more contrast in color prints : LUSENET : B&W Photo: Alternative Process : One Thread

I have been printing color prints for a short time and was wondering if there was any way to get more contrast (the more prominent colors become brighter and the lighter colors become blander)? I know that when producing high contrast in b&w photography one uses filters with more magenta in them, but that can't be the case in color (it would just strip out the magenta). Would upping the ratio (for example: go from 50y, 50M, and 0C to 100Y, 100M, and 50C)work? I'm just looking for a way to add more artistic contrast to bring out the main subjects' colors more.

-- Katie Donegan (, January 14, 2001


Adding an additional 50 units of all three filtration colors would only give you a net 50 units of neutral gray, which would require you to lengthen your exposure time to compensate. You should never have to use more than two filter colors at a time. Most color paper manufacturers make a low and a high contrast version of their paper. I don't know of any other easy way to vary contrast when color printing.

-- Larry Rudy (, January 14, 2001.

As stated above, the filtration will only affect the colour balance, not the contrast. However, a small colour cast will subdue colours of the opposite hue, so getting the colour correction absolutely right will make a big difference to the apparent colour saturation of the print.

Dodging and burning is your main control in colour printing, the same as in B&W.
The only way to modify the contrast in colour printing, without changing the paper type, is to change the time in the developer. More time = more contrast and colour saturation. This will affect the colour balance, so you'll need to change the filtration as well, and you can only make small alterations to the contrast in any case.
Different brands of colour paper and processing chemical combinations give different saturation as well. Tetenal chemicals can give very good saturation in my experience.
Kodak sell a low contrast colour paper for portraits and weddings, I'm not sure if they do a higher-than-normal saturation version as well.

-- Pete Andrews (, January 22, 2001.

OK. I've just had a look at Kodak's website.
They do 3 colour papers in their professional range:
PortraIII; low contrast and saturation for portraits and weddings.
SupraIII; Normal contrast.
UltraIII; High saturation.
There's also a range of papers for digital use, whatever that means.

-- Pete Andrews (, January 22, 2001.

If you want super high contrast and really bold colors, try shooting E-6 (slide) film and processing it in C-41 chemistry. This will give you a color neg with out the orange mask, extremely bright and contrasty color, although not always true to life.

-- Mike Sutton (, January 23, 2001.

Katie, If you want more "pop", get the Kodak Ultra and shoot Agfa Ultra 50 ASA film! This should get what you want. Fuji papers are a bit more contrasty and use the glossy surface! Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, February 06, 2001.

Try using colour transparancy film, and making an internegative on either Kodak or Fuji internegative film. Using either of these two films will require a densitometer, and a bit of sensitometric knowledge. Your local college or university which offers photographic training might have one; you could also ask the lab where you have your processing done if you could use theirs.

When making the internegatives, give one to two stops more exposure, and that will really drive the contrast of the final print way up!! You could combinr that with push-processing your transparancy film, and you will se a real contrast increase.

-- Terrence Brennan (, February 27, 2001.

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