If I wanted to create a large 5ft by 6ft colour mural of people, I'm guessing the best way to do this to shoot a low ISO film - like Kodachrome 64 or Fuiji Velvia 50? Transparency over negative - which is better?
I don't have access to a 4x5 so an internegative would have to be made from my 6x6 to blow up from, right?
Well, Sean might blacklist me from APUG, but I think this is one of those applications where digital shines. Make a drum scan of a nice slide and have them print it on fuji crystal archive or the Kodak version.
Now a days to make an internegative will probably cost you more than a good drum scan and you cant tell if it is a good one until it is printed.
Now if you really beleive that suffering is good for the soul, then I guess I woud go to an 8x10 internegative to get really good quality on a 5'x6' mural.
I agree with Jorge (as of often do for some strange reason). Get a good Drum Scan and LightJet on Fuji CA paper. But stay away from Velvia for people shots. I would use one of the new Kodak 100G films for this. You can read my opinion on the new Kodak emultions in the thread in color film.
I'd also recommend the drum scan route for this. Not sure whether LightJet prints to 5x6'--check with www.westcoastimaging.com. If not, Duggal in New York does a lot of mural printing (www.duggal.com), and I'm sure they have a few options depending on what exactly your planned usage is.
Are you sure you can't rent/borrow a LF camera for this? You can enlarge anything, but I'd want at least 4x5" if I could.
I like Astia for portraits. EPY would also be a good choice.
Digital. You can do it optically by setting your enlarger horizontally and taping paper to the wall, but it is a huge hassle, even with a big internegative. I've never done it and don't want to. Go for a good digital scan. Don't use Velvia, it will be too garish for people. Use a more neutral film, like a Portra 160N, Astia, etc. You can get away with a faster film, because people will move back to view something that large.
We used to do murals in-house, but mostly send them out now (thank god)--but my advice would be to pay someone to do this. I could tell you how to do it by hand, --but it's a very labor intensive thing. At any rate, I work in the exhibits design & fabrication part of a museum system. We used to do them with internegs and interpos (8x10), but for the past couple of years we've been using 2 labs that do drum scans off whatever the orginal is. It could be an 8x10 print, or a 4x5 CT. the output is done on lambda or lightjet printers, on any type of plastic based photo paper that can run through a roller transport processor. So, this would be c-paper, ilfochrome etc.
5x6 is a weird size for a mural. It will probably be in two pieces on traditional photo paper. We did a 1:1 repro of a painting a few years ago, and shot it on 4x5 chrome film. It was drum scanned and output on a wide format inkjet printer onto canvas. The size was 5x9 almost. I wanted to reduce it to a 4x8 and make a cibachrome, but it *had* to be 1:1, so this was how it was done. The inks were outdoor rated, and our shop guys stretched this canvas on a frame like a painting, and gave it a UV lacquer overcoat. It hung in a public building for a few years and did a pretty good job. If you got up on it, it looked like an inkjet--but from a few feet away, it looked like a painting actually...
BTW---used to be only a couple of labs had the lightjet printers or lambdas. Now they're all over the place. There are other materials as well, like Scotchprint for one--it's used for display graphics and can be tiled together to huge sizes. Just about any exhibit/tradeshow type lab would be able to do a mural for you....we used a place down in Atlanta for years, but there's a lab less than a mile from our building now, that makes murals using a Lightjet, and does first-surface mounting etc. We've used lambda prints for signage too--you can incorporate text & images and output onto c-paper now, whereas you used to do this with silkscreen and trad. prints.
I don't think it matters which way it's done, as I've seen great murals done both ways. Using digital is a little easier though, because you don't have to get into internegs/interpositives and you're not locked into any one specific type of print material. Just whatever can run through a machine processor. The only advice I'd really have is that if you shoot color neg, get a repro grade print made and have them scan that. They want prints or transp. Talk to the lab first, and line up what they need from you. They know their setup and what they require better than you. As for what you output to, just think of how long it will be on display and in what type of conditions. The higher the traffic and visibility, and the longer on display are things to think about and may require laminate overcoats or first-surface mounting etc. We did a couple last month, that were b&w's on c-paper. One came off a pretty lousy old 4x5 (long story), the other came off a vintage 4x5 neg that was tack-sharp. I made 8x10 rc prints of each and these were used to make the drumscans. Each is a 2 piecer mounted with a lustre laminate. The cost was less than 400 each. One of the first murals we sent out years ago, cost about twice that, done traditionally and we had to mount it in-house. three pieces using spray mount---what a PIA! Send it out--the whole thing.
Hope this helps, KT
Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my agency
Unless you have a very specific reason to do this analog, go digital. Just from the aspect of ease digital is the way to go here. I would HATE to have to try and align two seperate prints at that size!
he may not have a choice...going digital often means tiling together multiple prints. It's done all the time...scotchprint is one material that's digital output and is used to make billboards, the graphics on the sides of the buses and big tradeshow stuff to name a few. This is done by tiling together smaller sections and from a viewing distance looks good. The files are set up to output as tiles. they can make banners as tall as buildings, huge stuff. We made a small billboard out of this material several years ago, and used a file that was created from a bunch of 4x5 color transp. To deal with signage ordinances within city limits-- the material was stretched over this big frame above the street. It stayed up for about 3 years and weatherered very well. There were smaller ones made, that were wrapped to aluminum, if I remember right, and these looked about as good as day one after a few years as well. We use inkjets on vinyl for banners outside our building too, and they're about 20 feet long, but narrow. The problem is in the width though, as 50 some odd inches is about the max on alot of wide format inkjets. So, a 5x6 foot print might very well be 2 pieces regardless of how you do it....fwiw, we made a last minute mural on about 30 polymax II RC 20x24 sheets all tiled together of one shot that was projected horizontally onto a wall....we did another one at the same time, out of about 5 strips of 5 foot by 20 inch Kodabrome RC and pieced that together too. Fed each strip into a 20 inch processor--one part going in while the other came out....in the old days here, they used Kodak mural paper and handprocessed them in 2 huge sinks (5x9 Kreonite) using about 25 gallons or more of dektol and fix. They took the wet print, after washing, and mounted it with wheat paste to a sheet of plywood, smoothed it out and then wrappped the corners & tacked them onto the back of the wood. They dried tight as a drum...when I started here, they were just getting out of that, but we made 2 on RC paper and had to use a bunch of cans of spray mount in a spray booth to mount them....one was in 3 pieces, and we mounted it to gatorboard and then took an orbital saw (it was a vintage photo of a fire engine--hook & ladder truck) and did a profile cut around the whole thing, to make a freestanding shot. We shot a dalmatian on 120 XP1 and blew this up into a 1:1 shot and did the same thing with that....about a year or two ago, we did another exhibit with about a half dozen murals in it. One we had a shot of a building front, that was made in 2 pieces, and we made 2 sets of these. Each set was mounted onto Sintra, but one was about 10% larger in size. Our designer on that one , did a profile cut on it with a rotozip, and then mounted this over the top of the other set, so from head-on it gave it this 3-D effect.....there's another exhibit up right now, that has a bunch of 20x24s and 16x20s I made of old civil war era portraits of soldiers.. Then we looked through daguerrotypes and old cased images we had in the collection, and picked out neat looking frames and parts of the union cases from these. I shot them and took the negs and we made borders for these prints out of the frames from the union cases. We mounted those to one inch black gatorboard and same guy used a sabre saw to cut out them out...we made similar 3D type images out of these as well & they look pretty good.
so, yeah it's a PIA, but it can be done...Putting two pieces together is nothing--you oughta try 30, or cutting mural paper down lengthwise to fit into a 20 inch processor--and then feeding it into the processor without binding it up. That's one of those "look what I HAD to do at work today" story....
I think my advice would be not to approach it as some cherished, master print--but as a display element, or something you can play with and have some fun.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (gr82bart @ Mar 8 2003, 05:01 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> If I wanted to create a large 5ft by 6ft colour mural of people, I'm guessing the best way to do this to shoot a low ISO film - like Kodachrome 64 or Fuiji Velvia 50? Transparency over negative - which is better?
I don't have access to a 4x5 so an internegative would have to be made from my 6x6 to blow up from, right?
Help.... </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
If you were to send this to me to do, what I would do is ask you to use negative film. Then I would enlarge to between 10 and 20x on gloss paper, with this I would print the internegative to 12 x 18 if possible and 8 x 10 if not. I find this enlarging and then reducing to the internegative really enhances the quality of the internegative even though one would think that the extra generation would be harmful. At least on my cameras the extra generation is not an issue. Then I would print you a 4' by 6' as I am limited in one dimension to 48-50 inches.