Q: You know how photographers get that black border around the edge of their finished prints? I've tried often and have not succeeded. Please help! A: There are several ways to obtain black borders around the image of your print. There are some enlargers on the market whose film carriers are slightly larger than the image size of the 35mm film -- and when placed in the enlarger the negative is centered in the carrier, creating an even border on all four sides of the film. You also can have the film carrier made larger so it leaves about a 1/16th of an inch border when the negative is placed in the enlarger. This is common practice for photographers who like their prints surrounded by a black border.
You also can buy a black border printing kit. This kit uses a magnetic thermoplastic mask with a rectangular cutout. The mask is placed over the printed paper, holding the paper tight against the easel. The printed image is composed within the center cutout, and the paper is exposed in the normal way.
The black vinyl insert is placed in the cutout area of the mask and slid to one corner Two of the black outlines are burned in by a brief light exposure from the enlarger. Sliding the insert to the opposite corner and repeating the process completes the border.
Upon processing the print, you should get a sharp, clean, black outline around the image area. It is the magnetic property of the mask which makes the procedure foolproof and assures good results. No light can leak under the edge of the magnetic mask, so a sharp, clean printing edge is achieved.
The black border printing kit is made by Sima Products. It comes in two models, regular 8" x 10" and full-frame formats. Each kit contains masks and inserts for printing on both 8" x 10" and 11" x 14" paper. They are available at most camera shops or you can write for further details to Sima Products Corp., West Devon Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60646. Q: Do I need any special light when shooting indoor color movies with my Super 8 camera? The color seems faded on all the indoor film I shoot. Do you know what causes this? A: Super 8 movie film comes in Type A, which is indoor film. For best results you should use a filter or floodlights that are balanced for indoor photography. If you are shooting pictures under florescent lights without a correction filter you will end up with a green cast on your pictures.
To help home-movie photographers take the guesswork out of lighting conditions, 3M has come up with an easy-to-use Super 8 movie film, called 3M Color Movie Super 8, 160 Type G. This film can be used in all kinds of existing-light situations -- daylight, tungsten light or fluorescent light -- at the same speed setting, without a camera filter or special lights. The film will fit into all Super 8 cameras and also is available under private labels, such as K-Mart.