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Kodak Shirleys

James Ollinger , Aug 10, 2008; 12:05 a.m.

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.


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kevin hess , Aug 10, 2008; 12:31 a.m.

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

Ronald Moravec , Aug 10, 2008; 06:46 a.m.

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.

Waldo Lee , Aug 10, 2008; 08:36 a.m.

Meet Shirley.

Kodak Shirley

Jim Appleyard , Aug 10, 2008; 09:44 a.m.

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. :)

James Ollinger , Aug 10, 2008; 02:11 p.m.

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?

John Shriver , Aug 10, 2008; 05:17 p.m.

That's the same Shirley that's in my 1974 Kodak Color Dataguide.

Waldo Lee , Aug 10, 2008; 06:57 p.m.

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.

Shirley - 1974 Kodak Color Dataguide

Waldo Lee , Aug 10, 2008; 07:02 p.m.

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."

Inside cover - Kodak E-66 PRINTING COLOR NEGATIVES

Waldo Lee , Aug 10, 2008; 07:05 p.m.

This Shirley ring-a-round is printed on the fold-out back cover of Kodak E-66 PRINTING COLOR NEGATIVES.

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