Slide Film Question

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by CPorter, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Greetings:

    I need some advice on shooting slide film from someone who is knowledgeable on exposure and slide film characteristics. A friend of mine, a very fine artist, is entering a piece of work in a local contest. The contest rules state that all entries (prior to framing) must be photographed with 35mm slide film and one, and only one, slide is to be submitted for review. Only "x" number of entries will be selected for final entry into the contest.

    He has asked me to photograph his entry and I need some advice on proper exposure and suggestions on the most appropriate, literal but flattering lighting.

    Thanks,

    Chuck
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    Chuck,

    It has been awhile since I have done any copy work but I would buy several rolls of my favorite slide film and set the object to be photographed either on a table or floor depending on how large the object is. I am assuming that this a painting or some version of 2 dementional art. It that is the case, I would place hot lights at 45 degrees of the object and then I would use a gray card to "guessitmate" the exposure. After that I would bracket exposures on both sides of the gray card exposure. then move to the next piece of art work. Have the film processed and pick the best exposure

    lee\c
     
  3. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Chuck,

    I agree with Lee's comments and would add only that you should either be sure to use tungsten-type slide film or the proper conversion filter. Using the tungsten (3200K) film matched up with studio bulbs (also 3200K) will be the simplest.

    Konical
     
  4. lee

    lee Member

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    thanks Konical that is a piece of info I forgot you gotta balance the film with the light sorce.

    lee\c
     
  5. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Use Kodak Ektachrome 64T (EPY) and illuminate the subject with 3200K lights. You won't believe the results. Don't use any other film.
     
  6. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Use the finest grain, highest resolution film you can, but probably not Velvia as it tends to overdo the colours. I would use Kodachrome 64 and a conversion filter.

    David.
     
  7. roteague

    roteague Member

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    ditto on the Velvia... You may consider shooting Fuji Provia F100 (it is a daylight film); it is very sharp, good, but not overdone saturation. It is also a lot easier to get processed. If you don't already have lighting equipment, you could get yourself a transluent and a siver reflector from your local camera store; I carry one of each everywhere, and they are inexpensive.
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    EPY with tungsten lights was the de facto standard the last time I did copy work, about 20 years ago. True colors and contrast, not oversaturated. It was, and may still be the standard for shooters concerned with the most accurate reproduction of colors for textiles and such. I shot some paintings for an artist because her amateur friend (who usually did them) was unavailable. She gave me the third degree on technique because of the improved quality over her friend's work. She wanted me to teach her friend how to shoot copy work because she wanted to keep using her.

    See if you can find a description of 'feathering' light. It's a technique whereby you aim the center of the beam from the right side light at the left edge of the subject (flat art) and the center of the beam from the left side light at the right edge of the artwork. This gives you the most even light across the subject. I googled, but "feathering" now seems to be a photoshop term for softening selection edges.

    Lee
     
  9. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    ditto on EPY

    I'm a teacher who has to help kids photograph art portfolios for the Advanced Placement exams and for college admissions every year. I use only EPY and 3200K bulbs - even to the point of excluding ambient light from the room in which we shoot the work. The colors are accurate, predictable and very even. I use an extended copy stand for the small stuff and a black cloth-covered wall for the larger work, eliminating the need for taping the slide afterwards (in most of the cases anyway.) I just meter on a grey card and shoot away.

    One pointer: make sure that the illumination is even over the entire surface. It's really easy to have an entire roll somewhat darker in one corner because you didn't check it carefully. I use two 500W lights at about 45 degrees and two to three feet away for small stuff, three lights for larger work, with the third just to the side of the camera.

    Don't get too good at it. You'll find yourself the best friend of every artist who has a submission due :-/

    Good luck to both of you.
    Whitey
     
  10. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    feathering copy light

    So here's a very quick and dirty sketch of how to feather copy lights. Lights should be in the neighborhood of 45 degrees from the copywork center, but far enough to the side not to give specular reflections off the flat art. Aim the strong center of each light beam at the opposite edge of the flat art, which uses the inverse square law to get you even lighting across the subject. I don't know why so many examples show both lights beamed right at the center of the work, but feathering usually gives much better results. And be sure to keep direct light off your lens with a "gobo" or flag (card for blocking light) if you need it.

    Lee
     

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  11. lee

    lee Member

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    that is the technique that is used in graphic arts copy cameras. works good when you get it correct.


    lee\c
     
  12. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    BTW, EPY has a diffuse rms granularity of 11, so you'll have no worries about sharpness or grain. It's now a T-grain film which Kodak rates at 64. A freakin' razor already.

    If your lights have standard 7 inch reflectors on them I would definitely use the feathering techique, but it's unnecessary with a softbox.