Jill Enfield, one of this country's most experienced and respected handcoloring artists, is a fine art, editorial and commercial photographer. Jill has taught handcoloring and non-silver techniques at Parsons School of Design, The New School, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York University, Long Island University and the International Center of Photography in New York, as well as in workshops throughout the United States and Europe. Jill's more recent emphasis has been on the wet plate collodion process, originally used by Matthew Brady during the Civil War. Her work is in the collections of RJ Reynolds Company, Southeast Banking Corporation, The Amon Carter Museum, The Boca Raton Museum of Art, Hotel Parisi in LaJolla, and Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellin in Colombia, where her work was shown during a three month exhibition that traveled throughout the country. Jill's commercial clients include Fortune Magazine, Kodak, Hasselblad, Nikon, Penguin Putnam, Incorporated, St. Martin's Press, LIFE, Vassarette Lingerie, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, American Heritage Magazine, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Woman's Day Magazine and many others. Her personal work has appeared in such publications as National Geographic, Camera Arts, PDN, Hasselblad's FORUM Magazine, Nikon World, Camera & Darkroom Techniques, Archive Books, Step by Step, Shutterbug, Popular Photography, Digital Camera and ZOOM. Jill's book on non-silver techniques titled Photo Imaging: A Complete Guide to Alternative Processes was published by Watson-Guptill in November 2002 and won the Golden Light Award for Best Technical Book of 2002 through the Maine Photographic Workshop. Jill is working on an updated version expected to be released in the coming year. In May 2003, Jill's website was awarded one of the "25 Best Websites" by Photo District News Magazine. Jill's work has been featured in over thirty shows during her career, including an exhibition at The Vivienne Esders Gallery in Paris. Jill had two one-woman shows in 2003; a lecture at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York followed by an opening at Artisan Works Gallery in September 2003. In December 2003 her work was featured at the Light Factory in Charlotte, North Carolina. A workshop and lecture were included during the opening weekend. In 2006, one of Jill’s images was one of forty-two images selected from thousands in the Here is New York archive of New York City to commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9/11. The prints hung at Ground Zero in Manhattan for a year. In January 2009, Jill was also given a solo show at Tilt Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona. In September of the same year, Jill’s wet collodion portraits of immigrants in New York City were supported by a faculty development grant awarded to Jill from The New School. The same body of work was the featured exhibition at Ellis Island, in tandem with the annual Black Tie Gala for the charity organization Upwardly Global, a support resource for placing professionals from other nations with appropriate career options in the United States. A podcast about the project can be heard by going to Jill's media page. Also in 2009, Jill’s handcoloring work became part of the traveling exhibition Four Visions in a Different Light, beginning in Fall 2009 and traveling through 2011. Nikon has honored Jill by featuring her on their website as a "Legend Behind The Lens" photographer as well as in their Full-Line product guide and an upcoming issue of Nikon World. Jill has also appeared on The Today Show Weekend Edition, New York One and The CBS Saturday Morning Edition as a spokesperson for www.takegreatpictures.com on several occasions.
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Ask The Experts
Hello Jill, I have been hand-coloring using Luminos Charcoal R. I am now moving into digital and would like a paper that has the same look, feel and tooth of the above. Any suggestions for a paper would be most appreciated? I mostly use Prismacolor oil pencils. Thanks, Jim
Hi Jim: Well your will be a happy camper with this one....Charcoal R is made with an inkjet coating and is sold by Lumijet as Inkjet coated Charcoal R. It is the same paper as the photographic one. Good luck in the big switch...you will be happy you did it after the learning curve is passed.
I am working alot with liquid light in my work at the moment, and wondered if there is any narrative or meaning you are trying to put across in your work?
I started to do liquid emulsion because of the painterly affect that you can get by painting an emulsion on to any surface. It gives me a lot of choice: paper, color and paint strokes, depending on how I apply it. I liked the idea of having my hand in my work instead of just straight black and white prints that gave me little choice in paper thickness and feel. I can not draw – but love to paint. It is a way for me to have more control in how my images look and incorporate two processes that I love to do. A far as a narrative or meaning to my work...It depends on the piece or in the group of work that I am doing. I hope this answers you. Best,
Hello Ms. Enfield, I teach photo at Sprague High School in Salem, Oregon. I want to work with Graphic Arts films, i.e., Ortho Litho and Half Tone films in order to try to reticulate the emulsions. I have an interesting book entitled, "PhotoGraphics" (1972) by Par Lundqvist. One chapter discusses reticulation of half tone films that eventually get copied onto lith film. My question is: What is the difference between the two? I always thought they were the same. Also, can you recommend good ones to use (both half tone and lith - if they are in fact different). Any information you can send my way would be greatly appreciated. My advanced students are dying to try this!! Thank you, Michael
Hi Michael, Let's see if I can answer the question that you are interested in! I have not done this since I was in school! It does not matter which you use - lith film (ortho) is a higher contrast film than continuos tone films. I usually use a continuous tone film to make my internegs for alternative processes such as Bergger Continuous tone BPFB-18. But I have also gotten good results with Arista which is an ortho film. I develop both of them in Dektol 1:2, changing the ratio if I need to change the contrast. I think that the author of your book uses both films because that is the result he has found works for him. Nothing is the exact rule! Experiment - have fun and even mistakes can give you wonderful results that you wish you could repeat! Best,
For years I have handcolored on Ilford Glossy FB (MGF.1K) paper using Marshall's precolor spray to add "tooth" to the paper. I recently discovered some prints that were sprayed in a drawer (no exposure to light) and the spray had yellowed. To say the least this was of concern to me. Could you recommend a paper which has the same tonal properties as the Ilford paper, white base, multigrade, etc. but doesn't need to be sprayed as it is made for handcoloring? I never cared for Kodak's P-Max paper as it was dull and flat looking as far as tones, also it was a graded paper. By the way (shameless self promotion) you may see my images at : berkun.myexpose.com Thanks for your help! Brian
Brian, I never have used the spray for that very reason. It is important to check the small print on a lot of items to make sure they say that they are archival. A lot of papers are not being made anymore, as I am sure you are aware! Very glossy papers scratch when you use pencils. You can use oil paints or water colors on them with no problem, although the oils sometimes "move around" a lot and it may be hard to get an intense color to stay where you put it. You might want to try an lustre - like Kentmore papers. They do look a little flatter when you print them - but you are adding color and you can control the look that way. I think you will be much happier using a lustre paper - it will make it much easier for you to paint. Good luck. Best,
Hi, I want to hand color individual frames of a black and white 35mm motion picture film print. I haven't done any hand coloring before but I have been reading about it and I notice there are many mediums available and I wasn't sure what would be best for that job. I hoped you might have some good recommendations. The photo painting pencils sound good to me because they would provide fine detail for the small frames but I'm not sure if they would work on the film print. Maybe it would work to pre-treat the film with some pre-color spray and then use the pencils, or maybe it is best to use something else. I am about to shoot the film and then I wanted to get a work print and start coloring the frames. What would you advise? Thanks for your time! Doug
Dear Doug, I have to say that this is very different from hand painting on paper. Film is a different animal - it is silicone not paper. I know very few people that do this and the ones that do use water color paint - There are water color pencils as well. Also markers. You should do some tests - You are working in a small area on a slippery material - like acetate. This is really a question for film makers - but I hope this helped! Best,
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