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Thread: how to get vibrant colors on film?

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    Default how to get vibrant colors on film?

    noticed that my uncle can take great shots which the colors are very nice... well, he's using a F801 and i had a dynax 5... any tips on how to have vibrant colors? i know got to do with my skills as well

  2. #2

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    Is your uncle using professional slides or just negatives? Even if using negatives, is he using professional negatives or the usual off the shelf negatives? Professional film, other than their names, are also differentiated by that they are kept refrigerated. They are generally more vibrant than amateur film, not to mention they cost more too.

    Finally, check if your uncle goes to a professional lab while you go to a smaller scale lab. Pro labs generally take more care when printing from film.

    Not forgetting, just go and ask your uncle how does he do it and come teach us all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yeocolin
    Is your uncle using professional slides or just negatives? Even if using negatives, is he using professional negatives or the usual off the shelf negatives? Professional film, other than their names, are also differentiated by that they are kept refrigerated. They are generally more vibrant than amateur film, not to mention they cost more too.

    Finally, check if your uncle goes to a professional lab while you go to a smaller scale lab. Pro labs generally take more care when printing from film.

    Not forgetting, just go and ask your uncle how does he do it and come teach us all.
    i dont think we can generally say that pro film is more vibrant than consumer film...we just cant generalise because pro film is very specific.

    pro film is catered to varied subjects and they come vibrant, and muted. the portrait films cater for skin tones thus haveing lower contrast and muted colors.

    on the other hand, films like provia and velvia offer excellent saturation and colours...

    thus we cannot generalise. buy a film that you need.

    for the vibrant colors, i recommend fuji superia 100, 200 or 400 consumer film... or if you are richer, try fuji reala... its the best negative film is my opnion for outdoor and vibrancy.

    for slides use velvia or provia... nothing else will do for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stl
    noticed that my uncle can take great shots which the colors are very nice... well, he's using a F801 and i had a dynax 5... any tips on how to have vibrant colors? i know got to do with my skills as well
    Use Fuji Reala. The colours are more vibrant and punchier compared to the normal films. My opinion at least. However, you pay more for the film....
    You can try underexposing your shots by one stop, the colours tend to be slightly saturated I think.

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    and make sure you have good lighting at time of shooting. If not, nothing you use will help.

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    It is a misconception by many that the camera plays a part in colour saturation. It is a bigger misconception that only proper lighting gives you saturated colours. Works by Steve McCurry for National Geographic was taken in mostly conditions of overcast sky. It is your knowledge of colours and the performance of the film that counts. Of course, I am not saying that good lighting doesn't help but just saying that we can still take nice pictures in bad lighting too. It is how one balances the surrounding colours, available or artificial lights, and composition to create an outstanding picture.

    I use slides 95% of the time when shooting with films and I chose Kodak E100VS for the extra punch and color saturation. Problem is Kodak E100VS is so very contrasty that one often looses details in the shadow area. A good photographer is also one who understands the characteristics of his films and work out a method to balance the lighting between the high-light and shadow area. Many complaint that using flash is artificial but with proper use of flash and placement of light angle one is able to create dramatic looking pictures.

    The other thing is playing around with filters. Though I shant away from filters to boost colours in my pictures, I never omit the needs for a polarizing filter and in most landscapes, a set of graduate neutral density filters. These are just examples of what can be used to enhance colors in a picture and I wouldn't dwell on the technicalities involved.

    The other way is to digitize your pictures and enhance colors in Photoshop. But in order to do so, one must still have the fundamentals of getting the colors right on film before you can work something out in Photoshop. There is always the saying, garbage in, garbage out. I personally hate to increase color saturation in Photoshop because E100VS is giving more than enough color saturation that if I were to increase it anymore everything would look too unnatural.

    To end it all, enhanced color saturation is to what a lot of designers think, a thing of the past. I am a photographer and many of my clients are looking for pictures that are clinically clean and/or colors muted and I can tell everyone here that my Pulau Ubin pictures are considered a thing of the past. I kept it because it is something which I can never re-create again as most of the scenes are almost non-existent anymore.

    Regards,

    Andy Ho
    My CS Gallery

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    Quote Originally Posted by coke21
    Use Fuji Reala. The colours are more vibrant and punchier compared to the normal films. My opinion at least. However, you pay more for the film....
    You can try underexposing your shots by one stop, the colours tend to be slightly saturated I think.
    I am sorry pal but I just have to say this. Do not mislead others if you are not sure. Underexposing a negative film will not give you saturated colors and on the contrary it causes your shadow area to loose detail and get slightly muddier. If you need better color saturation, shoot at a slightly overexposed setting of less than 1 stop and tell the printer to print it darker. This way, you get better color and saturation and also a boosted contrast.

    I hope I clarify this and I hope I am not offending you.

    Andy Ho

  8. #8

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    never buy pro film b4 leh... by the way, what kind of price i will be expecting? how to pronounce the word har?
    Last edited by stl; 25th January 2004 at 03:53 PM.

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Ho
    It is a misconception by many that the camera plays a part in colour saturation. It is a bigger misconception that only proper lighting gives you saturated colours. Works by Steve McCurry for National Geographic was taken in mostly conditions of overcast sky. It is your knowledge of colours and the performance of the film that counts. Of course, I am not saying that good lighting doesn't help but just saying that we can still take nice pictures in bad lighting too. It is how one balances the surrounding colours, available or artificial lights, and composition to create an outstanding picture.

    I use slides 95% of the time when shooting with films and I chose Kodak E100VS for the extra punch and color saturation. Problem is Kodak E100VS is so very contrasty that one often looses details in the shadow area. A good photographer is also one who understands the characteristics of his films and work out a method to balance the lighting between the high-light and shadow area. Many complaint that using flash is artificial but with proper use of flash and placement of light angle one is able to create dramatic looking pictures.

    The other thing is playing around with filters. Though I shant away from filters to boost colours in my pictures, I never omit the needs for a polarizing filter and in most landscapes, a set of graduate neutral density filters. These are just examples of what can be used to enhance colors in a picture and I wouldn't dwell on the technicalities involved.

    The other way is to digitize your pictures and enhance colors in Photoshop. But in order to do so, one must still have the fundamentals of getting the colors right on film before you can work something out in Photoshop. There is always the saying, garbage in, garbage out. I personally hate to increase color saturation in Photoshop because E100VS is giving more than enough color saturation that if I were to increase it anymore everything would look too unnatural.

    To end it all, enhanced color saturation is to what a lot of designers think, a thing of the past. I am a photographer and many of my clients are looking for pictures that are clinically clean and/or colors muted and I can tell everyone here that my Pulau Ubin pictures are considered a thing of the past. I kept it because it is something which I can never re-create again as most of the scenes are almost non-existent anymore.

    Regards,

    Andy Ho
    My CS Gallery
    Well, we've heard a lot of that haven't we? "Know this and that will make you a better photographer". "Know what you use will give you better results"..... yada yada yada.....

    How about setting the record straight and enlighten us with the details and technicalities? Share with us how you were given an undesirable lighting situation and still made the most out of it maybe. How you worked out the "balance" with actual examples. What's the correct filter to use with examples. How you place your flash so that the results wouldn't look unnatural. How to avoid putting garbage into your comp. You'll sound a lot more convincing then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kit
    Well, we've heard a lot of that haven't we? "Know this and that will make you a better photographer". "Know what you use will give you better results"..... yada yada yada.....

    How about setting the record straight and enlighten us with the details and technicalities? Share with us how you were given an undesirable lighting situation and still made the most out of it maybe. How you worked out the "balance" with actual examples. What's the correct filter to use with examples. How you place your flash so that the results wouldn't look unnatural. How to avoid putting garbage into your comp. You'll sound a lot more convincing then.
    Hi Kit,

    Nice to hear from you. I do not want to sound offensive nor defensive because I am not but if I did, it is because I do not know how to put it across to you and everyone here in a more diplomatic way.

    I would of course love to share everything with you and everyone here but please also remember, this is a web site and I am in no way writing a book for publishing. As if what I wrote is not long enough, do you really expect me to go into the details of every technicalities here???

    I apologize to everyone here that I could not be so specific in what I write here because this is just a website and I do not want to have to cause everyone to spend so much time reading everything.

    I would urge all who reply in a thread to just use some common sense to see and judge the length of the response from the writer before giving comments like this. It is downright very time consuming to type something this long and even more so to give a full explaination to all the technicalities involved.

    May I ask why don't a lecturer just write everything down on the board and you read for yourself? Why does the lecturer have to be verbal? Speed is the key. It is easier to talk than to write.

    I do provide free training on a one to one basis to those who are interested, for FREE. My purpose is to encourage all hobbyist to continue with this otherwise interesting hobby and not give up halfway. By teaching on a more personal basis, we do learn from each other (teacher may not always be right) and help push the interest further. That is why I choose to teach face to face and verbaly than writing. If anyone of you are interested, please contact me.

    Regards,

    Andy Ho
    My CS Gallery

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    This is what I expected..... as usual.

    No offence but first, you wrote such a long message regurgitating what's readily available on the net. Then you wrote another equally long message saying you do not wish to waste everybody's time by sharing your knowledge??? Sorry, but you're still far from being convincing.

    We don't expect you to write whatever you know here, something that would back up your claim in the first message would suffice. If you think this is a waste of time, then perhaps you shouldn't have wasted your time writing the first message in the first place.

  12. #12

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    This is the whole process that counts.

    From : ~ film -> shooting -> processing -> printing.

    The most important I consider is the processing, the chemical must be new and not reused many many times. Otherwise the colour of the film will not stands out no matter how good your skills is. There are labs that try to reused the chemical in order to save cost and that will degrade the properties of the film which can't produce good quality prints.

    In anyway, it also take many years of experience and practices to master what you wanted to become and take that GungHo photographs.
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kit
    This is what I expected..... as usual.

    No offence but first, you wrote such a long message regurgitating what's readily available on the net. Then you wrote another equally long message saying you do not wish to waste everybody's time by sharing your knowledge??? Sorry, but you're still far from being convincing.

    We don't expect you to write whatever you know here, something that would back up your claim in the first message would suffice. If you think this is a waste of time, then perhaps you shouldn't have wasted your time writing the first message in the first place.
    You sound like you know a lot. So why don't you just share pointers instead of complaining so much about whether I am convincing or not? If the example of Steve McCurry from NatGeo that I gave is not enough to convince you that photos may be taken in bad lighting conditions, then what else can I say? I guess you probably don't understand. We are talking about saturated colors and not beautiful lighting. If you still don't get it, why don't you subscribe to NatGeo and see for yourself the kind of quality pictures that could be achieved on days with bad lighting? Don't waste anybody's time mumbling like an old heck.

    Now I am not trying to be diplomatic!

    Andy Ho

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Ho
    You sound like you know a lot. So why don't you just share pointers instead of complaining so much about whether I am convincing or not? If the example of Steve McCurry from NatGeo that I gave is not enough to convince you that photos may be taken in bad lighting conditions, then what else can I say? I guess you probably don't understand. We are talking about saturated colors and not beautiful lighting. If you still don't get it, why don't you subscribe to NatGeo and see for yourself the kind of quality pictures that could be achieved on days with bad lighting? Don't waste anybody's time mumbling like an old heck.

    Now I am not trying to be diplomatic!

    Andy Ho
    Hi Andy,

    Opinions are mend to be contradicting that is why they are opinions otherwise, they would be facts and not opinions

    I read your post carefully and follow some of yours. Why? becos sometime they are contradicting to what I know. And, knowledge is learn their what one do not know and to do that, one need to throw always what he know. That itself is not easy cos all people like to be right

    If opinions from others are the same then it mean I have nothing new to learn which is no good

    Why I noe I might be wrong becos although doing photography for a while, I'm doing it as a hobbyist and you are a working pro.

    By looking at your
    gallery and comparing mine, obviously there are something u know and I do not know.

    Continue giving us your opinions. There will always be people who disagree while some other people will learn from these opinions. Whether right or wrong, we can later try and learn ourself. Like a bad exposure, we learn by identifying them just like a good exposure.

    I enjoy your gallery and your comments. Happy New Year.

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Trying to avoid your obligations I see. I'm not the one who makes the claim you did so you have the obligation to make your own case instead of pushing the responsibilities to me.

    Yes, I do watch Nat Geo and have seen Mr McCurry's work and no doubt he can make good use of bad lighting situations. It was you who came in with the know-it-all attitute that puts me off. You were merely regurgitating what's been said time and again, so I'm asking do you have any real life experience of your own that put those claims to test. You seemed keen on writing anything, including pushing away chances to back up yourself than to prove yourself and no, using McCurry as a shield doesn't count.

    Funny you said you're not trying to be diplomatic now because from what I've read so far, you haven't.

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Ho
    Don't waste anybody's time mumbling like an old heck.
    So you resort to names calling whenever somesone challenges your views(or the lack of)?

    If that's considered time wasting then perhaps you can save us some also by not regurgitating what other's have said so many times?

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    Hi Kit and Andy Ho, I am not the moderator here but I do hope that both of you ceased firing at each others. It served no purpose and may spoil our relationship here.

    We are suppose to give suggestion to "stl" on how to get vibrant color on film rite ?

    Thanks ..
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

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    Default Fuji Velvia :)

    About $20 a roll, $30 to get the whole roll scanned, then take your CD to a Fuji Frontier lab and get them printed. Just did my first roll, and the colors are great... if you want to stick with Negative, I just did a roll of Fuji NPC 160, which I found to be nice as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by stl
    noticed that my uncle can take great shots which the colors are very nice... well, he's using a F801 and i had a dynax 5... any tips on how to have vibrant colors? i know got to do with my skills as well

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    Kit, Wishing you a Happy New Year
    Last edited by whoelse; 26th January 2004 at 12:38 PM.

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT ONG
    Hi Kit and Andy Ho, I am not the moderator here but I do hope that both of you ceased firing at each others. It served no purpose and may spoil our relationship here.

    We are suppose to give suggestion to "stl" on how to get vibrant color on film rite ?

    Thanks ..
    Yeah, you're right. I see no point in responding anymore, especially when nothing constructive will ever come out of it. I'll continue to look up to those who knows enough to command my respect.

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