Example 3: The Concept of "True Color" and the Myth of Slides verses Negatives

Original from Slide There is a perception that slides provide more accurate, or "true" color than negatives. In this example, the original is a 6cm x 6cm transparency (slide). The transparency was directly printed in a custom photo lab onto high-gloss polyester media. Subsequently, a contact internegative was created from the transparency, which was then printed at a different custom photo lab also onto high-gloss polyester media. The image to the left was matched to the direct print from the transparency.

The long exposure time (in this case, 1 second) resulted in a blue shift cast over the entire image. As the printing was specifically to match the original, the resulting print also presented this cast.
The image on the right was matched to the print created from the internegative. When a negative is used to print an image, the colors must be interpreted based on the printer's knowledge of various reference points (e.g., sky, water, vegetation, etc.). Color and density shifts which may be present, and may bias the printing of a slide, are not as visually evident on a negative. Therefore, without the direct reference to the original slide, the color will be interpreted solely on the reference points, which may result in a more accurate representation of the color in the image. Corrected Internegative