pastel color prints

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by lee, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. lee

    lee Member

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    Greetings,

    I am looking for information on how to produce a pastel print from color negatives. I am not an intuitive color shooter so hold my hand and show me the way. Any ideas?


    lee\c
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Do you mean that you are looking for a color neg film with a pastel-like palette? If that's the case, I'd shoot Portra 160 NC.

    Agfachrome 100 used to have that kind of look as well, but I haven't shot it in years, and it's a slide film in any case.
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    Hi David,

    I am looking for ways to produce prints with a pastle look. Think David Hamilton without the vaseline on the filters and the subject matter.

    thanks for you reply,

    lee\c
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Lee has heard this from me, but I thought if I put out for others to read it might be helpful. I have not tried to achieve what he is trying but off the top of my head I felt the following might be worth a try:

    1) Shoot low contrast scenes. Particularly ones that are predominantly lighter or pastel (I know obvious)

    2) Do not protect against flare. In fact invite it. Shoot wide open. shoot into highly reflective areas or even into weaker light sources. Shoot w/o a lens shade.

    3) try the above with a softening filter

    4) Expose as normal and under develop (c41)

    5) Over expose a fair amount (experiment but I suspect 2 stops) and under develop

    6) try different combinations of the above.

    7) I also agree that NC or even VC would be preferable to most of the Fuji line up.
     
  5. Poco

    Poco Member

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    This brings up a question I've been curious about -- is there anything in the printing stage that can be done to reduce the satuaration of colors? I was thinking maybe diffusion during part of the exposure, but haven't tried it yet.
     
  6. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The greater the enlargement will have some effect. Using a portrait paper (fuji CA P or Kodak Portra opposed to C or Ultra) will have some effect, but mostly in contrast. I could be wrong but once the neg has been made so goes saturation.

    Shortly I am going to be trying to reduce the bleach step. I assume this will lower saturation as well as effect contrast.
     
  7. Poco

    Poco Member

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    "I assume this will lower saturation as well as effect contrast."

    Yup. I just posted a couple images to the tech gallery that shows the difference. Same shot, but one with partial bleach bypass. A couple things to note:

    - Fresh bleach doesn't take more than a few seconds to do it's thing. 30 seconds or longer and the results are identical to full bleaching (with my processing).

    - since time in the bleach is so short for partial by-pass, it's important to agitate vigorously or you'll get mottled skys and other solid tones.

    It's fun stuff.
     
  8. Poco

    Poco Member

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    Yikes! Someday I really have to learn how to scan for the web. Well, I'll leave 'em up for a few hours anyway.
     
  9. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Very Cool Poco.

    Back to the pastel Look any ideas?
     
  10. Poco

    Poco Member

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    "Pastel look"

    ...only other thing that comes to mind is preflash of film. I've been fooling with that, but can't comment on the results until I actually print -- the scanner seems to "print through" the color of the pre-flash exposure. No question the contrast is brought way down with the degree of flashing.
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Poco, try scanning the neg as a tranie. The scanner software will not introduce as much bias. If your sw allows a raw scan (no optimization of the histogram or curves) this should work as well.
     
  12. Poco

    Poco Member

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    Thanks, will do!
     
  13. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Poco,
    You can use bleach bypass in the RA4 printing stage, replacing the blix with standard b&w fix. It reduces saturation but boosts contrast, much like you seem to be getting with the negative bleach bypass.
     
  14. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    psvensson,
    Excellent information!
    Would this in combination with a pulled (very flat) neg achieve a normal contrast, low saturation print -- as in a pastel print?
     
  15. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Possibly. I know it can be used to save underexposed negs - the contrast boost gives sort of a retroactive push.

    The advantage of doing this in the printing step is that it avoids the added grain that I understand is the side effect of neg bleach bypass.