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  1. #1
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Red lips, Black Lips

    Howdy,

    Just a bit of a "how did they do it" type of question.

    I have been looking at some period (40's, 50's, 60's) glamor/pinup portraiture of late and have been wondering how I could possibly re-create certain aspects.

    The one thing that has struck me is how often the lips nearly look very dark and often nearly completely black. Considering that the skin is also quite washed out, it has my thinking how and why does this occur? Is it due to the use of Ortho film? Or is there filtration in play?

    Can anyone give me an insight?

    Cheers

  2. #2

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    What about heavy make-up?
    a light blue filter will also darken reddish hues.

  3. #3
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    I saw a documentary thingy where they were re-creating the filming of a silent B+W movie, not sure from what era (it was a hand-cranked cine-camera, at least).
    There, they used Blue lipstick to get the right shade on the B+W film...
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  4. #4
    Molli's Avatar
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    I'm going to go with a blue filter as well. I did a filter test and, while I wasn't wearing lipstick (no other model handy at 3 in the morning), my lips were significantly darker than without a blue filter. Unfortunately, I have freckles so they were more noticeable, also. If you're not wanting to show up freckles or other blemishes, a decent coating of foundation is definitely required!

  5. #5
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molli View Post
    I'm going to go with a blue filter as well. I did a filter test and, while I wasn't wearing lipstick (no other model handy at 3 in the morning), my lips were significantly darker than without a blue filter. Unfortunately, I have freckles so they were more noticeable, also. If you're not wanting to show up freckles or other blemishes, a decent coating of foundation is definitely required!
    And this is exactly why I am confused! I would have said a blue filter, but that is hardly going to be flattering for a Hollywood starlet! Often, I have noticed that the skin is really blown, but yes, I suppose a lot of that could come down to makeup (my wife hardly wears makeup, so it never comes to mind straight away).

    I suppose I am also a touch confused with the likes of Bettie Page - when ever you see her in colour, she has that candy apple red lipstick, but in B&W those lips are quite dark. I also suppose, how often would have she been involved in a shoot at the same time that was both in colour and B&W.

  6. #6
    Molli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Croubie View Post
    I saw a documentary thingy where they were re-creating the filming of a silent B+W movie, not sure from what era (it was a hand-cranked cine-camera, at least).
    There, they used Blue lipstick to get the right shade on the B+W film...
    That surprises me given that, to the best of my knowledge, film has always been most sensitive to blue. Then again, throw on an orange filter and you're killing two birds with one stone with the blue lipstick - dark lips and glowing white skin. It would obviate the need for a blue filter (thus lessening the need to cake on the make up) and would avoid zombie white eyes for those of us with blue eyes.
    Okay, that works for me

  7. #7
    Rick A's Avatar
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    In the old days, they only had orthochromatic film, no red sensitivity.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  8. #8
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    In the old days, they only had orthochromatic film, no red sensitivity.
    Quite correct Rick, films were not panochromatic (sensitive to all colours)
    you just beat me to it.
    Ben

  9. #9
    Molli's Avatar
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    Given that Hoffy spoke of the 40s, 50s and 60s, I discounted orthochromatic films as the cause since they were phased out of use in Holywood studios during the late thirties. I'm going purely from Roger Hicks and Christopher Nisperos' 'Holywood Portraits' book here. All of the decades mentioned are just a tad before my time :-p

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    In the old days, they only had orthochromatic film, no red sensitivity.
    yup, there was TRI-X ORTHO as well ( asa 400 )
    karsh used this film a lot, or something like it
    we used to use it in the 1980s as well ...

    you can probably recreate this look using filters

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/8...-pan-film.html
    Last edited by jnanian; 12-23-2013 at 08:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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