Roman Loranc Printing Technique?

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Tom Stanworth, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I am trying to figure out what Roman Loranc is doing to create such dark epic skies, while preserving sometimes brightly lit (snowy) foregrounds.

    I know he uses varying amounts of sepia and selenium, either together or separately and while that would explain the tonality of some images (and hue) it does not explain how he gets such dark separated skies in all cases.

    Lets look at this scene: http://romanloranc.com/homeward_bound2_lg.html

    I do not see any obvious evidence of having burnt the sky down heavily. Either he is very good, or he has used another technique. I am wondering whether he uses hard graduated filters in some cases, or masking the neg under the enlarger?

    Another examples of this defined separation is:

    http://romanloranc.com/dream_of_a_tree_lg.html

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2011
  2. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    When the ground (or the subject) is very bright and reflective, as it happens with snow, or marble, or some other bright reflective surface, the North sky is easily much darker than the foreground and a dark sky can be "obtained" without using any filter. If some red filter is used in B&W the effect is even more enhanced.

    I think the pictures in case would have shown quite a dark sky even in colour and without use of filters, because of the high reflectivity of the snow, if you expose for details in the snow that is. As with anything B&W a certain influence is also due to film characteristics, paper characteristics, printing technique etc. so that the contrast between snow and sky can be enhanced.

    The image below was taken with slide film (Astia 100) and the surface of the building, quite reflective and facing South during a very sunny day with the sun at its peak was noticeably brighter than the Northern sky. The eye doesn't notice this as it adopts "instantly" when looking at the sky, but the film shows the effect. No filter was used.

    http://www.alamy.com/image-details-...mageid={604E9FF0-4EC2-48AA-A08E-1ECBB3AD81EC}

    Fabrizio
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I think Roman has simply taken the time to find a scene that looks quite close to that in real life and then enhanced it some at the camera with filters and some more in the enlarger.

    Watched a video about him way back when and he spends a lot of time looking for the right subject, the right weather, the right lighting, and he comes back over and over and over waiting for all the right conditions to come together.

    I would also say that he really is very good at his craft.
     
  4. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    That he is good at his craft is a given! OK, thanks. I have not photographed in snow much and do not know California weather/light, so its interesting to think that such separation exits. I would imagine using a short tele, as he does, helps achieve this juxtaposition between foreground lighting and the distance. Diapositivo, that makes sense. Question answered I think!
     
  5. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    That combination doesn’t exist in nature so far as I know.

    Image #1: I think that he made a cardstock mask to cover the snowfield and printed in the sky. Ralph Lambrect has displayed similar prints that I think he explained were masked and printed separately.

    If you look at the hill near the horizon to the left side of the frame, there appears to be a black outline that doesn’t quite look convincing. I think that I see a similar black line of demarcation separating the snowfield from the mountains in the distance in the right side of the image.

    There’s a possibility that the sky and snowfield were two separate negatives that were skillfully combined. If this is the result of two or more negatives, they might have been shot from the same position in the same direction with the same lens, but under different weather conditions.

    One of the tools that used to be common in combination printing (more than one negative) was a glass sheet dodging table. It places a large horizontal sheet of glass at varying heights between the lens and paper. You can place black paper or cardstock cutouts to cast shadows of carefully cut shapes to doge precise areas. The farther the dodging pieces are from the paper the softer the transition between dodged and open areas.

    You can also apply deposits of lipstick or crayon in various densities to the glass to lighten selected areas.

    One of my Kodak books shows a man using cardstock or paper cutouts on a glass plate dodging table with a Leitz Condenser enlarger. I think it might be Quality Enlarging With Kodak Black and White Papers, but I’m not certain.

    http://www.amazon.com/Quality-Enlarging-Kodak-Black-Papers/dp/0879852798
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Subscriber

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    It looks like masking during printing, possibly a graduated ND filter during shooting, or both with a little burning in for good measure.
     
  7. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I think he does any or all of the above, he is skilled...EC
     
  8. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I agree with Mark (as well as others on the craft). To get those shots one is constantly returning to the same places. Sometimes for years.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yes that separation does exist in nature, I've seen it but not been in a place to catch it.

    There is a gentleman in my area, Bill Proud, that does much the same thing. He will literally pick the composition he wants then, figure out when the moon will be in the right place then come back every time the "planets align" and look for the right weather.
     
  10. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    And as Saint Ansel said, "chance favours the prepared mind."
     
  11. Monito

    Monito Member

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    "Dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés."

    "In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind."
    Lecture, University of Lille (7 December 1854)