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  1. #1

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    color theory and paper negative hand coloring

    ok

    last night i woke up in the middle of the night
    after a zombie related, walking dead series of dreams
    and had a great idea
    i was to hand color my negatives, not my positives ..
    i was wondering if a color wheel would tell me what
    the colors would be after the images were printed ?
    and would that mean i would color the opposite on the wheel
    what i really wanted it to be ?
    i'm probably going to use oil crayons or water colors

    thanks in advance !
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  2. #2

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    It's an interesting idea but I wonder how the pigments might block light and affect how well they print or scan? Why not give it a go with a test negative!

  4. #4

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    I drink RC cola
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    thats a simple anagram thingy I learned in my graphics/printing classes about filters and colors. This is also knows and "subtractive color theory".
    red filters magenta and yellow, thus prints Cyan
    Green filters yellow and red, thus prints Magenta
    Blue filters magenta and cyan, thus prints yellow.

    I dont do any color photography printing, but that is at least a simple explanation of color theory.

  5. #5

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    One problem that I foresee is getting the right color. When coloring a positive print what you see is what you get. When dealing with a negative finding the right complimentary color is more difficult. For example, while you may get a green is that just the shade of green you want.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

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  6. #6

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    fro, ama + edc
    thanks for your help ..


    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    One problem that I foresee is getting the right color. When coloring a positive print what you see is what you get. When dealing with a negative finding the right complimentary color is more difficult. For example, while you may get a green is that just the shade of green you want.
    hmmm

    i didn't think about that jerry

    maybe tonight after i watch another few walking dead episodes
    i will wake up in the middle of the night and shout " eureka ! "
    but this will give me something to gnaw on ..

    thanks ...

    john
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  7. #7
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    This might be where digital technology can come to the rescue.

    I assume you are going to be working on some kind of light table. Yes?
    Why not set up a digicam on a copy stand over your light table and take periodic pictures of your work in progress?
    You could run them through Photoshop and reverse the colors to check how well you are doing.

    The caveat is that your camera, your application software and your display will all have to be properly color calibrated so that you can see the colors as they closely approximate the way they will come out in the end.
    Randy S.

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  8. #8

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    Proofing through scanning is an interesting idea. I could imagine someone developing a complex process of proofing, measuring and adjusting pigment in order to dial in faithful color reproduction. But then I'm reminded of how compelling hand-colored photographs oftentimes are (think Curt Teich postcards as well as individually handwrought examples). Perhaps this quality has less to do with accurate color representation and more to do with large swaths of the photograph being covered by even-hued shades of color, lending a dreamy quality to what might otherwise be a very pedestrian view.

    I think you should just go for it and use trial and error. I look forward to seeing the results!

  9. #9

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    after another night of zombies
    i decided to wing it ..
    i think what i am going to do is just make swatches
    with the media i plan on using
    scan and invert them
    and go from there ...
    maybe ... do it on acetate first .. maybe a layer thing?
    i keep thinking color + cubism ..

    i might not be able to post in the gallery, so i will post
    my results in my apug or off site blog ..

    thanks again for your suggestions !
    john
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  10. #10
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    John- If you're willing to experiment, in addition to what you've mentioned, try oils, food coloring, dyes, and pencils (if you want textured color). Whatever you use, you'll need an even density if you want an even tone on the positive. Q-Tips, and cotton balls, will even your application.
    You could always print a bunch of step wedges, and color each of them with one color. Then, you'd see how each color lays (and prints) on a particular tone.

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