Enlarging Slim-fast?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by mobtown_4x5, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    99.9% of my photography is for my own enjoyment only, and I have never seriouly attempted portraits...

    however, I have agreed to work on a project for someone else which features a model.

    I am happy with a few of the shots I got, but in the pictures, she looks a little, ahem, well, heavy.

    Anyone know of any enlarging/printing controls I could use to "take off a few pounds"?
    - (the model is the only in-focus element in the composition, if that helps)

    aimin' to please-

    Matt
     
  2. AllanD

    AllanD Member

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    You could try dodging and burn-in to mimic the lighting effects used by studio portraitists. They know a thing or two about making models look slimmer.

    Tilting the enlarger head / lens panel will probably make things worse - unless she already looks like an alien. Apply the Scheimpflug rule to keep the image in focus if you try this.

    Bending the paper on the easel (using a small lens aperture for depth-of-field) could produce some interesting effects, but again, hardly likely to help.

    How about explaining to her that honesty and "telling it as it is" is part of your artistic vision. Then run for the hillsÂ…
     
  3. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Difficult, to say the least, after the fact.
    The *best* possble thing to do is make sure a long lens is used in the first place. The arbitrarily chosen "normal" lenses "ballon" far too much, and produce a "heavying" effect.
     
  4. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Hi Matt,

    It is a difficult position in which you envision yourself. I would print the images to the best of my ability. Trying to duplicate a particular lighting technique in the darkroom may not work to everyone's satisfaction but it may be worth a try. Typically a "split" lighting technique in which one side of the face is in shadow will tend to give the impression of narrowing the face. Whereas a "broad" lighting technique will have very little side to side variance in lighting. This will give the impression of a fuller face.

    These lighting arrangements are best handled at the time of exposure. Blansky (on this site) would be the guy to talk to on actual lighting set ups. He is a wizard at this type of thing. Anyone that can work with children at his level of competence and still play hockey is to be admired. He is a humble man and you may need to draw him out a bit...he is normally quite shy and retiring.

    The model was not of your choosing and so you can't be faulted entirely for what the camera captured.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    You can tilt your easel a bit while printing. The parts of the easel that is raised will get smaller. I use rubber shims about 1/8 inch thick about 3x3 square. They look like those things you put a drink on to protect the table from dew.

    Let's say you want to reduce the bottom right side you just stack a couple under the easel then slide another under the descending sides for stability.

    For localized reduction. areas within the prints I use varying thickness of art boards. This is tricky, You can cause wrinkle in the paper. So don't over do it and build a descending thickness shape.
    The first shape the thickest peace them a second peace with thinner material cut under sized to the first peace. Then a third.
    Lastly I will take tape and tape tis to the easel surface then lay a peace a paper over the top that is undersized to the paper you are printing on. tape it in place also.

    Please keep in mind all this has to be done in very small increments. That old physics theory " every action has an equal and opposite reaction" is very much in play here. Also Also you may want to swing your lense board to match the easel angle. Not to the same angle as the easel, maybe half. This is for focus coverage reasons.