Pumpkin

Discussion in 'Still life' started by vickersdc, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Here's another image from my 18x24cm FKD camera - it's the fourth one I've taken, and was exposed directly on to a paper negative (Ilford Multigrade). Exposure was 3 minutes at f32, with the pumpkin being lit by two 100W spotlights (after that exposure the heat from the spotlights had just about cooked the pumpkin a treat... :wink:)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    This is great. What do you assume the EI of the paper is? I've shot a couple of paper negatives in my 5x7, guessing at about EI 3, but I ended up with gross overexposures. Not sure if I rated the paper too low or just counted the seconds poorly.

    -NT
     
  3. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    It was based on guestimate, and the exposure depends greatly on the type of light; so with direct midday sun you may well get an EI of 3 (my old Weston Meter doesn't deal in ISO, so I assume a Weston value of around 1.5, which would be slightly slower than EI3, maybe EI2). However, with tungsten light it's much more orange (hence the requirement of a blue filter for colour film).

    My thinking went along the lines of... if dark amber would be a safelight for paper, then an orange light is going to slow things down with reference to sunlight. I did try a first exposure of 1 minute 45 seconds, but it obviously wasn't enough, so I just added some more and made it a round 3 minutes!

    Nothing scientific I'm afraid! Just best guesses. The great thing about working with paper is that I can take a shot, whizz into the darkroom, develop the paper and get an idea of anything needs changing with the exposure; if the exposure is out, I don't even bother to fix (just stop developing in a stop bath of tap water).

    I'm going to retake this shot with a different background as I hate this one!

    Hope it helps?!

    David.

    PS: Here's another paper negative image of an Allium plant seed head...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2009
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Man, you're having more fun than I am right now. Stupid magazine! ;p
     
  5. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Yes, I'm having fun with the new camera, but in a way spending an hour or so and ending up with 1 image out of the 2 taken is fine. Can you imagine doing that with 35mm - 2 images in 1 hour?

    The other night the wife went out and I managed to take 5 images in 2.5 hours!

    As for the magazine... well, I don't regret handing on to you Chris as it does take up an inordinate amount of time and it's nice to spend the odd hour that I get making images :wink:

    How's your foray into the world of LF going anyway?
     
  6. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I wish one of every two pics I shot were good. :sad::smile:

    Nice shots though. Another of those things I would like to try some time.
     
  7. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Although I'm going off track a little on my own thread, (it's still a still-life though) - I thought I'd post this image as one that I feel just doesn't work. What do you think?

    ][​IMG]
    Chrysanthemum. Paper negative.​
     
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Really like the images, makes me want to get into large format!

    Jeff
     
  9. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Thanks Jeff,

    Although I've messed around with some of the smaller large format cameras, this one is definitely the biggest! I know it's 'just' a Russian camera, but the FKD 18x24cm works and is 'cheap' - it cost me around $175 / £120 to get the camera, lens and a holder. Of course, if you've been to my blog you'll see that I've had to tinker with it to get it up to scratch, but that was enjoyable and not at all taxing. Using the paper negatives is a cheap way to obtain some really big prints too! Although I do have other plans to go back to glass plate photography eventually.
     
  10. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    That's great, David. Me, well, I've increasing my frequency shooting LF lately. I haven't picked up the Minoltas in a month. A couple of photographs here. Not much yet.
     
  11. rpsawin

    rpsawin Subscriber

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    David,

    I am really impressed...very nice work!

    Best regards,

    Bob
     
  12. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    For me it is the (im)balance of tones. The brilliance of the flowers, surrounded by a deep black (and white border strip), renders the middle grays (which occupy a significant amount of space and supports the brilliance above it) sort of life-less.

    Vaughn
     
  13. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Thanks for the comment Vaughn, might I ask how you would change it were you take the image? Increase contrast, reduce contrast, crop to just the flowers or something else?

    I totally agree with you that it is 'lifeless'.
    David.
     
  14. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Man...try to help someone, then they put you on the spot! :wink:

    My first thought would be to reduce the contrast on the leaves -- the strong dark tones on the leaves diminishes the glow that middle tones can have. Take a look at the leaf directly above the star design on the vase and imagine a similar tone on all the leaves.

    But it may be an over-all lighting issue -- too harsh of a light that is in conflict with the inherent softness of the subject.. Perhaps a soft fill light might help. I am mentally picturing an upward explosion of tones -- a slightly darker toned vase, middle tones in the middle, with the whites of the flowers as they are now.

    Thanks for posting your images! They have been inspirational. I might disappear into the studio tonight and photograph (8x10) a couple of artichoke flowers that I have had sitting around since the end of the summer.

    Vaughn
     
  15. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Thank you for posting your comments Vaughn; the lighting is quite harsh as it's from a couple of 100W household spotlights, placed about 50cm away, with no light modification.

    I think you're right, the subject needs a softer light, whereas the Allium seed head, and the pumpkin are about textures... typically brought out by the use of harsher lighting.

    I'm currently reshooting the pumpkin picture as I hated the background in the original (on Ilford Multigrade of course!). Hope to post pictures later on this evening.

    I'm hoping you'll go out and shoot those artichokes! Looking forward to seeing the result.

    Cheers,
    David.
     
  16. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    I've reshot the pumpkin image... but I'm still not entirely happy with the background! Still, I love the shot of the pumpkin, and I've included a crop of the stem - the detail is incredible!

    [​IMG]
    Pumpkin (MkII). Paper negative.

    [​IMG]
    Crop from Pumpkin (MkII)​
     
  17. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    holy cow that's nice!
     
  18. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    I reckon we should throw away the film and load up the cameras with paper :tongue:
     
  19. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Got it set up -- just going to have a cup of tea before I meter and expose. I am using a Tota light (750W lamp) and an umbrella, with a large piece of white foam core as a reflector. Full frame 8x10 first, then I might try 4x10.

    Vaughn
     
  20. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    done and done! my speed graphic is ready and waiting... :smile:
     
  21. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    In that case, I'm sure we all look forward to seeing both your and Vaughn's results! :smile:

    I've got a couple more pictures lined up - just need to clear some space on the dining room table :tongue:
     
  22. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Well, I cheated and used film...:D

    Negs are drying and look pretty good, but I might need to re-shoot. I got lazy and set up the still life in the classroom (right next to my office and the darkroom) instead of hauling everything across campus to the studio. I used a black backdrop, but too much light spilled onto it and it might reproduce as a dark gray. I will be able to keep the flowers farther from the backdrop in the studio. We'll see.

    It will be a couple days before I can scan the neg to show what I got -- longer before I actually make a print from them. I did do it both as an 8x10 and a 4x10.

    vaughn
     
  23. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Well, in the relentless pursuit to bring you only the finest images via paper negative, I threw caution to the wind and at great expense I went out to purchase the next subject... a pineapple, cost me 90 pence I'll have you know :wink:

    I loved the texture of it, so I bought it on the spot whilst shopping for my swede, carrots, cauliflower (which I was also going to photograph, but ate before I could manage that) and peppers.

    So, here it is, for your delectation and delight, I present... "Pineapple".

    [​IMG]

    And here's one of those crops from where the leaves start sprouting out the top...

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    At long last, here are my artichoke images.

    Tri-X
    Zone VI 8x10, Fuji W 300mm
    f90 at 1 or 2 minutes
    8x10 and 4x10 negatives
    Developed in Ilford PQ Universal Developer
    1:9, 70F, 9 minutes in a Jobo 3005 Expert Drum

    Lit with one 750W Tota Light w/ umbrella, and large white foamcore reflector

    Fairly straight negative scans -- pretty much as I would print them.

    I meant the black background to actually be black, but too much light spilled onto it (flowers too close to the backdrop). However, I think it worked out better. Still might re-photograph one of these days.
     

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