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  1. #1
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Slide film and out door portraits

    What kind of general purpose filter do you use when you take out door portrait shots in overcast wheather? I love the colors of E100VS and Provia 400X, but only as long as the sun shines. As soon as the subject enters the shade or the sky gets overcast, skin colors end up somewhere between poor and downright awful. Since slide film has so little latitude, not even filtering in the dark room or even a hybrid work flow can save these images.

    Is this possible? Is there such a "slap it on and the result will be in the ball park" filter for these light conditions? Would a KR6 filter do the job? Or is slide film just not an option unless one puts in great effort into color balancing?

  2. #2
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    I think a general warming filter, like the KR6, would go a long way towards fixing this. When you say "poor & downright awful", what exactly do you mean? Since these are totally subjective terms it's not very descriptive of your problem.

    I recall being kinda surprised at how blue some slides I took turned out. It was overcast, so similar conditions. My theory is that if something's blue, make it a bit more yellow, if it's too yellow, make it a bit blue. Moving towards the right color, even a little, will make it look better.

  3. #3
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    What do I mean with poor & downright awful? It's not just a blue cast in my opinion, but really pale skin colors. I attach two images, taken on the same day, once with the sun shining, once with the sun behind a cloud. Note that I already did some digital postprocessing with these images (just color & contrast, so please APUG don't kill me for posting them)

    I understand there is the 81 filter series as well as their supposedly german KB/KR couterparts. In an ideal world I would get one kind of filter for all the filter thread diameters I regularly use and be done with it. My main question was whether there is such a silver bullet like filter which corrects these ugly colors for 80 or 90% of these cases.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails niceColors.jpg   uglyColors.jpg  

  4. #4
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    My general purpose filter is an 81C, you lose 2/3 of a stop, it increases the temperature by 400 Kelvin.

    Wouldn't be without it when doing outdoor portrait work with colour film, be it slide or negative.

    The 81A and 81B do warm slightly and more slightly, but the really pleasing colour that the people whose pictures I have taken like, are ones with the 81C.

    Mick.

  5. #5
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Yep, just use a warming filter me thinks.

    Look at the concrete in the second picture, it's incredibly blue. Blue cast with pink skin, two "conflicting" colors, leads to pale skin colors. I think Mick is spot on, 81C is a nice compromise.

    BTW, cute kid, she looks pretty unhappy in that second picture though....

  6. #6
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    I guess I will start looking for 81C filters then. Thanks for your input, but here and via PM! I did notice the blue cast (was much stronger in the direct scan), but I couldn't fix it easily by filtering the scan, since adding more red just turned the white parts of the marble pink. As soon as some parts of the scene saturate/blow out, simple filtering won't do it any more.

    PS: that's stone, not concrete. They had no concrete when that theater was built

    PPS: Yes, she was quite tired and exhausted that afternoon. Which is not really a surprize after a bus trip from Foca to Pergamon + whole day sight seing there

  7. #7
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Rudeofus, is your output analogue (ilfochrome)? Or are you planning to project these? Otherwise I'd shoot normally on astia and slightly adjust warmth afterwards.

    Oh and provia 100F blues up on me all the time, if the colour temp is the slightest bit off of 5000K. Astia does much better for me in mixed light and when skin tones are involved. Provia 400x does better than 100F for skin tones, but still not as well as astia. Just my experience.

    P.S. there is no issue in your shots that I cannot correct in about 5 sec. We can't discuss the means here but... no big deal at all.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  8. #8
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    You need to experiment, as there is tons of variation from location to location, but to start, consult something like this: http://bermangraphics.com/digital-ju...ture_small.jpg, and filter accordingly. According to this, you should warm filter your lens by 2000K, so I would try some sort of 85 filter. The 85B warms by 2300K, the 85C by 1700K, and the plain 85 by 2100K. The best option is a color meter, but how many of us actually own one? Not many.

    This is by the book, but IME, a heavy 81 series filter (C or D) does the trick OK.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 04-29-2010 at 04:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

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  9. #9
    Prest_400's Avatar
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    How well do skylight 1A filters correct the blue cast of shadows and overcast? I shot quite a bit overcast and shade portraits with one of these in my last roll, which isn't still finished.
    Sometimes it's hard to decide whether go with shade and get pale colors or go to the sun that gives nice colors but has higher contrast. Well, then there is overcast, that can't be decided by no one aside of the weather itself.

  10. #10
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
    PS: that's stone, not concrete. They had no concrete when that theater was built
    You may be surprised to hear it, but at least the Romans DID have concrete. Just not reinforced with steel wire. It is one of the things that made the marvelous Pantheon dome possible, and many, many other buildings. In fact, many Roman structures, even looking as build from bricks, contain some interior concrete reinforcement.

    Their invention went lost though during the dark middle ages here in Europe.

    Here is site dedicated to Roman concrete:

    http://www.romanconcrete.com/
    http://www.romanconcrete.com/Article1Secrets.pdf

    Marco
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    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

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