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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Darmstadt, Germany

    red filter indoors?

    Hi all,

    I'm pretty new to photography, and I'm grateful that there are so many knowledgable photographers who post on this site. I want to take indoor shots of friends who operate a café, but I want the tone of the pictures to have a somewhat darkened, antiquated look. The prints will be b&w. A sepia filter comes to mind. But what of a red filter? Would that be a good choice in achieving that desired tone? (I'm going to use an SLR autofocus cam).

    Thanks from

  2. #2
    has-been... another view's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Rockford, IL
    I assume you're talking about using film, not digital - If you use B&W film, a sepia filter won't do anything. Sepia toning is part of the printing process from b&w negatives.

    Two ways to do it: Shoot B&W film, no filters. Use a good custom lab to make the prints and tell them what you want. I've got a lab here that can do it (not sure exactly what they do or how they do it, but it looks very good).

    Red filters are used to increase contrast, usually outside. This will make the sky almost black and clouds will really stand out, for example. Ansel Adams type work, but he didn't always use red - sometimes orange or yellow too when red would have given too much contrast. Indoors - especially with low light - you will probably have more contrast than you want. A red filter will not only compound the problem, but also lose almost two stops of light - another problem with this type of photography!

    Lots of ways to do this, but a couple of questions first:

    1) Shooting film or digital?
    2) If film, do you have a good pro-lab to take the film to (that really knows b&w)?
    3) How big are the prints that you will make
    4) Are you using any lighting or only available light (as in no strobes, etc)?
    5) Are you concerned about prints being too grainy?

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