Is this a tintype

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by rastas, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. rastas

    rastas Member

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    I've done a lot of tintypes, and this looks like a tintype, but a bit too perfect. So what is it? Portrait was shot by Robert Maxwell. If not tintype, is there another way to achieve this look through any other alternative process, papers, developing, etc?
     

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  2. E76

    E76 Member

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    Assuming this article is about the same Robert Maxwell I wouldn't be surprised if that is a tintype. According to the article he does use the ambrotype process.
     
  3. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    You need a model that looks like her wow
     
  4. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    If you've done tintypes you know "the look" better than me. But it seems strange to me that the example should be a tintype. It doesn't have the colourblind tonality of the tintype. It looks like a silver gelatin print, with the light and makeup doing the job.

    Apart from a normal silver print, I don't really know how to achieve this look.
     
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Agreed.

    But Natalie Portman... sheeeesh!
     
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    Adobe Tintype. ;-)
     
  7. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I have no idea what that is but no reason someone couldn't coat a plate with a pancro emulsion. This one does look very smooth, hard to tell without looking at the actual object, if such an object does exist and it isn't as Wayne says Adobe Tintype.
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    So you get some tin, and some clay, and some water, and...straw?:wink:
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i don't know ... some of bill schwab and kerik's are every bit as smooth and beautiful as this ..
    this could be as suggested, a tintype ..

    have you contacted the maker ?
     
  10. rastas

    rastas Member

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    Someone suggested it might be a positive (film) printed onto a collodion plate. I thought that too, but its really too perfect.... I'm going mental with this. (its not that silly photoshop gimmick action). are there silver gelatin processes that match this?
     
  11. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Who suggested film printed onto collodion? There are methods for coating plates that can be very smooth, especially if one has money to spend. Anyway, sure you can get this look with a silver print...looks like filtration, lighting, makeup. Do you know it's not photoshop? Could be a hybrid, anything is possible. John as has good point... contact the maker, nothing better than the horses mouth if you really want to know.
     
  12. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Doesn't look like a tintype to me. Looks more like a William Mortensen experiment taken to the Nth degree.
     
  13. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    Doesn't look like one to me either. I'd say d....l but could be a silver print and the defined facial features acheived with make up.
    The tip of the nose to the ears are sharp so this depth of field suggests a small aperture. If this was collodion the sitter would have to be very still for a long time or in a head clamp. Enlarging the picture on my screen I can see 2 catchlights in the eyes which look like 2 large softboxes ?
     
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    It just looks fakey to me, and thats why I suggested AT....I dont like it myself, looks cold, lifeless like a wax figure. I have never seen that kind of look from analog, but I'm no expert on all the alternative processes. I know RM uses alternate processes a lot but this image apparently came from a magazine shoot and d is the natural choice for that...I have no idea if he ever used it or not though.
     
  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    To me, it doesn't really look that different from anything I'd normally see browsing a magazine (not that I do that of course...) or any fashion shoot. If I had to guess I'd say it's large or medium format black & white film. Maybe Tmax, again, if I had to guess. Or it could just as easily be digital of course.

    But that being said, I hope we can find out and get the definitive answer; I'd love to be wrong.
     
  16. rastas

    rastas Member

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    It's not just a normal print from a tmax neg, its more than just "good makeup and lighting". There is something going on here that is..... different. Here's a few more from same photographer in same style:

    http://yodithdammlash.blogspot.com/2009/09/liya-kebede-photo.html
    -and-
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...1t:429,r:17,s:22&tx=55&ty=54&biw=1237&bih=690
    -and-
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...=1t:429,r:6,s:43&tx=52&ty=46&biw=1237&bih=690

    -and-

    http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2005/11/14/marcus-samuelsson-chef/

    For those who say to reach out to the photographer: reaching the president would be easier....
     
  17. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Much of what has been written about this guy mentions that he makes ambrotypes, among other alt processes. There seems to be interviews out there and a book, maybe the answer is there. I might suggest finding the gallery that represents his work, posing as collector and asking a lot of questions. Seriously. If you can see an actual print, or plate or whatever it is all the better.
     
  18. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I don't know how it's done, but to me she looks like an alien.:blink:
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if the film is dense enough
    or processed a certain way
    a straight silver print, or
    unmanipulated scan
    can look similar to this ..
     
  20. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Sorry that I'm not seeing more, but I think it's just a damn good job of lighting and exposure.

    There are two catch lights in the eyes of all the examples, and each is a vertical line.

    What I see are two key lights with no fill lights. The two key lights are positioned almost directly axially in line with the aperture (much like the discussion Mustafa started a few weeks ago about a Weston print). Think of one of the old Nikonus Ikelite underwater monstrosities.

    The lights are fairly narrow beam enclosures with some kind of neon tube (gives the vertical bar catch lights).

    The light housing on the right side of the camera illuminates the model's right side. The light housing on the left of the camera illuminates the model's left side, so they cross.

    This gives the shadows in the cheeks and behind the model's head, but it illuminates the wall outside the model's shadow.
     
  21. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the lighting in the eyes looks like
    besides the 2 side lights, there is a large horizontal
    light projecting down on her forehead and her chest ...
    ( the lights in the eyes look like an upside down U )
     
  22. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    How about an old U shaped bulb, like kitchen fixtures from the '60s.

    http://www.amazon.com/FB40T12-FLUORESCENT-LIGHT-SHAPE-ENERGY/dp/B000STFQAW

    There are larger and smaller versions of these bulbs, but this one above is a reasonable example.

    The picture is taken from between the legs of the bulb.

    The bulb holding fixture is probably modified to keep flare out of the lens.

    Or a modified dental light.
     
  23. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I really don't see anything unconventional about these photographs that would lead me to believe they're anything other than panchromatic b&w film.

    The comment about tonality seems to be the most telling. Those early processes were all "color-blind", or highly blue/UV sensitive, and you just don't get this kind of rendition without a panchro emulsion. At least that's my belief on the matter.

    Getting a hold of photographers, or certainly someone that would know should not be difficult. I had an email conversation with Jerry Spagnoli once. You might get one chance to ask your question, but it should be possible. It's not like he's hiding the process from the public. Find a gallery owner who has it, email his assistant...
     
  24. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    I dont see that weird wax figure look in skin on the first or third image, but I do in the other two. Very unique look, but not attractive to me.