Ortho film + dark blue filter for special effects?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by kristopher_lawrence, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. kristopher_lawrence

    kristopher_lawrence Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I just got an idea. I want to setup a model sitting on a red chair and on a red background. I want the backgroud and the chair to disappear (to be totally black). In other words, I want to create the illusion that the model is sitting on nothing and that no forms except his/her body will be visible on the final print.

    Can I expect to succed by using a blue filter and Ortho film?

    If yes, what kind of ortho film should I use?

    And what kind of red paint should I use too? I guess it will have to be really mat an really dark.

    Thanks a lot!

    Kris
     
  2. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Without wanting to sound totally dense...

    Wouldn't a black chair on a black background be equally helpful? :smile:
     
  3. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    If you want to try this with ortho film, I suggest Ilford Ortho +. The filter should make little if any difference since ortho film is sensitive ONLY to blue light.
     
  4. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    No matter what film or filters you use, you will still see the chair if there is light shining on it.
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    What you can expect with blue-filtered ortho film is for the model's skin to look like leather.
     
  6. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Mmmm... leather...

    I agree, if you're going to use a really dark blue filter, you can just shoot in regular film - no need to go ortho.

    Maybe black background, black stool, and red filter? I don't know, I'm just tossing ideas out there.
     
  7. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Hmmm, slightly low contrast first print, cut it out, press it down, re-photograph ? Or use a large-format interneg with opaque painted on, or use lith film as a burn-in neg for the background (assuming you can register it on the neg-stage).

    As the ortho-film is sensitive to the blue end of the spectrum anyway, using a blue filter won't make an enormous contrast change - except to the opposite-to-blue bits of the scene, such as the model (paint the model blue ???) . . . .

    Really, any coloured filter will pass a small amount of light from the rest of the spectrum (even RGB filters, for printing-separations, still pass a tiny amount when you hold them together) so to hide the chair you would be better off using black. In case of following the re-touching idea, it could be handy to NOT use a chair - instead cantilever a plank of wood through a step-ladder etc (so the end can be sat upon with no visible support) and throw black velvet over everywhere ? Also, limit off-model light so far as possible of course. It is more than 23 years since I was "creative" like that, oops.
     
  8. CBG

    CBG Member

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    It's MartinP's answer (or, with all due respect to everyone here, photoshop) Last time I did the invisible support thing, I cantilevered the support out from the background to the subject obscured the support. I had it much easier since my subject was only a few ounces in weight.

    C
     
  9. kristopher_lawrence

    kristopher_lawrence Member

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    I will test it

    Thanks for the advice everyone,

    I think I will make some experiments with puppets first. I will try with complete black background and stool, then I will try with Ortho or Std B&W film + dark blue on red background.

    I will try to make it without any touch up first. In this Photoshop world, I want to explore the possibilities of B&W photography without touch ups.

    If you have any other ideas, let me know!

    Kris
     
  10. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights Member

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    Success!

    I've done this, as have many others.I agree with the above, you don't need any sort of special filters. Use a matte black backdrop, and save a little of the fabric to cover the chair or bench you're using.

    Film has a limited latitude, usually only about 3 and a half stops right? What that means is that any object that shows up middle grey at any particular light level, is going to all but disappear with 3 and a half stops less light reflecting from it.

    So, using your handheld light meter as as spotmeter, measure the light on your model so she is at least 4-5 stops less exposed than the fabric.

    Voila, invisible background + backdrop.

    MISTAKES I MADE (and things I should have thought of):

    I'm poor so when I went to the fabric store I bought the cheapest fabric they had, black broadcloth for about $3.50 a yard and my huge backdrop only came to about 50 bucks with lots left over to cover the chair. Unfortunately I hang it against a picture window, and the broadcloth is thin so it allows light through during the day and spoils the effect. I can only use it at night.

    When I hung my backdrop, there were deep folds in it, and in one or two places where the fabric curled outward toward me, on one of the photos I could almost make out a tiny bit of texture in the background. I burned it in, and it didn't show up on the final print though.

    Also, I wish I had lit the models hair a bit better from behind. Her hair was bright red but even Panchromatic black and white is less sensitive to reds than to blues, and it showed up really dark on the film, almost disappearing.

    Also, I overexposed a bit, because I didn't trust the readings my "then new" handheld meter was giving me, and a bit of fabric around the models chairs arms was visible making more burning for me. Next time I'll underexpose by half a stop or a full stop and deal with the thin negs, that should work better.
     
  11. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    In "the old days" (not so long ago actually) I worked in a commercial darkroom. We used a lot of photo-opaque and a lot of lith to get the effects used before digital appeared on the scene, so don't be feeling that that sort of idea is somehow less analogue ! ;o)
     
  12. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Isn't ortho sensitive to both blue and green?
     
  13. kristopher_lawrence

    kristopher_lawrence Member

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    True, this work is not less analogue.

    Perhaps it's just my own way of working, but I am really proud of a picture when I have not much to tweak when printing. I try to stay with contrast/grade exposition and cropping. Sometimes I do some dodge and burn, but not that often, I don't like it.

    I feel that using film gives me more freedom, and maybe - or paradoxally - less work to do on the picture. I try to get the most interesting negs possible and if they are not, I do what I can but I never do a lot of manipulations.

    Maybe I can explain this by working in a small not convenient darkroom (my bathroom)!

    This being said, I will certainely try all the differents ways you guys proposed me, and stick with the on that give me what I want directly on the negative.

    Thanks a lot,

    Kris
     
  14. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    A sharp cutting blue separation filter, like a 47B, will pretty much eliminate the reds as well as the greens. You can probably get about the same effect with panchromatic film as ortho with this kind of filter. One warning: skin tones get pasty.
     
  15. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Chazzy - you are correct. From Ilford's own info:

    "ILFORD ORTHO Plus black and white copy film....The blue and green sensitivity enables the film to be handled in red safelight and allows processing by inspection."

    Jim is thinking of "color blind" emulsions which are not sensitive to green or red.

    Best,

    C