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  1. #11
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himself View Post
    nothing, nothing at all - it's just that I haven't seen it on what I definitely know is modern film. I generally see more accurate greys, but please, if you know how; let me know.

    thanks
    In order to get the tones you want, with modern lenses, you have to overexpose quite a bit to open up the shadows, in order to overcome the high contrast. Similarly you will want to balance your film developing time and agitation in order to get to mid-tones and highlights so that the negatives are appropriate for the paper you use.

    But then comes the real magic - printing. Film developing is a fairly standard process, while printing time is when you want to bring out your full arsenal of tools, and continue to learn more as you go. It takes a lot of skill to make pictures like the ones you reference, and I doubt very much that most of the resulting quality is due to a particular film or paper, but rather experience and a really keen eye.

    My own attempt would probably be to over-expose the film by at least one stop while maintaining my developing time. I would then probably print using a paper that doesn't have a completely white base, something like Emaks or Varycon, using a fairly dilute and soft working developer for great local contrast in the mid-tones. Beyond that, each individual print would require different treatment based on the composition and so on. Masking, flashing, split filter printing, diffusion, dodging, burning, working with the print developer, etc are examples of tools that fine printers use to maximize their ideas of what the print should look like. That part is entirely up to you, but at the same time arguably the most important piece of the puzzle of making prints of a certain character.

    Denise's note about ortho film is interesting, and might be worth experimenting with.
    Last edited by Thomas Bertilsson; 01-16-2012 at 12:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  2. #12

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    Silver as a color is just a grey. Unless you are looking at color photos, in which case it often has a slight tinge of yellow. You are looking at B&W photos: ALL they are is various greys. One of them is apparently grabbing your attention, but it's a grey, that's all. You're making some sort of association, but it's interpretive, not descriptive. I suspect what you're responding to is the balance of lighter greys in the photos. The aesthetic of that time was to use as broad of a tonal range, as realistic as possible. These days, people think of lighter colors as more sparingly used spotlights to shape the viewer's attention.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwross View Post
    I'm getting it with handmade ortho film
    thanks for the info

    do you have any examples of your images so I could take a look see?

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    In order to get the tones you want [...]
    that's great thanks

  5. #15
    dwross's Avatar
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    himself,

    Thanks for asking.

    I'm pounding out an ortho tutorial for my website right now (and happily surfing APUG when I get brain freeze.) Here's the first page, but over the next four days I'll fill it out with example photographs.

    Best of luck with your work. I like your description of 'silvery'. I've always thought of it as 'glowy', but silvery is even better.

    http://www.thelightfarm.com/cgi-bin/...tent=15Jan2012

    d

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by himself View Post
    but some of them do right, I'm not just seeing things?
    Take a look at some of these by Weston---I certainly think they could be described as having a "silvery" tone, but in IMO, it is more the subtlety in the density differences in the negative translated to paper that give them this quality. This is pure skill IMO, nothing more.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwross View Post
    I'm pounding out an ortho tutorial for my website right now
    looks good and bookmarked... and I expect to find my answer there soon, so no pressure

    "silvery" was the best I could come up with, but there does seem to be a quality there that I've only seen replicated by people using wet plate today, so I originally assumed it was that, but then I saw it in the Italian films from the 60's, noticeably more so in Fellini's work and figured there must have been some difference in the film too... maybe my answer lies in the Italian light itself

    film technology has improved and captures more accurate tones (grey and all the other obnoxious rainbow colours too) these days so I then guessed that it was just a something that old film "did".

  8. #18

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    Himself, a few additional thoughts:

    1) Many of the older style "glamour"/cinema- type pictures have a diffusion effect done either at the taking or printing stage. This tends to give the tonality a kind of glowing quality.

    2) Make sure you look at original prints, not high quality reproductions. I know this might sound counterintuitive but it has a real impact. For example, when I first became serious about photography and printing, much of my influence came from the incredibly silvery, amazingly sharp duotone reproductions of Ansel Adams's pictures found in his books, and even on authorized AA calendars and posters (usually published by Little Brown). I saw similar silvery tones in reproductions of some other photographers' works. It was frustrating. I thought there had to be an extra secret beyond printing skill and large format film. My wise father kept telling me "Wait until you see real prints by Adams. They don't look quite like that.". I have to say he was right. When I finally saw real prints by Adams, Weston and others, they were indeed beautiful, but not what I had expected. They didn't have quite the silvery look I had become so used to seeing in books.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    This is pure skill IMO, nothing more.
    cock, so no chance of a shortcut then?

    nevermind... but you are right about their silvery-ness


    thanks

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by himself View Post
    cock, so no chance of a shortcut then?

    nevermind... but you are right about their silvery-ness


    thanks
    It's just my opinion.

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