Large Format Printing from a 20-year old slide

One of my clients came across some images from her days as a model in New York and she wanted to have one of the 35mm slides blown up to a 44″ wide print. This presented a couple of challenges and some fun creative choices to mull over.

First, we decided to send the slide out to West Coast Imaging and have a Tango Drum scan done to create the 200mg file rather than rely on interpolation/sharpening techniques to get the image big enough. Once we had a nice, large file to work from I began the process of smoothing out the tonal range and adding some contrast. Very little retouching was needed, but I wanted to maintain the vintage look of the original slide without dating it so I pretty much cleaned up the noise in the background by smoothing the highlights, then I smoothed out the skintones with a median filter.

The resulting image looked great on a monitor. I printed it on Somerset Velvet paper which has a pretty high D-Max and incredible tonal range. The final print measures 43″ wide by 37″ high and it is every bit as beautiful as the image above.

Author: Jeff Gatesman

I am a Cinematographer and still photographer. My favorite places are behind a camera or in front of a big screen.

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