Shooting People with Paper Negatives

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by aaronmichael, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    My older sister has been bugging me to take a pinhole photo of her lately. I've heard before that people don't come out very well when using paper negatives because it's not sensitive to red and most skin complexions have a degree of red in them. Just wondering whether it's worth the effort to take the shot.
     
  2. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Oh yeah it's very much worth the effort.

    Check out the gallery of the member here Gandolfi.
     
  3. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    Thanks for the tip. I suppose I'll give into her demands and try it out - haha.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    A word of caution when doing portraits with pinhole cams. The sense of perspective can be distorted and everything will be in focus, you will have to be extra careful of posing positions. Anything nearest the camera will be large and rapidly diminishes as it goes farther away from the camera.
     
  5. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    Thanks, I'll be sure to play close attention to what I place her in front of.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Be careful how you pose her as well, you never want to hear"why does my ___ look huge in this photo" You fill in the blank.
     
  7. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    If you want the portrait to be more flattering, you may want the subject to apply some white powder makeup to their face, in order to compensate for the paper's relative lack of sensitivity to the long wavelengths. This was where the use of white pancake makeup first became popular, due to the early motion picture film being orthochromatic or actinic in sensitivity.

    Alternatively, you can try a slight bit of over-exposure on the skin tones, but be careful, as it's easy to blow out the highlights, especially with shiny, oily skin. Another reason to use makeup.

    ~Joe
     
  8. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    Thanks Joe, interesting solution. If we're out in public then I don't know how keen she'll be on having white powder makeup on her face but we'll see what happens. I'll try to remember to post the final image after it's taken.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    my suggestion probably isn't the best for pinhole work
    but low / flat light often times is best for paper negatives
    whether you are making portraits or doing other things.

    have fun !
    john
     
  10. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    Definitely agree. I've been shooting paper negatives with pinhole cameras for about 4 months now and have found out that the best way to control the contrast is simply shooting in low contrast areas or shooting on a day where it's overcast.