white subject against the white background.

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Black and White Photography: Digital Printing : One Thread

recently I shot couple of rolls of BK & WT film of my kid whith the white T-shirt on.When I printed them her face had a nice tone and good contrast against the white background but there was no distingushable line between her T-shirt and the backgound.I was woundering how can I improve the ligting that shows the white T-shirt. Thank you Hamid Los Angeles

-- hamid kalkatechi (joojoojaan@yahoo.com), April 30, 1999


Try the following:

1. set your meter from the white T shirt (get right up close to the T shirt) then open it up 2 or 3 stops (i.e open the aperture 2-3 stops or reduce shutter speed by 2 - 3 speeds or some combination of both). This should ensure you get detail on the T shirt. Depending on your camera, you may need to do this in manual mode. You can also do this with some aperture priority cameras; or

2. reduce your film development time say by 10-20%. (You'll need to experiment a little) The highlights (such as the T shirt) continue developing throughout the development of the film, whereas the shadows will be close to fully developed early on. Reduce the development time and you'll darken the highlights a little; or

3. if you're printing in a darkroom, flash the paper - i.e set the enlarger to its maximum height and smallest aperture and the timer to its minimum time. Without a negative in the enlarger, expose the entire sheet of paper. If the whites on the T shirt don't show up, try increasing the time slightly until it works. (The best way of doing this is actually to do a test first - do this like an ordinary test strip (using max height, smallest aperture, min time etc) but make sure you count the number of exposures - the exposure just before the 'off white' strip is the right one); or

4. if you're scanning and printing using Photoshop, play with the Curves function until details on the T shirt appear. This probably won't work unless you're scanning from the negative, though.

If you'd like me to elaborate on any of this, just let me know.

Regards Gareth Jolly

-- Gareth Jolly (sgfj@minters.com.au), May 02, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ