Herb Ritts' film/developer combo?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by David R Munson, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    So last night I had one of my typically allegorical dreams, in which I was walking down the street and happened to bump into the late Herb Ritts. We talked a little, and in our conversation he said something about Tri-X Pan 320 and D-76. Now, I have no reason to believe that this is actually what he used, but it got me curious.

    Does anybody actually know what film he shot and perhaps how it was developed?
     
  2. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'm not even sure what format he shot - it was obviously NOT Tri-X in D-76 if he was shooting 35mm. It could be that in 2 1/4 though. I went to my library and pulled my one book of his, Kazu (the subject being this Japanese soccer superstar), and while there are no technical notes in the book, a number of the shots have that Tri-X look, but not obtrusively grainy. I'd say he shot either 2 1/4 or 4x5.
     
  3. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    He was known for shooting with an RZ67, primarily.
     
  4. eric

    eric Member

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    We did some of his prints in a lab I worked at in NYC and I recall 120 film and 6x7 format. Most of the commerical guys were using 6x7 format either RB's (Anne Liebowitz, Stephen Meisel) or Pentax 67 (Bruce, we just call him "Bruce")
     
  5. dmax

    dmax Member

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    He had his film processed in the lab I used to work in years ago. He used Tri X in 120 format. I know that because I and another lab tech used to make his proof sheets on AZO. I'm fairly sure that we were running film in TMax developer in our dip-and-dunk processor at that time.
     
  6. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    dmax - Was it regular Tri-X or the TXP 320? (curious)
     
  7. eric

    eric Member

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    Hey Dmax, I worked at Lexington Labs. Where did you work? Did you know Alberto Caputo? Kim Caputo's husband?
     
  8. dmax

    dmax Member

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    Dave,
    I can't exactly recall whether it was regular Tri-X or TX 320. Just from my visual memories of how the film looked like, and the tonal spread that Herb Ritts got from his particular lighting setup, I'd say TX 320. I say that because I used (and continue to use) TX 320 myself in 120 format.

    Eric: My own ethics prevents me from identifying the lab. Let's just say that at that time (about 15 years ago), it was one of the biggest custom B&W labs in all of Hollywood. The lab was well-known for cranking out high-end stuff for a lot of big names. Clue: It had an in-house gallery.
     
  9. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I'd say it was TX320 as well. Especially those 'creamy' beach shots Ritts was noted for.
     
  10. eric

    eric Member

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    No worries, that was 15-17 years ago for me to but out east coast. I'm now in socal so I don't really care anymore :smile:
    Just wanted to see if I know you, looking for some old printers from the lab. We did a lot of high end B&W as well but mostly the NY guys. It was probably the best experience in B&W I've ever got! Free printing after work hours too wasn't too shabby (lots of Portriga hanging on my walls!)
     
  11. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Clue: It had an in-house gallery.

    Perhaps in SoCal, yes?
     
  12. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    Cool, thanks guys. He's one of my favorite photographers, and it can be nice to know a little more about the working methods of those who have influenced your own work.