Taking Slides of Photos

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I believe one of the regular contributors to this page provided his technique for making slides of framed images for submission to galleries and for juried shows. I can't seem to locate it. Does anyone know where that thread is or can it be discussed again? Thanks Paul

-- Paul Mongillo (pmongillo@thurston.com), March 03, 2001


Paul: I don't know if my post is the one you are thinking about or not, but I have written about it in the past on the forum. Anyway, here goes: The slides need to be as close up as possible without cutting off the image. Any good slide film will do. If the images are framed, remove the glass to prevent reflections and reframe. I would suggest slides of framed images. It looks more professional. If you don't have a professional lighting system for copying, take the images outside in the shady side of a building. Set up a tripod and camera so the lens is in the exact center of the framed image. I suggest you bracket and make a full roll, as you will need a lot of slides if you enter many shows. Place the images to be copied against a black or dark grey background. The reason for this is that the image usually does not fill all the slide at the ends, and if you use a light background, the judges will be struck with a blast of white light on the screen, which tends to make them hurry through the judging of your slides. Every little thing counts! If you intend to enter several shows, you can either copy or have copies made of the best ones. Most shows require at least three slides of your work and if you are going outside shows, a slide of your canopy and display. Make sure the slides are good. It will be the only chance to persuade the judges in your favor. You will also need to mark the slide mounts "top-front" so the slide goes into the projector correctly. Hope this helps.


-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alaweb.com), March 03, 2001.

I've been shooting framed paintings going on 14 years now and have came up with several methods of obtaining high quality images. Glass need not be removed if you do one of the following; place your camera behind a large black cloth (I like velvet, but it's not necessary)and cut out a hole for the lense to poke through. The black cloth will reflect black into the glass of the painting, so you will be invisible. Please make sure you're completely covered - no cable releases showing, shutter, etc.. I usually set up 2 stands with a background pole in between to hang the cloth onto (a duck blind is what we call it) - be careful not to have any clamps showing. Another successfull method, if you are shooting in a controlled environment, is to position the camera between 2 large scrims (we use 4x8' black gator board). the scrims are positioned so they block light from your photo lights from hitting the camera and yourself without blocking the light from hitting your subject. This effectively makes you invisible (no light hitting you-no reflections). I like to check to make sure everything is blocked by waveing my hands wildly while in position at the camera and see if I see myself in the glass. Also when doing this be carefull to make sure there is nothing behind the camera, outside of the shadow of the scrinm, that will reflect. Also avoid wearing a white or light colored shirt. Having a black walled studio has spoiled me. Besides reflections from glass, I have found many paintings to have a very high surface gloss that can cause just as much problems as glass. To combat this type of reflection you may need to polarize both the lense and your lights. This method has worked wonders for me but it does have its drawbacks, loss of light and a gain in contrast. A far simpler method that I learned while working at an art museum is to turn the painting on it's side. Believe it or not, I've had much luck with this method. It seems that some reflections on many paintings are lined up on 1 axis and by simply rotating the piece 1/4 turn will remove much of these reflections. It's funny to watch people freak out when you do this, They say " won't the picture be sideways?" and I will have to remind them that a photo is 2 dimensional and can be oriented in any way after it's processed. Another good thing to do when shooting paintings is to cover the floor in front of the painting with black cloth so you won't get any weird color casts from the floor color. I've seen hard wood floors relect a lot of warmth into subjects before. One final piece of advice for shooting chromes of paintings. DO NOT TRUST YOUR METER!!! A normal exposure from an incident or gray card reading will not always give you a normal exposure of a painting. If you place a gray scale in the photo and shoot it as the meter says, the gray scale will look perfect but the painting will be too dark or light. I think this has to do with the reflective qualities of some pigments in paints and also a contrast thing. A good rule of thumb is to bracket on the over side for dark paintings and on the underside for lighter ones. One last word, the contrast range of some paintings will be greater than your film can capture.There are several things that you can do to help cut the contrast includeing pre-flashing your film, pulling it, etc.. I'm not going to go into detail here on those methods because I feel like this post has gotten way too long as it is. Good Luck!!!

-- Eric N. Blevins (eblevins@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), March 09, 2001.

My apologies, I obviously misread your question. You wanted info. on shooting photos, not paintings. Some of the methods I mentioned in my post would apply to this as well. Please forgive.

-- Eric N. Blevins (eblevins@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), March 09, 2001.

You dont mention whether you are copying B&W or color. A rather important distinction if you are photographing outside.

I found this out last summer whenI needed to submit some slides for a juried exhibition. I was running short on time to submit, and decided to make the slides myself. I borrowed a 35 mm camera (no, I dont own one) and shot my color prints in the shade on a sunny day. Oh...duhhh! Dohhh! Blue cast to everything. Next time I'll just take them to the custom photo lab. I had done so much work on the prints, then got lazy and sloppy and stupid at the end.

On the bright side I still had one of the three accepted. ;-)

-- Wayne (wsteffen@skypoint.com), March 09, 2001.

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