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Kino
05-05-2006, 10:42 PM
(snip)

A neat technique, instead of using hotspots, is to start with a softbox and add DOTS ( little gobos ... umm, go-betweens ) casting shadows. It all adds to the same thing. Having the romantic feel is the thing, and being drunk on light helps.

wow, great thread...

Kino, my boy, we g-gotta cross paths this summer

Don (if I may), sounds like you light like Joseph Von Sternberg! Those "von-type" guys really made some superb images.

Yes, I look forward to meeting you perhaps during a Midwest APUG event and having a long chat about lighting!

Cheers
Frank W.

Kino
05-05-2006, 11:35 PM
Back to Hollywood lighting. Ladies and gentlemen, a scoop!. A cinematographer friend of mine turned me on to a new product, the cuculoris (google the word, if you're unfamiliar). Not new, you say? Take a look.http://www.lightbreak.com/

I got one of these as a sample because I'm writing another article on lighting. They're great, they're cheap and they give you lots of ideas for different shots.

Yeah, we used to whack a branch off a bush or take some thin masonite and a knife or a bit of cinefoil and make our own on the spot, but this looks like fun. Practially anything that won't burst into flame is fair game for a cookie...

Christopher Nisperos
05-06-2006, 09:24 AM
(RE: cuculoris's) Yeah, we used to whack a branch off a bush or take some thin masonite and a knife or a bit of cinefoil and make our own on the spot, but this looks like fun. Practially anything that won't burst into flame is fair game for a cookie...

LOL! That works, too, I guess. I used to cut, twist and gaffer-tape together pieces of cine-foil and tape it to a frame I'd made out of a couple of hangers I'd twisted into a frame. It worked OK, but my "Frankenstein cookie", as I called it, used to always - - - S L O W L Y - - - S L I P - - - during exposures. Nice blurred shadows (and not a bad idea for a technique, eh?).

The Lightbreaks are nice because they're lightweight and you can even tape them to a window a shoot a spot through them from exterior to interior, augmenting or replacing natural light and imitating the shadows from outside tree branches. Fun and creative stuff (just don't do it on a rainy day!).

Christopher Nisperos
05-06-2006, 09:51 AM
Christopher, I don't know when I'll be back to Paris.... but I'll hunt you down and we can talk about Atget, Marville, and glossy make-up
d

No problem! I'll bring us to Willi's Wine Bar (it's on you!), and we can chew the photographic fat while washing it down with France's finest Bordeaux! The next day, if we can still see straight, I'll show you were Atget used to live.

In 1999, I started a French association called L'esprit d'Atget, to promote the use of traditional —and, particularly, large format— photography to document buildings and other things of heritage which are destined to disappear (this is deliberately broad enough to include everything from hieroglyphics to people who work in rare crafts). An ulterior motive of the association is to make it easier for photographers with tripoded cameras to shoot in parks, etc. here in Paris, without always being hassled for a permit.

Here in Cartier-Bressonville, the association went over like a lead
montgolfier*. At the beginning, I called several important LF photographers to become "honorary members", hoping that this would attract more members here in France. At the time, however, I don't think too many people here knew who George Tice or Al Weber were. Times have changed and I'm thinking about revving up the association again. Anybody who is interested is welcome to contact me off thread (out of respect to the topic).

Thanks, again, D.F. ... See ya when you get here (hic).

* a montgolfier is a hot air balloon, named after its inventor

df cardwell
05-06-2006, 10:08 AM
I think it was Jay Maisel who first began carrying a 'survival blanket' ( a big sheet of mylar that packs down very small ) with his gear to sparkle up well lit - but dull scene.

I copied him as soon as I heard about it. BRILLIANT

A great tool for flinging some juice into a gloomy scene is a Matthews reflector board, a durable piece of foam coated on both sides with reflector material of different qualities. I used to plant one in the neighbor's yard when I needed to shoot some sunshine through a quiet, but sometimes dull, victorian window. A variety of old curtains, with different patterns, made neat patterns that provided some visual and psychological interest in the picture.

Some out-west shooters I knew used the colorado / new mexico bright sun as fill, then used a reflector or portable strobe as the 'main light'. It's a great way to put some dazzle into the image texture.

If you want to try out the reflector techniques, without investing in cinema quality gear, go to a building supply and get a sheet of insulation board that has a nice silver layer of reflector on one side. Cheap, durable, and pretty enough for all normal purposes.

Lachlan Young
05-06-2006, 11:16 AM
Don,
I was wondering how your testing of Edwal 10 is going (yes, I will give it a go just as soon as I can get enough cash together to buy some glycin - buying a Speed Graphic tends to heavily deplete the finances :) ) and whether you feel it is a good developer for this particular look (you know, the 'Glycin look' and all)

Thanks,

Lachlan

df cardwell
05-06-2006, 11:54 AM
Lachlan

Edwal 10 is a potentially useful variation of D76. The glycin gives (depending on how you look at it) a long and never-ending highlight rise without going through the roof and 'blocking'. Using minimal agitation, it is just like D76, except you get stronger midtone separation, and glorious high lights.

BUT, like most of the developers made for a certain time, this 70 year old developer is not really anything I'd suggest for most folks. The fashion of the time was for a much higher contrast than we like today. Using TMY or Delta400, with DDX, Aculux or Xtol, you can achieve a similar look with off the shelf materials and not have to pour the energy into mastering a developer from another age, and be able to place that look on current papers without breaking your back.

it would be like selecting an automobile for a weekly drive from Scotland to London: a boring modern sedan with plastic interior, a boring auto transmission and a boring 6 cyl engine... or a vintage Bentley. I suppose if I could have Jeeves or Bunter along... as well as 1938 roads, I'd go with the bentley. But for today, well, the boring sedan and hope to survive the trip.

Pictured, the automotive analogue of edwal 10:

djkloss
06-06-2006, 08:03 PM
Two books of interest if you can find them...

"Pictorial Lighting" by William Mortensen - Camera Craft Publishing Company - Copyright 1935

"Lighting for Photography - Means and Methods" by Walter Nurnberg first printed 1940
The Focal Press

-good luck-
Dorothy

ZorkiKat
06-07-2006, 02:51 AM
Hey Kino

Why do they call it pancake ? ( you owe me a milkshake for the softball.. )

.


Hi

I think the "pan" in pancake came from panchromatic. Up until fairly recently, we could still get Max factor foundation graded like "pancro 28" - the numbers indicated whether the makeups' shade. The make-up people didn't know that 'pancro' had anything to do with photography at all, in particular BW panchromatic photography, usually under tungsten lighting.

Enclosed: my attempts in Hollywood-style portaiture. Both lit with tungsten 1K and 2K fresnel spots. Female portrait was shot on Kodak Tmax 100 film through an old Contax D with a 58mm Biotar lens. The male portrait was shot
with an old Zenit 3M through a Helios 85mm lens at f/1,5, on Lucky pan 100 film.

Jay

djkloss
06-07-2006, 07:57 AM
Why do they call it pancake ? ( you owe me a milkshake for the softball.. )

.

The makeup they used in those days was not in a bottle, but rather in pressed powder in something called a compact. The applicator was a round cloth pad shaped like a pancake. If my grandmother were still alive (born 1900) she'd have an explanation. It was the same thick stuff they used to pat on their face to get rid of the shine that she used, and we used in the late 60's early 70's.

I could be way off, but that's my understanding...

Lachlan Young
08-03-2006, 09:39 AM
BUT, like most of the developers made for a certain time, this 70 year old developer is not really anything I'd suggest for most folks. The fashion of the time was for a much higher contrast than we like today. Using TMY or Delta400, with DDX, Aculux or Xtol, you can achieve a similar look with off the shelf materials and not have to pour the energy into mastering a developer from another age, and be able to place that look on current papers without breaking your back.
The current paper I am using is essentially Varigam with a few modifications - available from JandC as ADOX fineprint. I really like the look it gives as does everyone who has seen prints on this paper. In fact the worst film for printing onto this paper is XP-2 and those of that ilk.


it would be like selecting an automobile for a weekly drive from Scotland to London: a boring modern sedan with plastic interior, a boring auto transmission and a boring 6 cyl engine... or a vintage Bentley. I suppose if I could have Jeeves or Bunter along... as well as 1938 roads, I'd go with the bentley. But for today, well, the boring sedan and hope to survive the trip.

Pictured, the automotive analogue of edwal 10:


A Bentley is very nice but I'd much rather have the new Morgan Roadster - how many cars that look like they escaped from the 1930s can get to 60mph in less than 5 seconds while using the standard Ford/Jaguar 6 cylinder unit?

Lachlan

Roger Hicks
08-03-2006, 11:01 AM
The current paper I am using is essentially Varigam with a few modifications - available from JandC as ADOX fineprint. I really like the look it gives as does everyone who has seen prints on this paper. In fact the worst film for printing onto this paper is XP-2 and those of that ilk.




A Bentley is very nice but I'd much rather have the new Morgan Roadster - how many cars that look like they escaped from the 1930s can get to 60mph in less than 5 seconds while using the standard Ford/Jaguar 6 cylinder unit?

Lachlan

Is that what Moggies use now? What happened to the Rover V8?

Cheers,

R.

Lachlan Young
08-03-2006, 11:04 AM
Is that what Moggies use now? What happened to the Rover V8?

Cheers,

R.

Apparently it failed EU emissions regulations, then Rover went belly up - wonder if it was connected...

Lachlan

Roger Hicks
08-03-2006, 11:24 AM
Dear Lachlan,

Sacred blue! But it's still found in Range Rovers (or at least, its derivatives are). I thought Austin Rover had dropped it before they died.

Cheers (and thanks),

R.

Mannock
05-09-2008, 11:16 PM
Dianna,
I see Christopher has already chimed in with some excellent observations on this discussion. I think we all go about this in such different ways to achieve the Vintage Hollywood look, that it's difficult to say that there is one right way to go about this. It's also important to keep in mind that with several light sources you have an opportunity for disastrously conflicting shadows. This in itself is a big obstacle to negotiate for the student.

I think someone mentioned earlier that George would rub oil on his subjects but in reality that was rarely necessary as the subject was already sweating from the heat generated from the lights. He liked to keep the sweat on the subject then blend that on the negative with dyes for the Hurrell Glow that we all have come to love. He would also use crushed lead to create the burnished effect that is also an earmark of the Hurrell look.

I create my images more and more with digital (duck and cover) but I still use my Linhof Super Technika and vintage lenses, including a Verito and an Imagon for a beautiful glow right at the pull of the trigger.

You can practice good lighting technique very cheaply with nothing more than cheap Home Depot parabolic work lights, some cardboard and pony clamps for light control. This is how I started then rewarded myself with some more expensive Moles, B&M Keg Lights and even the modern Desisty fresnels once I got a handle on controlling my light and their ratios.

I do just that myself. With the most economic, spelt cut-rate, equipment, I get much satisfaction. I know that you tend to go the route of George Hurrell, and that makes sense considering who you are. I am an amateur who shoots oversized dolls, the Gene Marshall dolls who stand at 16", and I shoot them like Alfred Cheney Johnston, who photographed the Ziegfeld girls between 1917 and 1932, the year Ziegfeld died. While Hurrell has sensational lighting at brilliant angles, Johnston, like C.S. Bull, used two sources...a massive key light, almost always a large stage light, and any ambient light that happened across the stage where he shot. For me this is fine. I can use my Victor and for reflection I can close in with a slab of aluminum foil. I can also use flashlights when necessary. And I can handpaint with light since shooting an inanimate object I can shoot te, twenty, or thirty second exposures.

But I am digressing. The real reason that I am here is to ask you, Mark, when is your book coming out? I spoke to photographer Marcus Ranum and he encouraged me to buy your book when it comes out. When will that be? I am waiting with bated breath!

Yours,

John Smith

Falkenberg
05-15-2008, 04:51 PM
Anybody know if this book is good inspiration ?

http://www.rogerandfrances.com/photography/hollywood.html

df cardwell
05-22-2008, 07:23 PM
Gosh, this is a good old thread !

Looking at Dianna's picture that got it all rolling,
there are a couple things that we haven't hit on.
Today, I was working with an 8x10 Portrait Camera,
and I see one thing right off:

http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4717&d=1146669401

If this was made on an 8x10 plate, I'd guess the focal length is about 18" (480 mm).
It looks like it was shot at f/8, or thereabouts, from about 8 feet away.
Maybe a 24" lens.
Maybe there was a little rise on the lens, and maybe a little tilt down,
with the back adjusted to get the image plane corrected.
Not MUCH movement, just enough.

If you shot this on 35mm, a 60mm would be good, but to get the limited depth of field,
you'd need an aperture of (480/8) 60mm. With a 60mm lens, that would be (60/60) f 1.0.
You could back off to 135mm, and shoot at (135/60) f/2.2. Much better. But stopping down to f/4
would completely lose the effect.

Well, that's just cup of coffee after dinner speculation.
Cool picture.

Nicole: I'll bring the 135/2 to Toronto...

.

Nicole
05-22-2008, 08:13 PM
Don that's wonderful. I'll want one of these! :D Not much longer to go. I really should be getting some work done here before the big trip - will return again soon...

Dave Wooten
05-30-2008, 11:02 AM
What I'm hearin' here is that quite possibly they weren't that purty?:)

jimgalli
05-30-2008, 11:38 AM
What I'm hearin' here is that quite possibly they weren't that purty?:)

Dave, with the right lights and an 18" Cooke, we could even make you look good! :p:p