Kodak Shirleys

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by james_ollinger, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. A long time ago I remember reading something about Kodak's test negatives/transparencies, which typically featured
    a girl for flesh tones, etc. The girl (and thus the test neg) was called a "Shirley"

    I've searched all over and I can't find anything about it. I see people referring to Kodak test negs as Shirleys, but no
    website that shows them over the years, no source to buy them, etc.

    Anyone know anything about Shirleys? I'd love to know.
  2. shirleys came in some of the kodak books in a little envelope on inside front cover as i recall that is the only way i know to get them seems like mine is in a kodak c41 book the one with the yellow cover
  3. Shirley has passed on. RIP.

    The idea was to give you a known good negative that you could print.

    Look up the Abobe 98 test picture. It has a model and various colors and a grey scale, Shirley younger fraternal twin.
  4. Meet Shirley.
  5. Waldo, what year is this from? It's not the Shirley I remember from the early-mid 90's. The Shirley I knew wasn't quite so...sexy. :)
  6. Thank you everyone.

    I'm an amateur historian, and I find stuff like this fascinating. I'm not interested in generic "test negatives," I'm interested in Kodak Shirleys. I wanted to collect/see them and how they changed over the years. If I can get a variety of them, I'll put them on my website.

    If anyone knows where I can find them (they're not even on eBay--at least I haven't seen any), I'd love to hear about it.

    Special thanks, Waldo, for posting that one. Do you know when it was made?
  7. That's the same Shirley that's in my 1974 Kodak Color Dataguide.
  8. John's correct. The first Shirley I posted is from the 1974 Kodak Color Dataguide. Looking further I see that the Shirley negative is still in the envelope...looking pretty good, too. So I've posted the two of them below. BTW, the color of the Shirley print isn't quite as ghoulish as it shows on Photo.net.
  9. Here's a different Shirley. Rather than the real thing--i.e. negative and reference print--it's a depiction in four-color offset from the inside cover of the1970 Kodak publication No. E-66 "PRINTING COLOR NEGATIVES."
  10. This Shirley ring-a-round is printed on the fold-out back cover of Kodak E-66 PRINTING COLOR NEGATIVES.
  11. Sorry, the photo didn't upload.
  12. And here's a closer view of the 1970 Shirley (in four-color offset).
  13. Thank you for sharing! I appreciate it very, very much.
  14. James, these negatives, a little more technically, were referred to as printer control negatives, or perhaps setup or slope control negatives. If you do a search with some of these terms, I'm sure you'll come up with something.

    The true purpose, rather than a simple "good" reference negative, was to assist setup with automatic printers or analyzers so that color shifts due to exposure were automatically handled.

    I don't know about now, but as of a couple years ago, Kodak sold a set of Portra 135-film negs under cat# 1798511. For older ones, look for someone selling off an older mini-lab system.
  15. Several different models posed for the "Shirley" shot including Gail, Ann, and Kim. The pictures were taken in the Photographic Technology Division studio on the 8th floor of Building 69 at Kodak Park.

    Before: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://lh6.ggpht.com/_qQzyC3EUMwU/RwfkLiC8-lI/AAAAAAAAD8U/THaXmtSOQ5c/B69-65_019.JPG&imgrefurl=http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2n6i-TtVhqUMkQtHOEeyDA&h=1067&w=1600&sz=13&hl=en&start=1&sig2=SIO-Zw1IH7-0opDMb7WGBQ&tbnid=CQcMg8wUuYhxCM:&tbnh=100&tbnw=150&ei=KeCgSP3KNqbceuy95bYF&prev=/images%3Fq%3DKodak%2BPark%2Bbuilding%2B69%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

    After: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://lh4.ggpht.com/_qQzyC3EUMwU/RwfleCC8_iI/AAAAAAAAEEI/t3fEoyheyf0/B69-65_080.JPG&imgrefurl=http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/QTCrfZxMNY-swd5TGeNJ0Q&h=1067&w=1600&sz=12&hl=en&start=2&sig2=hW4XfQOOGMr3k7IAT4UlDw&tbnid=NwMCkAcAiYi6CM:&tbnh=100&tbnw=150&ei=KeCgSP3KNqbceuy95bYF&prev=/images%3Fq%3DKodak%2BPark%2Bbuilding%2B69%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG
  16. Ron,

    Those links are the most powerful symbols I have seen yet symbolizing the demise of film.
  17. Decline, not demise.

    Most of the decline has already happened. The casual film users have gone. The devoted film users are likely to stay around for awhile. I expect product discontinuances to slow down. We wont have all of our favorite products, but we will have some of them for years to come.
  18. Here's Shirley scanned from the negative in the 1974 Kodak Color Dataguide. I did a little overall color balance in Nikon Scan, to get the background reasonably neutral. The scan looks a lot nicer than the print. If you do highlight/midtone/shadow color balance on dress/grey card/gloves, you can get the color even nicer, the sort of results that were only possible in dye transfer in the old days. Shows how nasty the color papers were in 1974, in my opinion.
  19. Playing with the color print viewing filter kit, maybe it needs +5M or +5B to get the background neutral. The Blue helps the skin tones a but more. But I'm still learning color balancing, to be honest. (The picture is in sRGB color space, for your information. Scanner Nikon Coolscan IV.)

    Another obvious difference of the scan is that the highlights aren't blown out, which they sure are on the prints. No detail in the fur on the prints. The papers had rather limited dynamic range, and a narrow color gamut.
  20. The Shirley just above looks a bit red, so I tried auto white balance (in GIMP).
  21. Here is a different Shirley that Scott Eaton posted five years ago.
  22. I wouldn't describe Scott's Shirley as less striking.
  23. still nicer than the aperion's "Trudy" http://www.aperioninc.com/products/tbn/about.php
  24. Wonder what happened to Scott Eaton?
    I posted this on the other thread about negatives in the digital darkroom section:
    Anyone know from where this target originated:
  25. Tim, it looks like your sample has been cropped from an original evaluation test image supplied by a company named OnSight. Of course, it's possible that image originates elsewhere, and he simply has usage rights. BTW, it just occurs to me that he (Onsight) is in your general part of the country, or at least the same state.
    Probably best to download a good copy, from: http://www.on-sight.com/downloads/
    He gives permission to use it "for noncommercial testing purposes if no part is cropped or altered."
  26. Bill,
    I'll have to disagree with you on that. Onsight is a fairly recently established business by a very young fresh out of college graduate by the name of Scott Martin who has a degree in digital imaging. I've seen that target you mention.
    But I've had that image since 1998 and is actually part of a combination color target similar to Scott's from a company called River City Silver out of San Antonio, Texas who've been around since 1984 and offers the same services as Scott but offers lab services. But River City Silver's target has other targets combined with it that include the GATF color target so I'm assuming they found it much like how folks here found the Shirley target.
    Just thought some ex-Kodak guys here might know from where it came, but I guess I should just call up River City Silver and find out. Their website doesn't offer a download of this target and I doubt they have personnel who would still remember where this image came from.
    Thought I'ld ask here. It's no big deal. Just curious about where it came from. Thanks for the consideration.
  27. Here's the full target:
  28. Hey Tom - this is Scott Martin of Onsight. I'm not as young as you might think. I graduated from college in the early 90s and have been consulting around the world for over 15 years. I was a commercial drum scan operator in the 80s and 90s and oversaw digital operations at River City Silver in the mid 90s. That's where I scanned the Shirley you mention. A creature of habit, I still use a modified version of that scan today on the evaluation image I use with every freshly calibrated and profiled device. It's fun seeing this ancient version you've posted - I haven't seen it in ages. You're welcome to get a fresh copy at http://www.on-sight.com/downloads/
    Cheers - Scott Martin
  29. Thanks again to everyone who's responded.
    Every 2 or 3 years someone will email me again about Shirleys and ask if I've gotten anywhere. So I've now started this webpage. http://www.jollinger.com/photo/articles/shirley.html
    I'm going to dig out my old copies of Kodak dataguides and see if I can find more. I know that I'm missing the negatives (that's a common problem) but frankly I don't care if I have the negatives; I just want the scans. If anyone would like to contribute, please either post here or email them to me and I'll add them to the page.
  30. anyone got any negs of shirleys they could scan and email to me please???
  31. Incredibly late follow up - I wonder if this song
    has anything to do with the lady in question ?

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