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John Neville Cohen's picture

Surprising special effects were possible with colour reversal film!

As an award winning ‘Special Effects’ photographer, who was promoted by Kodak in the 1960’s, I am surprised to learn that there are now photographers preferring to use film, rather than the digital systems that provide such incredible possibilities.

The new cameras make it easier to control the image and exposure, in so many ways, that were much more complicated before with film. Added to this, there is the advantage of seeing the image immediately. But even after having taken the picture, with the aid of software, the options available now to manipulate digital photographs are just fantastic!

Before anyone used computers, I favoured ‘Kodachrome 25’ film as I enjoyed viewing the large projected image, far more than a print, even though there was no option to alter the picture once taken, yet I was using it for my own ‘special effects’. But having to wait at least a week, to see the transparencies, was frustrating.

I preferred transparencies to negatives because I found it extremely hard to master colour printing, as an amateur, so I always relied on professional processing laboratories to make my prints.

My 'special effects' pictures were imaginative (nothing like the usual photographs) and I soon found that it was nearly impossible, when they made prints from my negatives, for them to know how to get the colour balance that I really wanted. The advantage of transparencies was that I could simply instruct them to match the colour balance of the transparency that they could see.

After so many years using film, I am now personally totally sold on the digital system, but should any readers be interested in what special effects I achieved with my own invented ‘Painting with Light’ technique, please do have a look at my website https://www.jncohen.net/Limited-Edition-Prints/Painting-with-light.htm

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