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Best way to evaluate slides?


Now I have some test slides. What’s the best way to evaluate them
for sharpness, exposure, and color? Any links to good references on
this? I have a Logan light box with color corrected bulb. Adequate? I
notice that the price range on light boxes is enormous.

Is it important to project slides to evaluate them? Or does this
just age the slides prematurely?

If it’s important to project them, I guess a good quality matte
white screen helps to distinguish sharpness or lack of it?

Any advice and info would be most welcome.

Catherine Jo Morgan
Morgan SculptuRe: iron & mixed media vessels


It is critical to project your slides if your intention is to apply
to juried shows.

At one time I was part of the committe who produced the MVFAF. We
did as I think the ACC does in jurying. All 5 slides were projected
simultaneously for the jurors to view. The one thing that pops out
is whether the slides have coherence [ the coherence of the work
aside ]. By coherence I mean that the shots have some unity and
don’t look like five random shots taken with various backrounds and
lighting. If the backround is the same it really makes a
difference. An uncluttered backround helps; don’t use unusual

The MVFAF encouraged applicants or just those interested to view the
process. It’s very educational. I know that it’s difficult to come
up with 5 screens and 5 projectors, but there’s nothing like it. I
would also suggest having someone whose opinion you respect to also
view them to get a more disinterested perspective.

If you treat slides with care projecting them does in no way degrade

Hope this helps.
Kevin Kelly


Catherine Jo -

pick up a current copy of any magazine that has an emphasis on
jewelry, check out the pictures in feature articles, how-to sections
and award publicity. the back of sunshine artist issues and other
pubs have excellent examples of actual slide/print copies submitted
by artists to be juried into shows such as the ACC show and then
used for publicity. compare yours to those. not long ago sunshine
artist had a very good article on what you need for good slides: -

my slides are done by the photographer who writes the monthly column
for CraftReport, steve meltzer - it’s great that he lives close by
in sarasota so it’s 3 days from drop off jewelry to pick up slides
and prints. steve has written how-to advice on slide composition in
CraftReport if you can find back copies.

the main points, in addition to crispness and pop out color, is
continuity of background color (graduated is best), thematic jewelry
pieces (not wildly diverse styles of work), and no unnecessary
distractions of other items in slides (no cutesy little statues,
etc.), no more than one piece per slide unless you have a knock out
matching set of ring and bracelet or necklace. some other
suggestions: leave the ear wires off of earrings for slides; fill
the image area - that means your clean up process has to be above
average for slide close-ups

good luck -


I think that you need to project slides if you are using them to
jury into shows because that is how the jurors look at them. I have
found that slides that look great on a light table may not cut it
when projected. If you are only using them to get into galleries
then you can use a light table.

Deb Karash


Hello all;

I agree that projection is the best way to evaluate slides.

But as an intermediate step to start winnowing them down or if you
have no projector is a 10X or higher power slide viewing lupe.

It is an inexpensive way to view and evaluate the slides. You can
pick up camera movement and imperfections in the slide with this

At one time I’d look at mine under a low powered microscope to get
really picky.



Catherine, From a strictly photographic point of view, projection is
NOT the best way to evaluate your slides. There are too many
variables such as screen texture, ambient light, projector bulb,
etc., to make an accurate analysis. It’s best to examine your
images on a color corrected light box, with an 8X loupe. Look for
sharpness, depth of field (that area in a photo that is apparently
sharp from background to foreground, sometimes difficult to achieve
with close ups) good contrast, fill the frame with your subject,
etc…These are the kinds of things that photo editors look for
publication or printing. Having said all that, I understand that most
juried exhibitions are judged by projecting many images at once, and
briefly at that, in front of the panel of jurors. So you need to
have some impact, presumably. There is really no excuse for bad
photography. If an image looks fantastic on the light box, it will
look good projected. -BK in AK