Color negatives for architectural journals? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Last October, I posted a question about using these films (the thread is archived under "Films:" "Fuji NPS, NPL for architectural interiors"), and I now have a follow-up question regarding submission formats for major architectural journals. Obviously, it would make life easiest for editors if all the images that came their way were 4x5 color transparencies. However, I have recently been shooting some projects with terrifically complicated mixed lighting where the only reasonable solution was to use a color negative film such as NPL. On site, I use a Minolta Color Meter IIIF to give the overall decamired correction I need, and then let the film handle the excess cyan component of the fluorescent lighting if it's not just horrendous. This had made it possible to get excellent custom color prints from my local lab in situations where it would have been impossible to filter individual light fixtures or resort to elaborate multiple exposures scenarios. The problem then is what format the actual submission of photographic materials should take to the architectural journals when they don't want to receive, and I don't wish to send, the original negatives. Is it your experience that the best format is:

1. custom color prints. How large does an original in this format need to be? If a full-page bleed on an 8.5 x 11" page is contemplated, does the print submitted need to be that size for optimal quality?

2. scans of color prints. Custom prints are expensive, and editors often seem to sit on submissions for a while, so do you ever submit a high-resolution scan of a print made on a serious scanner like a Scitex, embedded with the appropriate ICC/ColorSync profile and burned to CD?

3. digital transparency made from the negative. I don't yet have experience with this format as my lab doesn't do this much, but is there a consensus on whether a print or a transparency does a better job of extracting information from a negative and making it available to the pre-press people at the magazines? I'm shooting mostly 6x9 cm film on an Arca-Swiss F-metric camera, and wonder how a 4x5 transparency made from a scan of the 6x9 NPL original would compare to an 8.5 x 11" print as a publication source.

Although I've been photographing for a long time, I've only been doing professional architectural work for about a year, and have learned an immense amount from the accumulated expertise of this forum. Any comments and suggestions will be much appreciated.

-- Christopher Campbell (, January 23, 2002


christopher, The people I know who are shooting on color nega are generally "duping" the image via a lightjet transparency. The quality of these is generally excellent and fine for reproduction, bbut of coursethat is dependent on the skills of the person doing the scans and any Photoshop corrections or montaging.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, January 23, 2002.

ellis is correct inre: hard-copy submittals, as some magazines require CTs for review. however, many publications are moving more and more toward all-electronic image submittal, manipulation and printing, and for those, the availability of high-res tif scans in a variety of file/application sizes are more important than duped CTs. contact the magazine photo editors directly and inquire as to their submittal requirements.

-- jnorman (, January 23, 2002.

I normally have my 5x4 transparencies and negs scanned to 85 meg tiff files saved on CD at a pro lab, this give me 20x16 inch 300 dpi and excellent repro quality plus edit as much as you like though I must say I try not to edit too much.

-- Stephen Hunter (, January 24, 2002.

Have your lab print them at 10x8 on Kodak 'Duraclear RA' film, or Kodak Vericolor print film (if it's still available). That way, you'll be able to proof the colour before submission. The duraclear material should scan exactly the same as a normal tranny.

-- Pete Andrews (, January 29, 2002.

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