Burning in Wedding dress
I have been printing some colour wedding photographs recently.
With any wedding where the bride wears a white dress (obviously 99%) the eternal problem is retaining detail in the dress - It's easy with modern colour negative film to retain it on the negative, however I still need to bring it out in the prints.
What I have found is, when burning in the dress when making the print, it is easy to bring out detail, but it seems to develop a Cyan cast too.
Can anyone give me any pointers on this one?
Only the perhaps too-obvious suggestion that if the whole print can't stand a filtration correction (which would make it warmer, which is usually acceptable in a portrait), then switch filtration for the burning-in only.
Originally Posted by Matt5791
If you have a cyan cast in white then you should have it in grey, which is only dark white, get my drift? You need to filter out the cyan cast with less magenta and yellow filtration. Incidentally i believe that scanners and computer software use white as the reference for making colour corrections. they assume that the brightest point of a scene is white and adjust the photograph for levels and colour accordingly. I often overexpose a test strip with white in the scene to see which way my filtration is leaning and make corrections based on that during my RA4 printing sessions.
Recommend vintage dresses to your brides .
I think some wedding dresses have fabrics that use optical brighteners so as to appear extra white. Somewhat similar to the old "bluing" that used to be used for men's dress shirts.
Also, if like me you use a fair amount of open shade lighting when you photograph a wedding, you end up with a fair amount of blue or cyan in the scene.
The open shade lighting will respond to changes in filtration. The special, "extra white" fabrics are a challenge.
Can you use a blue or cyan filter for your burns?
... with e. g. VueScan, where you can set the white point and contrast, so that all shades are resolved, and get the scan printed onto silver halide color paper (Fuji Crystal Archive!!). VueScan is tricky to adjust, but delivers much more detailed results than direct printing would do.
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while that may be true, that's not the appropriate solution for this forum. Better on the www.hybridphoto.com site.
Thanks for the replies - sounds like the best way is to reduce M & Y or increase C for the burning.
Matt - interesting point about the modern fabrics.
Heinz - well this would be an obvious alternative solution, however I want to keep printing optically because I only have a cheap scanner, fine for scanning for the web or other electronic use, but not for printing from. Also I think optical printing deliveres, most of the time, more beautiful prints than those created with a "digital intermediate"
I've switched from FCA to Endura because I can buy a box of 100 8X10 Endura for £16 and the best price I can get FCA for is £23. Plus I like the "Kodak look".
I noticed the packaging for the Kodak paper - those boxes are a work of art! so beautifully made, they can never be thrown out after the paper is finished.
Matt, it would appear to me, that you could be suffering from blue sky shadow reflections.
Having printed quite a few weddings that I have shot, as well as for other photographers, this is not an unusual problem.
If the bride and groom are in open shade, then often the light is made up of a fair amount of skylight, which is bluish, cyan or just plain cool light, whatever you wish to call it.
If that is the case then you may have to make the overall print more yellow to kill the blue, or more red to kill the cyan.
Remember also that with colour printing, density will effect the colour. As a colour print picks up density (becomes darker) from longer exposure under the enlarger, the print will go more reddish, on the other hand as the print goes lighter, it will go more cyan.
In colour printing you will note that you only use two colours in your three colour head. The reason is, that cyan (as well as red) is controlled by density.
If you are shooting the colour weddings, I would suggest you look into a very slight warming filter as a near permanent fixture. It is not an absolute rule, but my personal experience is that it does make it quite easy to hold a white dress, white, whilst retaining warm natural looking skin tones when photographing a bridal couple in open shade, which is where most pictures seem to be done.
I would also suggest you check to ensure that you really do have correct colour before you start a printing session. Not as easy as it sounds, but when you do achieve what you call correct colour, which means you are happy with the colour, then you are away!
Just a thought...
How about putting light cyan (5 or 10 cc) gel or acetate filter over the hole in your burning card?
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
I would second the points about the color temperature of the scene illumination and fluorescing brighteners causing havoc with whites. One quick way to mitigate the CT problem before you get to the darkroom is adding some filtration to your fill flash. Adding UV filtration may help to mitigate the optical brightener problem.
However, as it is unlikely that you can "return to the scene of the crime," I would suggest another possible approach. One useful method for holding detail without printing down the shadows is flashing the print. The flash can be combined with selective filtration to mitigate the cast. Because the the flash affects the print proportionally by density and does not require careful local application (as e.g., required by burning) it is a particularly useful tool where density boundaries are intermixed. As there are many effective ways to implement flashing I won't append a dissertation on my pet method. However, as those who know me will attest, I would be happy to share if you are interested.
Finally, I assume you have thoroughly tested for safelight fog, but do remember that it can contribute a pesky cyan cast in the highlights. Different papers can have varying fog thresholds (and different mal-reactions with the same chemistry) and you did note in one of your posts that you had switched recently.