Color film choice for photographing artwork

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Fintan, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    I'm looking for 120 color [positive] film recomendations for photographing un framed paintings under studio flash lighting.

    Anyone with experience give me a recomendations?

    I'll need it to be true color.
    Sharp.
    Scan well.
    Exposure lattitude would be handy but not totally necessary.

    Fintan
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I have alway used either Provia or Astia to take the art work photos for clients, my personal choice is Provia, true to color with not much saturation, very fine grained and nice smooth color transitions.

    Dave
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    EPN is probably the most neutral film out there for this purpose.
     
  4. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Ektachrome 160T - 3200k lamps. Created for photographing artwork.
     
  5. panchromatic

    panchromatic Member

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    I don't do it, but i often here people using fuji astia, or ektachrome 64T, 160T
     
  6. Clueless

    Clueless Member

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    What is the intended out-put? Why not check with the scanner operator/service?
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you're using strobes, then you wouldn't want a tungsten film like 160T or 64T, or you'll have to gel your lights or filter the lens.
     
  8. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm using strobes [Elinchrom Style 600 to be precise] and I'm not sure what scanning will be done yet. The job is to produce slides and after that the lady is on her own....:cool:

    But ultimatly its for an exhibition catalog and her website.
     
  9. steve

    steve Member

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    Kodak EPN is what I use for this kind of work as it's made for copy work, catalog work, and museum documentation. However, if I were you, I would shoot a test roll to confirm color balance with your strobes and your lab's processing to see if the combination needs a slight CC correction for an exact match.
     
  10. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I've been using Agfachrome RSX 50 with DynalLites.
    So far, five (5) students have been accepted into Art Schools after submitting those slides.
    The Artists themselves will be the most critical of the color balance.

    Recommendations:

    1. Framed or not framed, with glass, or without - be *very* careful with reflections. Two (2) light sources, each 45 degrees from the work at equal strength, work well, but do NOT ignore ambient light.

    2. Exposure will be important, if not critical. I would suggest Incident readings with a good flash meter.

    3. Be careful with perspective. Keep the camera centered on the work, and avoid "keystoning".

    4. Eliminate all of the background in the axis not covered my the frame. Black mat board, propped in place by whatever means, is useful here.

    5. Warn your client that metallic inks/ paints are off limits. There is NO way that I know of to reproduce the metallic "look" with film of any sort.

    6. If multiple copies are needed, make additional exposures. *Much* less expesive than producing copies, and quality will not be affected by the additional process.

    Good luck! This will not be "easy".
     
  11. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    As Ed said, if they are behind glass, it is very important to get rid of the glare of the glass, I alway set my lights at a 45 and also use polarising gels in front of the lights to get rid of any glare from the glass.

    Dave
     
  12. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    Guys thanks for these replies, can I just ask you what light modifier would you use? Softboxes, Umbrellas or just reflectors?
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I just use plain reflectors at 45-degrees to the work to be copied, and I don't polarize unless the work isn't really flat. If it has some texture, like an oil painting, then you might also have better results if you cross polarize.
     
  14. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Bring lots of black fabric to mask the art work ( think overmatting ) and to - if needed - make a shoot through mask for the camera... to eliminate yourself reflecting in the artwork. Bring a kodak or macbeth color chart, and include in a frame.

    Many slides are computer generated now: in any case, having a reference like a color chart makes the lab's work easy. Easier.

    I'd prefer using EPN, the absolute KING of correct color. But if E6 is out, look at Kodak Ultra Color 100. Scanning a 'chrome will be easier for the lab to nail the color.

    As for lighting, use plain, small, reflectors, at a 45 degree angle.

    Good luck.
     
  15. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.
     
  16. cvik

    cvik Member

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    I haven't photographed any artwork but judging by your list, one film comes to mind, Agfa RSX 50 - sharp, neutral colors and scans well.
    I see many recommend tungsten balanced films but this is clearly not the choice if you use flash.