View Full Version : Faking rain

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03-30-2010, 09:19 AM

193. BARON RETENIZ VON STILLFRIED. Rain Shower in the Studio, c. 1875.

How was this rain effect achieved? Is it something in-camera or just scrached in later?

03-30-2010, 09:25 AM
it looks like a combination print ...

03-30-2010, 09:39 AM
Certainly it is not rain. Emulsions would be too slow, methinks, to capture that. I would opt for parallel scratches on the plate.

03-30-2010, 09:40 AM
Hollywood uses milk (yes, milk) in the movies to make rain visible!

03-30-2010, 09:49 AM
How about doing a pre-exposure of the film. A black cloth with holes with a light source then the photographer moves the camera or the cloth with the shutter open. Then the second exposure of the women with the umbrella?

Jeff Kubach
03-30-2010, 09:50 AM
It doesn't look like real rain.


03-30-2010, 09:58 AM
Of course it doesn't, but I am wondering how it was faked. I like the picture too.

03-30-2010, 10:02 AM
It really looks like scratches on the negative.

Worker 11811
03-30-2010, 10:09 AM
I vote "scratches."

I bet he dragged a brush across the negative while the emulsion was still wet.

Barry S
03-30-2010, 10:25 AM
I'm almost certain this is a wet plate and after fixing, the collodion emulsion is very soft. It seems like it would be simple to add fine scratches while the emulsion is very soft--maybe with a fine knife point, so the emulsion doesn't tear.

03-30-2010, 10:39 AM
Wouldn't scratches in the emulsion turn out as dark streaks in the print? I vote with Mainecoonmaniac.

03-30-2010, 10:47 AM
You could just scratch up some plastic and lay it over the neg when you contact print. No reason to scratch the actual emulsion. If working from a paper neg then you could just draw (with a pencil) some lines on the backside, which will then be white streaks in the positive image. These can be easily erased if the effect isn't as desired.

Rick A
03-30-2010, 10:48 AM
Scratches on the plate most certainly would leave black streaks on the finished print.

Jeff Searust
03-30-2010, 11:25 AM
This is like a William Mortensen effect with texture screens. The rain is previously drawn in ink onto a glass plate. Notice how most of the rain is perfectly parallel and straight (think ruler). The texture screen with dark rain, and the negative are sandwiched together then used to make the final image. this sandwich is then contact printed onto the final emulsion. This gets light (white) rain on a correctly exposed final image.

03-30-2010, 11:41 AM
Some folk are never satisfied. I have just seen the same VON STILLFRIED on another forum now asking how he can eliminate the scratches on his neg.

I told him that youngsters should be messing around with their negs.


03-30-2010, 12:38 PM
i'm with you barry,
but i don't think he would have
damaged the negative, in case he wanted to use
it for something else ..
my guess is still a combination print ..
2 wet plates face to face .
one with a negative
one unexposed and processed and scratched
with a straight edge and lightly with a blade
then printed together emulsion to emulsion
to eliminate "depth" from the plate ...
or the clear one peeled off of the glass and placed ontop
of the negative.

i had never heard of BARON RETENIZ VON STILLFRIED ..
he did some really beautiful hand colored photographs ...

thanks for the post bettersense!

03-30-2010, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the vote of confidence!

04-01-2010, 07:14 AM
I saw a coloured in version of this on flickr recently...
Screw the rain effect, that's easy, how the heck did they manage to get the wind blowing the fabric back effect? That's a heck of a lot of stiffener!! (plates would have been too slow for it to be a real "action shot")

04-01-2010, 07:58 AM
starch and an iron

04-01-2010, 06:03 PM
Retouching pencil lines on the negative I think. Dark pencil lines become white "rain lines" in the positive. Scratches in the negative emulsion would become dark lines in the positive.