non-optimal F/stop on your enlarger lens to make dodging and burning more feasible, as well as filter pack corrective time compensation. And each change you make you have to go back and determine the reciprocity for that particular area you are dodging or burning.

    Now, having said that I firmly believe that there are many advantages to analog optical printing in color, which is why I still use it. However, dodging and burning color paper are borderline futile sometimes. YOu could maybe get it right after burning through 200 sheets of the stuff, but there are instances where the level of correction required just is not attainable with analog optical methods.

    Of course, without scans and samples, there is no way on Earth any of us can tell. I'd suggest the original poster include a negative scan and a scan of the prints so we can actually see what is going on; otherwise this post is pretty pointless. It is difficult to give advice without ascertaining the degree of dodging/burning & color shift that he is encountering.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2007
  22. Heinz_Anderle

    Heinz_Anderle Member

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    Printing to silver-halide-based color paper delivers an analog result, for which it finally doesn't matter if this is done in a cumbersome waste of time in a darkroom or after optimizing the contained information by an image recording device.

    Before the introduction of film scanners (all minilabs and commercial large-volume printing machines are today based on scanning and printing) the true dynamic range of color negative film could hardly be transferred to a color print. However, the results from commercial printing laboratories are unsatisfactory due to the steep gradation of color print paper. But if you like to cut masks - I do not have the time.

    I recommend to use today's standards of technology and will not discuss further with those who intend to limit other's freedom of speech. Analog photography has got a boost by the introduction of digitizing. I have shot weddings on the contrasty Superia films and have never obtained blown-out whites. It's all in the negative.

    Anyway, feel free to do whatever you want in your darkroom - but beware of a phenylene diamine contact allergy from the color developer!
     
  23. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Heinz-

    No attempts to limit your freedom of speech are being made. You are just insisting on arguing in an off-topic direction for this forum. APUG is a forum dedicated to discussion of ANALOG photography. We are not asking you to change your opinion about your preferred method for printing color. The discussion at hand is about how best to print the negative in question using an ANALOG method. Confine your contributions to the topic at hand. If you want to debate analog vs. digital, or to promote a digital solution, do it at www.hybridphoto.com . If you want to discuss potential allergies from color developers, please feel free to start a thread about the risks and how to avoid them (short of bashing analog methods or advocating the abandonment of wet-darkroom processes).
     
  24. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Sadly yet another example of how the over-narrow "purist" mission statement for APUG may ultimately prove to be its demise. Here's a guy who shoots on film and outputs on wet-process paper, and you're telling him to get out of APUG!
     
  25. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    David- no I'm not. He's not printing wet-process. He's saying that digital printing is superior to wet-process printing. I'm asking him politely to stick to the topic at hand in this thread - how to deal with the problem the OP is experiencing within the context of wet-process printing. If he wants to debate that particular issue - to wet print or to digital print, there is another forum, hybridphoto, to discuss it.
     
  26. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Actually he says this:
    <<Printing to silver-halide-based color paper delivers an analog result, for which it finally doesn't matter if this is done in a cumbersome waste of time in a darkroom or after optimizing the contained information by an image recording device.>>

    From this, I conclude that he's shooting on film and printing onto wet-process paper which is digitally balanced and exposed (as he says, the standard practice these days in commercial labs). But - I've been down this road too often already and I'm not looking for another argument!