old face

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bogeyes, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    I would like some advice on photographing an 86 year old face. I want to show every crease and wrinkle. Can any of you fellow apuggers post an example and tell me what 120 film/dev/exposure combo will give the desired result. I have only window light to work with.
     
  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_prod.php?cat_id=&pid=1000002571

    Don't know how much window light you got or what kind of aperture, but this would do the deed, shot and processed normal, or maybe N+1.
     
  3. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    This is a question for someone with a lot more experience in portraiture than I have, but my suggestion would be to use a fine-grain film (Plus-X or FP4, for example) with a non-compensating developer (HC110 or the Ilford equivalent). Use mostly side lighting, moving back from the window as far as necessary to get a good balance between modeling and contrast (a large window will act fairly "soft" if you are close to it but become "harder" as you move farther away).

    Hanging something large and dark out of the field of view on the side opposite the light will help to keep the fine details from filling in too much with reflected light.

    North light is considered to be ideal, but a white sheet makes a great "instant softbox" when hung over a window with the sun hitting it. Just use any kind of dark cloth and clothespins to mask off an area of the right size and position (probably a little above horizontal and maybe a foot and a half square).

    Both resolution and contrast are important for what you are trying to do; use a tripod for steadiness of the camera, an aperture two or three stops down from wide open (good balance between speed, depth of field, and lens corrections) and a lens shade to prevent flare from dulling the contrast.

    Finally, all other things being equal, the more of the frame you fill the better will be the rendering of skin texture, so don't work too far back.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would use EFKE R50! Expose at nominal speed, and give 30% more development in Neofin blau (if I had any; if not I would give 30% more development in any other dilute developer but bracket the exposure like mad).

    I would also take care to get nice even illumination, using reflectors if necessary. The low red-sensitivity of the film will enhance wrinkles, as will the extended development.

    This is a case where it makes sense to read Mortenson instead of Adams... :smile:
     
  5. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Very good advice above. I don't know hou much light you have (can you measure with an incident meter?) but you might need a 400 speed film. Grain is not a big deal with a 120 neg. If 400 is too fast, try 100-125.

    As far as a dev, well, how about ID-11, 1+1. I hear that's available in the UK!
     
  6. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    Best aperture depends on what focal length is used.I have found that even with a carefully focussed 150mm at f11 only 20-30% of shots have eyelashes tack sharp in headshots.
    Here I have 1/60 f11 EI 400 for north window light on a dull day.Sounds like a tripod and cable release job. Only use slow film if the set-up is shake free.