Experiments in Tricolour Projection
I just thought I'd put together a quick post detailing my ongoing experiments in tricolour projection, that I'm undertaking for my MA studies at Derby University. I'm a tinkerer at heart and fascinated by the way that things bolt together, so the opportunity to spend some time working with the building blocks of colour photography has proved too good to pass up.
I'm currently working with reversal processed Ilford FP4 shot in a Mamiya RZ76 through Lee lighting gels (three exposures for each subject, one through each red, green and blue gel). Obtaining consistent results from the reversal processing has proved to be a major challenge, but I think I'm well on the way to getting it under control.
The 6x6 film frames go straight into glass slide mounts, which are then projected by three beautiful Gnome Alphax projectors (sourcing matching examples has proved to be another challenge). Registration is orchestrated by home made levelling plates that sit under each projector, and reworked slide carriers that use magnets to align the slide within the projector.
Finally, a home made filter holder clips to the front of each projector lens, allowing for the addition of various shades and densities of red, green and blue filters at the projection stage; this in turn makes it possible to mix the overall colour of the final image in front of the viewer, as a kind of performance / educational art piece.
I've put together a video of the setup as it currently stands, which you might find interesting:
And here are a couple of example images which have been scanned and recombined in Photoshop (cheating I know, but a good way to illustrate things for people that aren't able to see the projections in real life)...
If anyone would like more information, I'd be happy to go into more detail.
All the best,
i recombine them in phootoshop mainly because i don't have any other way to recombine them
i don't have a color darkroom &c. your project sounds like a lot of fun and endlessly interesting -
shooting tri chromes is a ton of fun, isn't it ?
Crazy and beautiful. The best kind of thing.
Originally Posted by munz6869
An awesome amount of trouble that we might all have to go to eventually if we want to project non-digital color images.
There are some superb examples of color photographs from the very early days of photography that used this method. Single exposure methods didn't catch up for a very long time, long after they supplanted tri-color because they weren't such a PITA. One of the things I find fascinating about those is the look of things like water or vegetation moving in the wind during the exposures. The stationary subject is rendered in sharply in good color while anything that moved between the exposures is a tri-color blur.
In the same vein, you might enjoy these tri-color photographs of pre-revolutionary Russia under the Tsar. We are so conditioned to expect historical photographs from that era to be in b/w -- all those old newsreels of a b/w world -- that its sometimes a bit shocking to realize that the world then was in color. And as much as I love b/w photography, given the intent of the Prokudin-Gorskii project, color makes all the difference, really brings things to life.
I really like what you're doing, Tom -- it pleases me a great deal that people are retaining this technical knowledge and using it to create great contemporary photographs.
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Thank you so much for the positive feedback guys! Making process based work for an academic art submission can be a pretty hard sell (I'm producing these for an Photography MA), but I think it's all coming together to function as a pretty engaging piece. The quality of the projected colour image is quite magical, with frayed edges of lost registration (no mater how carefully I align things), and the shimmering vibration that accompanies the whirring cooling fans...
I've just managed to get another set of three projectors together too, so I'm excited by the prospect of having all six beaming out a diptych that measures a couple of meters across.
The next challenge is finding a gallery that might want to house them, so that I can get a bit of feedback from the public.
I've seen similar installations as part of curated shows at galleries like Newlyn (both sites), the Arnolfini and Spike Island. However I imagine getting into that type of venue might be a longer-term prospect.
I find it intrinsically interesting partly because I'm interested in the process, but I might find it even more engaging if it is to form part of a thematically or conceptually linked show. You may of course have such a theme or concept in mind - I'd be surprised if you're doing the MA and didn't - there are hints of what this is "about" on your blog and in your statement of course.
Anyway, it's good stuff and sounds as if you are enjoying it too.
May I ask which Lee lighting gels are you using for the red, green and blue separations? I was thinking of trying #106 primary red, #139 primary green and #120 deep blue.
Hi 73764 - Yes, those are the three I'm using for capture. But at the projection stage I have a bunch of Rosco filters that I've mounted into holders, which lets me experiment with different combinations / colour renditions.