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Janis Carter photo illustrates quality of Ned Scott's personal prints

on Saturday, 14 January 2012. Posted in News

A recently acquired photo of Janis Carter by Ned Scott dramatically illustrates the vast difference between Ned Scott's own personal prints and the prints created by the photographic labs at Columbia Studios. These lab-made prints were often made at night from negatives created the day before, and they served a number of important and specific purposes for the Hollywood film making industry. Ned Scott detailed this topic in an article he wrote for publication in the Complete Photographer in 1943. The chief point to make, however, is that while these were crucial to the success of a film, they were poorly made prints. Professionals often referred to them with some contempt as "glossies" because they were printed on cheaper resin coated paper. Contrast and tonal quality were mediocre, or flat. When Ned Scott decided to print from one of his negatives for his own collection, these factors came into play in a big way. Ned Scott used four labs around the city of Los Angeles to create large display prints for him. If he could not be on hand to make them himself, he gave the technicians specific instructions for printing. The results were spectacular. These two images of Janis Carter, taken at Ned Scott's own residence in La Canada, California, embody this quality of his prints. The blacks of the prints are rich, deep and resonant.

Janice Carter with coral fan

This image was posed with a black coral fan which for may years took the place of honor in display above Ned Scott's fireplace mantel between two Tridacna (giant clam) shells given to him by Vallejo Gantner. The photo of Janice Carter with the glass-topped table emphasizes the point of black resonancy even more.

Janice Carter with glass table

The quality of these two prints quickly becomes evident when compared to a similar image from another negative Ned Scott created during the same photo shoot. This print was created by the studio lab at Columbia without consideration for tonal range and contrast.

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