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  1. #11
    applesanity's Avatar
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    Photographic vocabulary... The lighting techniques I can grasp, the use of contrast filters too. The lighting is definitely much more awesome that ringflash-against-backdrop fad in all the magazines these days. Large format I can do. But I read up on mordançage, Potassium Ferricyanide, red coccine retouching, and well, unfortunately I am getting the impression that while one may talk of the techniques she used, there is nobody around who will be able to teach me. Masters holding on to their trade secrets or retiring altogether, art schools closing their wet darkrooms.... This knowledge is fast becoming the Damascus steel of swordsmithing.

    The second picture I posted - is that lith printing? Also, one thing I have noticed in her work is that it's such a distinctively female perspective on the female figure, a subtle yet obviously different one than one gets from male photographers.

    Old photo class habits die hard. I still am using Ilford MGIV Fiber matte with Dektol. Not for any reason other than that it's the stuff with which I'm comfortable and also because it's getting too expensive to experiment... unless there are others to point me in a general direction. Should I be using some other paper + developer combo?

  2. #12
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    These look like very, very good examples of what would have been referred to as "available light photography" in the mid-to-late 1960s. A film like Tri-X might have been exposed at an equivalent ASA of 3200 or so, and developed in something like Acufine or FG7/sulfite to keep the grain sharp. The exposure meters of the day were almost all cadmium sulfide, incident-light devices which were pretty awful in dim light, so the photographer usually just shot wide open at whatever shutter speed seemed tolerable. To get anything like skin tones, the shadows and highlights were sacrificed when the negatives were printed on #3 or #4 paper. It is almost a signature look for the hippie era.

    I have quite a few old negatives with just this appearance, only without the superb composition and gorgeous subjects in the examples you presented. Magazine articles and possibly books from the period which tell you how to photograph theatrical productions, night club acts, and the like should have examples of the genre and references to the film and chemistry.

    For what it is worth, Ilford FP4+ exposed at ISO 800 (not the same as 80.0!) and developed for about 25 minutes in PMK will give you about this look, but please don't ask me how I know this...

  3. #13
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Lillian Bassin was a master retoucher before she was known as a photographer, Her work with the brush is amazing. If you want to emulate this look all the lighting in the world will only get you 80% of the way there.
    Large negative , red dye practice and practice with the lighting suggestions here and you are on the way.
    Her prints were very cool and screaming blacks from my memory.

    My first boss, would work the red dye with amazing ability and I too would have learned the methods if we shot large negatives but by the time I worked with him he only used hasselblads.

    Those large format photographers here have a big heads up on getting to this look.

  4. #14
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    David Ketchel may chime in here, he uses the red goop if I am not mistaken to dodge out highlights and has written articles about it.

  5. #15

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    Where do you get the red goop, and does it wash off?

  6. #16
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Red coccine, not sure where you would get it today , and yes it washes off.

    Quote Originally Posted by cbphoto View Post
    Where do you get the red goop, and does it wash off?

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbphoto View Post
    Where do you get the red goop, and does it wash off?
    Crocein Scarlet was discontinued by Kodak in the late 80's. I remember well as I had to buy the minimum amount (three little bottles of powder) direct from kodak at that time. Spotone used to sell a three bottle kit of black and red dyene that included a conditioner to thin it out. Also, "Lootens on Photographic Enlarging" has an excellent write-up on the how-to. I would not be surprised if Crocein Scarlet ( aka new corcine and corcine red) is the same dye pathologists use in autopsies. "Goop" is a bit of a misnomer as Crocein is very smooth flowing. Just like any retouching it takes some doing to learn how to control it. Getting the right dilution, learning how to layer the dye and smoothing out the edge can be challenging. Crocein Scarlet is applied to the non-emulsion side of the film. The neat thing is that you can wash it off after you've botched it up. When mastered it is an awesome technique - use it to add sparkle to highlights, open up shadows, add local contrast, or (like Bassman) alter significant portions of the negative. While you're at it check out photo mask-it, often used in conjunction with Crocein Scarlet for total immersion dying of the negative.

  8. #18

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    So it's like reversible intensification? Sounds really useful!

    Couldn't find anything on Mask-It. Too generic to Google.

  9. #19

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    Andrew Jeri company still sells photo maskoid frisket.

  10. #20
    Marek Warunkiewicz's Avatar
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    Crocein Scarlet can still be purchased at:

    http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/...0&QS=ON&F=SPEC

    Interesting technique. I guess practice, practice and more practice would be the order of the day to master this technique.
    Marek Warunkiewicz

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