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Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Claire Senft, Apr 18, 2005.
Is anyone using this method? What are your experiences if you are?
Since I have no idea what the Miller Method III is I obviously don't use it. Would you please explain it for those of us who haven't a clue?
It's an update on method II which I stopped using some time ago. I now use Miller Method IVa with variations.
Just a "heads up" I have taken your earlier findings and have now moved this up to method VII with an adendum that addresses the discrepencies that you acknowledged in method I (version 3a) and further modifications that increase the potential that you discovered in method 3.
Thanks for all of your work to this point.
Wait that's the Bert Miller method-) I haven't used it. From what I remember it used a densiometer etc?
I'm not going to read it all but I think that's his pitch.
Me I use a colorstar 3000. Pretty cheap on the used market today.
Dr Bertram Miller, Md a retired pediatrician who lived and I hope still lives in Mexico was a very experience color printer. Obviously, as you may well have guessed, there was a Miller Method I and II.
Miller Method III is a system that uses both software as well as a reflection densitometer to determine proper color balance for printing color negatives.
As in all systems one would have to make a test print of a known tone. A gray card was best. One would also have to indicate in the software if you were using Fuji or Kodak. Having made the test print then one would read the values with a reflection densitometer and indicate those values in the computer program. The software would recommend a new exposure and filter data. If you had the rest of your process under control then within three test prints you would have a proper print of a gray card. The software was using information for Kodak and Fuji gammas for the individual colors and do the mathematics to quickly get one into the ball park.
When the testing was completed it would be used as follows..assuming a gray card standard. Photograph a gray card just before taking photos under the existing conditions and then photograph your scene with the same settings. Process your film. Project your gray card image. Process it and make your densitometer readings. Enter those readings into the software and you would get the information for a properly exposed print of your negative and all others given the same exposure under the same conditions.
So it would go until you ran out of that emulsion batch of paper. Starting a new batch should only require on test and away you go.
Obviously if you were to use for example Kodak Gold Plus film with mercury vapor lights w/o filtration the best that could be accomplished would be a substandard print as compared to normal color balance. If you negative was way under or very much over exposed your prints would indicate that.
Tell us about Miller Method VII please.
Slightly aside but I believe relevent
when balancing interneg material, we would use three distinct methods of balancing .
1 curve plotting method(least reliable)
2. density difference (very reliable)
3. computer software plotting method(very reliable)
in all cases before we used the paticular batch of emulsion (we would purchase 1000sheets at a time) we would expose a graduated grey background that was lit from white to dark with even spread.
we would print this negative and balance for grey and then look at the print and *eyeball * the area where a cross curve would be evident and make a final correction based on a visual rather than what the charts said.
For colour negative printing the best method that I used was the VCNA method. where one balanced in a standard well exposed shirley to print , then video analysed each film and image to this standard.
A manual method I use daily now is to take a very nuetral image with the six main colour groups evident ( cyan, red, blue , yellow, green and magenta) as well as black white, flesh tone and a good grey. I then make a colour ring around based on what I and others here think a good print balance is . This ring around is then put in the colour correction lights and any new test done is compared to one of the biased prints and a print correction is made from this. (this method usually takes no more than 3 test usually less to be in balance )
I agree that finding density first is a good method before colour balance, if you do a density ring around on a good colour print you will find that a light print is biased towards cyan and a dark print is biased to red. This bias can throw a wrench into things when colour printing.
All digital printing devices to RA4 material now use a 21 step grey scale for balancing out to nuetral each step before printing is allowed.
Personally I think the Colour Ring Around approach is the best and most accurate method available, because you are looking at what off colour prints look like compared to a standard that is balance properly. Your eye gets trained to judge good colour and also to see the imbalanced mixtures of colour
After using this method ,combined with colour theory I have never seen an operator not improving within three or four sessions.(unless of course they are colour blind and then the mathematics should take over.)
Claire, I am so happy that you provided the basis for the other Miller method...
The Miller method that Dave initiated was far more involved then simply using a gray card. It involved some other factors that once mentioned will become apparent in their importance. For instance in Dave's Miller Method Two he discovered the impact of altitude and temperature in achieving an image. Now I had never thought of it before he brought it up...but yep, he was absolutely dead on. I had to admit that I do not want to schlep a view camera nearly as far when the temps are above 85 and if I am beyond 1500 feet above sea level.
He went on to discover for all of our benefit in the next version that time of day was also a consideration...You've got it...at my elevated age I run out of gas about 10 AM.
Subsequent versions of Dave"s Miller method went on to do pioneering work in other factors that were involved. I recently discovered that the mood of one's significant other had a distinct bearing...For instance, if the old lady is pissed off...I am prone to spend more time far afield making photographs...
Hope that this answers your questions. I realize that this is a broad overview..I will leave it to Dave to fill in the rest of the details.
Gee, thanks Donald.
What the hell are we talking about? I'm off to the sanity of the darkroom to practice the "Miller Method".
Where do I learn in a detailed fashion about the latest version?
Thank you for your interest. What will follow will be both a means for you to access the latest on this phenomenal method and also an incredible financial opportunity.
Dave and I are in contact about writing a book on the latest version. It seems that if we can secure enough venture capital that we will be able to secure a publisher...Usually our experience has indicated that publishers want a lot of money up front on a ground breaking body of highly technical literature of this sort.
It is for this reason that I am pleased to respond to your question with the following request for your financial contribution. If you are one of the first twenty respondents to this request, you will receive not one but two of the first leather bound volumes of the Miller Method New and Revised edition. As a charter member of the Miller Method your volumes will be autographed by Dave Miller and yours truly...or Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or any other autograph that you desire.
But wait...there is more...if you respond in the next hour we will include a black and white photograph of Dave's current mistress and my former wife.
We look forward to your support.
Hey Claire, is your leg long enough now?
I guess that no one has any interest in discussing this matter. That is OK. I learn nothing from those that know and they learn nothing and miss the satisfaxtion from sharing. But a bit of fun is fine.
Well, I agree with Claire...I learned nothing other than what he was kind enough to offer. So....I'm going to start using the only Miller method I know how to use, and that is to open the fridge, and take out a nice cold Miller Beer and read some other informative threads ;-)
Claire, I am afraid that you won't be able to make those who know about the Miller Method share their knowledge, because they have taken a silence oath when they were initiated in the Miller Methodist Circle (MMC), an underground organisation of those using the Miller Method.
The MMC members will never admit that they are part of the cult, and I think those two guys, Dave and Donald that made fun of your question are part of it. They just try to ridiculise the thread in order to shift our attention and let us think that the whole matter is unimportant.
What we should take under serious account is the possibility that the MMC might make a move in the future in order to overthrow the present leading regime in colour printing and establish their Method (the Miller Method) as the new age colour printing standard.
So, be aware...
I had an e-mail exchange with him a year or so ago so he does (I hope) still read mail.
Honestly, however, I don't think his method is much needed anymore given the developments in colour sensors. With the Lici Colorstar or Jobo Colorline one really can zero in on things and not worry too much about negative material. The reflective densitometer is still important at getting the calibration right--- the auto function is really only usefull at tracking any changes due to chemical exhaustion, termperature changes and other moving paramters--- but its more complicated than using a series of test prints and visual comparison under a norm 5000 light.
I think the main advantage of Bert's system was it de-coupled--- some people seem to have de-coupled their brains in this thread but that's another set of topics--- user judgement (and user error) from the printing process--- no need even for a "perfect" print for calibration or even to know what a "perfect" print looks like (and in the end all prints are "perfect").
His final version.. btw. I think requires a Colorstar or Colorline analyser alongside a good Status-A reflective densitometer.. and (worse of all) Microsoft Windows 2000 or newer..