Skin tone not continous

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Mats_A, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    Please have a look at the attached picture of a very handsome male. The scan is not good but I have marked in red the areas I'm referring to. The shadows under the left (and right) eye and on the left side of the nose. There should be shadows there but in my opinion they should be smoother. The border between tones of gray is too abrupt. Or am I imagining thing?

    Some data:
    TMax 100 (135) developed in XTol 1+1 7min 45 sec 20C
    Paper MGIV FB developed in Ilford Multigrade
    Lightning was one strobe to the subject right shot thru an umbrella. An other shot at camera right bounced of umbrella. Strobes measured one stop difference with meter. Shot with 1/250 f8.
    Enlargement is 8x10 print.


    I'm down at filter 1.0 and am starting to loose blackness on the hat.
    Again, the print is better than the scan but not good. Any idea how this can be made better? Even softer filter? Split grade? Burn in the hat with higher filter?

    Or did I mess up the development? Should I have used an other developer? Time? Is TMax the wrong film for portrait?

    I would really like to know how people get the very smooooth gradations of skin tone you see in some portraits.

    Or do I need to find a model with smoother skin :whistling:

    r

    Mats
     

    Attached Files:

  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Black and white sees different wavelengths than your eyes. I'm guessing he he a rather fair skinned individual. Might try a yellow filter next time you shoot.
     
  3. vyshemirsky

    vyshemirsky Member

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    Ditto. Yellow filter, or even an orange one.
     
  4. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    After the winter we had here I would say he is very fair. Will try a yellow filter next time. And better lightning. Funny thing is that you might think lightning is easier with digital where you have instant feedback but I have had many portraits where I did not notice the problem until much later on the screen.

    Good to know that problem was filter/lightning as these are fixable. What about TMax, is it good for portrait in your opinion?

    r

    Mats
     
  5. jerry lebens

    jerry lebens Member

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    As well as changing the filtration, the brim of the black hat is probably deepening the tonality of the area around the eyes.

    To get more light into those areas, if you don't want to remove the hat, you might try surrounding the face with reflectors. (Personally, I wouldn't do that on a male portrait, though, it tends to make the sitter look a bit bland).

    Regards
    Jerry
     
  6. chimneyfinder

    chimneyfinder Member

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    I would agree with Jerry and suggest that it is a lighting technique problem where the black (?) hat is effectively reducing the reflected light to the lower key modelling of the eye area. Black 'reflectors' are useful tools in lighting for reducing the tone and suppressing highlights and here there is possibly a locallised effect of that. I would suggest that you play around with lowering the overall tonality with this as the left side is perhaps too high key and the right side too light, hence, the naturally darkened area of the eye doesn't blend in and appears harsh. Trying to be constructive, the lighting, for me, doesn't swing one way or the other: be bolder, and if he is wearing a hat you could bring it more into the construction of the image. Have fun. Regards Mark Walker.
     
  7. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Find another model ! :D :D :D :D

    Martin
     
  8. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Under artificial light, I would say no filter. I would add reflectors or adjust the lights and/or hat to prevent the shadows on the face. If this were an outdoor portrait using sunlight, then a green filter is recommended to retain skin tone. You still may need a reflector to fill in light and reduce shadows on the face.