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Thread: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

  1. #1

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    Question What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    Does light source (like halogen) affect the quality of the silver printing during exhibition?

    If yes, what could be the ideal lighting method for exhibiting photographs in a studio without compromising the quality of the displayed work?

    Thanks!

    /zenny

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  2. #2

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    Re: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    Yes, light source and brightness affects the presentation.

    It is normal for professionals to print & tone for a given setting.

    If you can change the lighting, like in your house, then you can change the look of a given print.
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~ Mark Twain

  3. #3
    lenser's Avatar
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    Re: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    I can't speak for the type of lights or the correct balances for archival purposes, but I will address position. The worst exhibit of photography I've ever seen for it's presentation was an Ansel Adams exhibit at our local art museum. The lights were about six or seven feet back from the wall which meant that if you wanted to get close enough to view fine details, you cast a deep shadow on the exact area of the prints that you wished to see better. Impossible to enjoy!

    Place your lights within no more than two feet of the wall so you can get good illumination even if you want to get right on top of the prints for a very close in viewing experience.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  4. #4

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    Re: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    If you have some MR16 track and lighting fixtures a good alternative for a decent price are the Solux Lighting gallery bulbs which run around $7.95 a bulb and produce a full color spectrum of natural daylight with ultra-low UV and IR. The bulbs come in four color temp options 3500K, 4100K, 4700K, & 5000K and with four beam spread options. I personally find that these bulbs display and illuminate silver prints very nicely for the cost.

  5. #5

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    Re: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    +1 on the Solux bulbs. I've been using them quite a while now and really like them. You can get them in sizes to fit normal recessed can or track lights as well as with transformers. They also had a really neat setup where you could adjust the beam with masks to eliminate keystoning and just illuminate the photo/artwork. Gets a bit expensive though.

    Also - I've noticed that they seem to have a higher percentage of duds than regular lights - maybe 5% to 10% have been blowing out the frst or second time I switch them on.

  6. #6

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    Re: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    +1 on the Solux bulbs.

    Also - I've noticed that they seem to have a higher percentage of duds than regular lights - maybe 5% to 10% have been blowing out the frst or second time I switch them on.
    Do they replace or give credit on duds that burn out quickly.

    Mike

  7. #7
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    The GE "Precise Constant Color" series of MR 16 bulbs is also worth a look. The color temperature is 3000K, normal for halogen bulbs, but lower than the Solux (who would need filters in the reflector or in front to get their color temperatures)

  8. #8
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...084#post707084 and the more general http://www.largeformatphotography.in...judging-prints.

    No sense in repeating myself. Coincidentally, you might also be interested in this.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    There are two different issues involved. One is how optical brighteners will fluoresce under
    halogens or other high UV sources. Bad for color prints; but it's how galleries really make
    black and white silver print really 'pop'. The other question regards color temp and visual
    spectral distribution, just like displaying color prints. And a lot of this has to do with what
    kind of tone or toners are involved. Selenium or warm gold toning for example, is more
    apparent under a warmer light source; but you might prefer a higher color temp for cold toned prints. You need to experiment.

  10. #10

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    Re: What is the ideal lighting source for silver prints for display?

    @Michael C.

    Yes - I've never had a hard time getting the Solux duds replaced. Just call and talk to the mand they will take care of it. Sorry to be late getting back to you ut I've been on the road for business the last few days.

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