B/W Photos of Westerns ?

Jim Hutchins hutchins at fiona.umsmed.edu
Sat Jul 15 12:50:20 EST 1995

Jeff Leonard (leonardj at ava.bcc.orst.edu) wrote:
: Hi, Are there any photography experts out there that can give me some advice
: on making black and white photos of Westerns stained with NBT/BCIP. Purple 
: bands on a purple background are obvious to my eye but fade into shdes of
: gray on the photos. High contrast film, filters, paper? 
: E-mail replies welcome.

: Jeff Leonard
: leonardj at bcc.orst.edu


The general rule is: to increase contrast (what you want to do), use a color
filter which is the opposite color to what you want to photograph.  For
example, blue filters increase contrast on brown, yellow or green increase
contrast of purple (depending on the exact shade of purple).

You can either use a commercial set, like the kind that Fotodyne sells for
photographing Coomassie-stained gels, or you can experiment with a book
of color filters like those sold by Edmund Scientific.  I prefer the latter.
Be sure to place the color filter up next to the lens so any dirt or scratches
on the filter will not be in focus and will not show up.

For film, you can use Kodak 4127 sheet film (4 x 5 in) or T-max 35 mm film.
Some will swear by Tech Pan 35 mm, but I don't see much difference in 
contrast between T-Max and Tech Pan and the former is much easier to
process for beginners.  I highly recommend a book called "Kodak Black and
White Darkroom Dataguide" (Kodak pub #R-20), which you can get at a local
photo supplier or special-order.

[I have no connection whatever to the above-named companies.]

E-mail me if you want more specific information.  Are you using a Polaroid
MP-4 setup, or something else?  If a 35 mm camera, then my advice is slightly
different :-).

This brings up another question: the only exception to the rule I stated in
the first paragraph is the filter sets used for photographing ethidium-stained
gels.  Anyone know why this is?

Jim Hutchins
Assoc Prof Anatomy, Asst Prof Neurology (Research), Univ Mississippi Med Ctr
http://fiona.umsmed.edu/~hutchins/  ***  mailto://hutchins@fiona.umsmed.edu
``There are two tragedies in life: one is not getting what you want.
The other is getting it.''  Oscar Wilde, _The Importance of Being Earnest_

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