Useful Photography Tip #189: A PSA for Those Who Shoot Slide Film

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Lots of film photographers only shoot their film, develop and scan it, and then mess with the scans in post afterwards. But if you’re shooting slide film, then you’re probably denying yourself a whole lot of justice. Those who shoot Ektachrome, Provia, Velvia etc. should really put their film down on a white box, get a magnification loupe, and look at all the beautiful details that the original piece has to offer. There are even apps on your phone that will act as a white box–and all you need to do is take the positives, put it down on the screen, and look at the images with a magnification loupe that will let you cut out excess light around the image.

This, perhaps more than anything, is the magic of slide and chrome film. These films were designed to be cut up (at times) and put into projectors so that we can easily see all the details. It’s where the idea of “slides” come from when you’re in a business meeting and a Powerpoint presentation is being done. In this case though, you’re really just looking a those photos and probably not using a projector. If you don’t have a lightbox or anything that can help you look at the details closer, hold it up to a neutral light source and simply look at the positives. The experience is often magical and can’t be put into words.