Steve McCurry and filters

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by melmoth, May 24, 2006.

  1. melmoth

    melmoth Member

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    Hallo there

    One of my favourite steve mccurry photos is a shot taken at sittee, Burma in 1996. It features a beached fishing boat on what appears to be a tidal estuary (or shoreline) in the background and a group of children playing soccer in the wet mud near the boat. The photo has a wonderful pre-digital blueish hue to it. The photo can be seen in the book, Magnum Football (phaidon) or at www.magnumphotos.com - go to photographers - steve mccurry - south southeast.
    I believe McCurry was used a Nikon for a lot of his work. Does anybody know what camera/filters etc. McCurry might have used for this shot?
    Very grateful for any insights.

    Thanks a lot. M.
     
  2. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    He is a long time Nikon SLR user, though he has used a Leica M6 for some images. I believe I saw that image at his show at MOPA. He also gave a presentation/lecture there. You might have trouble finding any specifics about his images, since he claims not to be technically oriented.

    What I did notice about his images is a very strong bias towards primary colour compositions. While he does some more earth tone (broken colours) images, the majority are red, blue, yellow, or combinations of those primaries. Sometimes he does complimentary colour images, which brings in some secondary colours.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  3. melmoth

    melmoth Member

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    Thanks Gordon.

    Any idea what kind of filter he might have used to get such a blue hue? I am assuming he shot it at day end...

    cheers M.
     
  4. bobomoon

    bobomoon Member

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    I just saw McCurry speak at Ohio University a few months ago and during the Q&A there was some similar inquiries. Kodachrome, baby. Kodachrome.
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I don't know but following a different discussion it looks a like like underexposed with polarazie.
     
  6. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Rather than deconstruct his film and gear choices, perhaps a different approach would be figuring out what combinations would produce similar results. If you like that coolness to the images, and blue tones are one way to do that, then you can approach that in different ways.

    The light near the time of the setting sun can often create blue tones in shadows, or like someone else suggested during underexposure. You could also use a mild filter, like an 82A or 82B, rather than the all to common 80A blue filter. Another approach is to shoot Tungsten film under daylight conditions. There was an ad campaign for Nuala Puma (Christy Turlington line) shot on Tungsten film to get that soft, cool, blue tone to it; done a couple years ago.

    Best thing to do is experiment a bit. Even if Steve McCurry handed you his camera, you know your images will look different than his. Going for a cool palette is a valid and interesting approach, but I also suggest balancing that with some warmer images. It might make a good exercise to consciously do a warm and then a cool series of compositions. Most of all, enjoy the journey, and find your own creativity.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  7. melmoth

    melmoth Member

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    A fair point. And well made.
    Thanks for that.
    M.