Re: [gardeners] Fuji vs. Kodak was Re: blue flower photos

skid@bway.net (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sun, 3 May 1998 13:08:35 -0500

We are coming into this discussion a bit late (spending lots of time up in
the garden where there is no computer), so we hope we aren't rehashing old
info, but......

Bill & I are professional photographers, and have done a fair bit of color
testing of color films.

This film discussion seems to be seamlessly sliding back and forth between
negative and positive (slides or transparencies) type films.  It should be
stated that the final color rendition is achieved in completely different
ways.

Slide film is basically a one step process.  All things that effect the
color balance/contrast (essentially) are made before development (like film
choice, and filtration, lighting conditions, exposure, etc.)  However, when
shooting _negative_ film, beyond the pre-development controls, there is
also the added control of color balance/saturation and contrast when
_printing_.

We print our own color, and have learned that even a very slight color
shift in the filters will make a world of difference in the final image.
This is also true of exposure as well.  Amateur printing (like one-hour
labs) use paper that is very contrasty. This assures a better print from
under exposed film (which most of the 'point & shoot' cameras provide), but
loses much of the subtlety that is so important in any 'descriptive' photo.
These machines have the capability of adjustments, and do have computer
programs to match each particular type of film.  That said, the smallest
change a print machine operator can make is  10% (which we consider a
gross change), and that is assuming that the machine operator pays
attention.....a very big assumption.

In general, we prefer Fuji color film products to Kodak.  With the
exception of Kodachrome (slide film) Fuji films and papers are supposed to
be much more stable, both chemically and when exposed to light.  Most Kodak
film products, even stored under ideal conditions will start to degrade in
about 10 years.  Fuji films and papers are now supposed to be stable for
about 75 years (This statistics come from independent lab tests, not the
manufacturers).

While some films are more 'neutral' than others (this is especially
important when shooting slide films), and some films render some colors
better than others, the lighting conditions under which they are taken can
overwhelm any film's predisposition to color rendition.

If one takes photos in open shade on a clear sunny day, all the images will
be very blue.  The light which is illuminating the subjects in the shade is
being reflected off the blue sky, and will skew the results.  The same type
of problem can happen when shooting in full sun at the edge of a lawn.  The
light reflected off of the _green_ lawn will throw a green cast over
everything.  The trick is to 'see' the light when shooting, and use it to
your advantage.

As previously stated in this discussion, 'Professional films' perform
better than amateur products.  But, all film should be refrigerated
whenever possible, it helps it keep better, no matter what type (but be
sure to allow it to warm up to room temperature before opening to avoid
condensation problems).

Someone mentioned 'polarizing' filters earlier.  What these do is cut out
the reflected light that is sitting on the surfaces of the subject.  For
example:  If you are photographing yellow leaves in the shade, you can get
rid of the blue reflections of the sky on the leaves by using a polarizing
filter.  The color of the leaves will appear more saturated by getting rid
of that blue reflected light.  One must be careful however, not to use
polarizers too much, getting rid of all reflected light can really deaden a
photo.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill & Harvey
SKID Plants Zone 6  CT
SKID Photography in NYC