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Photography Question 

Black and White Children's Photos

I love taking candid black and white photos of my now 11 month old daughter. I currently have a Pentax ZX10 and use Kodak C41 b/w film.
Now the question... I am getting ready to take her portrait outside at a botanical garden and I need direction in terms of better quality b/w film, a larger lens etc.
I feel like I have the creative part somewhat figured out, but I have trouble with making the photos look professional on paper. Does that make sense?
I would love any advice. Thank you!

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8/7/2002 3:45:52 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy   What do you mean by better quality b&w film? Were you not happy with the C-41 film you used? If you're having problems with the way the prints look maybe it's not you or the film but your lab. The lab makes a huge difference.

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8/9/2002 12:49:32 AM

Julie    I've been using the Kodak b&w film that you can have processed in one hour. I noticed that the prints have a greenish cast to them when they are printed.

I plan on having her picture enlarged to an 8'x10' or 11'x14', so I want the quality to be nice. I think you're right about the lab. Though a step above maybe a Walgreens or Wal-mart lab, I think a more professional lab would be better.

Since I plan on taking the pictures outside, do you have any advice for good lighting? I realize early morning and around dusk are the best, but that doesn't always work with my daughters schedule. AAH, the joys of parenthood!

Thanks for your advice.

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8/9/2002 10:45:34 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy   I shoot professionally and use the C41 b&w's all the time. The greenish cast is a problem with your lab. The C41 films have a fine grain and I really like them. If they look a little flat you might try rating them at ISO 320 or even 200. If you want more traditional b&w and finer grain for bigger enlargements you might try Tmax 100 or Ilford Delta 100. For even finer grain there's Ilford PanF. It's ISO 50 and can be a bit too slow for kids but the grain and tones it produces are great.

When shooting outside look for open shade and even light. If you can have someone assist you by holding a reflector that's great. Otherwise you can try shooting near natural reflectors such as opposite a large light colored building or light colored ground.

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8/9/2002 11:40:03 AM

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