color theory and paper negative hand coloring

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by jnanian, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    ok

    last night i woke up in the middle of the night
    after a zombie related, walking dead series of dreams
    and had a great idea
    i was to hand color my negatives, not my positives ..
    i was wondering if a color wheel would tell me what
    the colors would be after the images were printed ?
    and would that mean i would color the opposite on the wheel
    what i really wanted it to be ?
    i'm probably going to use oil crayons or water colors

    thanks in advance !
     
  2. frotog

    frotog Member

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  3. amac212

    amac212 Member

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    It's an interesting idea but I wonder how the pigments might block light and affect how well they print or scan? Why not give it a go with a test negative!
     
  4. edcculus

    edcculus Member

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    I drink RC cola
    in my GM truck
    down BY the river

    thats a simple anagram thingy I learned in my graphics/printing classes about filters and colors. This is also knows and "subtractive color theory".
    red filters magenta and yellow, thus prints Cyan
    Green filters yellow and red, thus prints Magenta
    Blue filters magenta and cyan, thus prints yellow.

    I dont do any color photography printing, but that is at least a simple explanation of color theory.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    One problem that I foresee is getting the right color. When coloring a positive print what you see is what you get. When dealing with a negative finding the right complimentary color is more difficult. For example, while you may get a green is that just the shade of green you want.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    fro, ama + edc
    thanks for your help .. :smile:


    hmmm

    i didn't think about that jerry

    maybe tonight after i watch another few walking dead episodes
    i will wake up in the middle of the night and shout " eureka ! "
    but this will give me something to gnaw on ..

    thanks ...

    john
     
  7. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    This might be where digital technology can come to the rescue.

    I assume you are going to be working on some kind of light table. Yes?
    Why not set up a digicam on a copy stand over your light table and take periodic pictures of your work in progress?
    You could run them through Photoshop and reverse the colors to check how well you are doing.

    The caveat is that your camera, your application software and your display will all have to be properly color calibrated so that you can see the colors as they closely approximate the way they will come out in the end.
     
  8. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Proofing through scanning is an interesting idea. I could imagine someone developing a complex process of proofing, measuring and adjusting pigment in order to dial in faithful color reproduction. But then I'm reminded of how compelling hand-colored photographs oftentimes are (think Curt Teich postcards as well as individually handwrought examples). Perhaps this quality has less to do with accurate color representation and more to do with large swaths of the photograph being covered by even-hued shades of color, lending a dreamy quality to what might otherwise be a very pedestrian view.

    I think you should just go for it and use trial and error. I look forward to seeing the results!
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    after another night of zombies
    i decided to wing it ..
    i think what i am going to do is just make swatches
    with the media i plan on using
    scan and invert them
    and go from there ...
    maybe ... do it on acetate first .. maybe a layer thing?
    i keep thinking color + cubism ..

    i might not be able to post in the gallery, so i will post
    my results in my apug or off site blog ..

    thanks again for your suggestions !
    john
     
  10. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    John- If you're willing to experiment, in addition to what you've mentioned, try oils, food coloring, dyes, and pencils (if you want textured color). Whatever you use, you'll need an even density if you want an even tone on the positive. Q-Tips, and cotton balls, will even your application.
    You could always print a bunch of step wedges, and color each of them with one color. Then, you'd see how each color lays (and prints) on a particular tone.
     
  11. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I'd say you're on the right track.
    You don't need a digital proof every step of the way. Only to get you started.

    Once you have the color(s) the way you want them, they aren't likely to change much.

    Besides, as most people who work on negatives, you'll probably start to see in reverse, anyway. :wink:
     
  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Shoot, I have done it. Similar anyway. 30 years ago... I must have had boundless energy because I also made copy shots of the finished print to use in a slide show...

    I think I used a sheet of plastic over the 35mm negative and colored in the complementary color with an ordinary felt pen... then I printed the black and white negative to color paper...

    Yellow painting made a Blue raincoat... Blue paint made a yellow campfire... The red made kind of teal trees...
     
  13. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    eddie + randy, thanks !

    and bill, those are pretty cool .
    thanks for digging them up :smile:

    - john