best slide film to shoot art?
I need to shoot a friend's pastel art work. What does everyone recommend for a good neutral film? I am going to light the art with strobes and was thinking of using Kodak's 100G. Just figured I'd ask if anyone has info or preferences to using a different film for art work. Thanks for all your help. jeff
For oil paintings (not that there should be too much difference), I have used Fuji Astia F, but only in soft overcast conditions outdoors with the correct warm up filter. The artists have preffered this because it depicts the texture of the paint so long as the orientation can be made to match the lighting direction of the painting itself. Of course you become dependent on waiting for the correct weather before you can proceed, not usually a problem here in the UK!
Colours and contrast seem pretty accurate, most importantly the artists and gallery owners have been happy with the results. I Blu-tack either an Opticard (White, grey, black) or Kodak test card onto the edge of the frame as a reference. Thus should it need to be scanned or sent for repro, any deviation of colour or contrast can be corrected. I shoot 2 sheets for each and push/pull second one if necessary.
I have always used either provia or astia when we were working in the studio for art work.
There is a standard colour chart (bar) (probably the one Baxter is referring to) that art photographers put under the painting so that the picture can be developed with these colours correct. The idea being that if these colours are correct, so will be the colours of the painting. Unfortunately the name escapes me. Mc something-or-other.
If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284
Kodak sells them and they are indispensible for shooting art work, I see them show up on ebay quite often, but any good photo store should be able to get one for you, they come in small size and large size models.
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Macbeth chart?? Useful thing to have for any kind of reproduction.
Originally Posted by johnnywalker
I use film from yellow boxes myself; I've never liked the colours from Fuji.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
The color separation guide and gray scale is either a Q13 or a Q14 (i.e., short or long). I like 64T. I suppose it is one of those personal preference things but it has been my experience that consistency (what if they want more?) and lighting quality are both improved by shooting flat art w/ lights. I would suggest one shoot a test for color balance before committing the whole project to film. A good E6 lab will run one sheet (gray card) for you, read it with a densitometer, and give you a suggested filter pack. Goodluck.
There is no perfectly "neutral" film. Any good studio always tests film for a given setup and the current film emulsion and lab combination. Stay away from the overly saturated films, such as Fuji Velvia and the Kodak "high color" films, and shoot with the Q-14 or Gretag-Macbeth color checker (not the digital version), and stay away from "portrait" films that tend to mute colors or emphasize skin tones. Run one sheet of film or a "clip test" or same-emulsion roll of film, then check for color balance and exposure and adjust with color correction filters on your final shoot. There's a small (a few inches on a side) version of the Gretag-Macbeth color checker for inclusion in the scene when doing art copy work. It costs about the same as the larger version. I haven't shot a lot of the current color transparency films, so I don't have specific suggestions there.
I also use 64T for artwork. I use Kodak, but the current Fuji emulsion is on a par with it - the old Fuji 64T was not nearly as good.
For colour accuracy when the silde is not intended for projection to an audience, I include a grey scale and colour scale (Kodak 'Color Separation Guide and Gray Scale', Q-13 small and Q-14 large as mentioned above).
Most of the time I use more than one light, so I adjust the colour temperature of the lamps to be uniform, using fractional CTB (colour temperature blue) or, rarely, CTO (... orange) gels.
In extremis I also resort to the old crossed polarising filters trick (one on each light in use, one on the camera) but that really is a last resort.
Another thing to keep in mind, although there isn't much that you can do about it is that as good as modern color films are, they don't neccessarily react in the same way as a human eye, especially with some dyes and pigments. It is possible to get the best, most accurate color rendition of a piece except that a certain Olive Green might go Brown or a Brown might come up Orange.
This is rarely a huge problem but there are some very finicky clients out there (especially artists). Kodak used to have a publication that photographers could hand out to clients who couldn't understand why every subtle color in a painting may not photograph exactly as seen.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.