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  1. #1

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    achieving a flat image

    Hello everyone!

    I'm trying to take some portraits that should look like paintings, something that has a very flat feeling.

    I tried to browse online, but when I look for how to achieve this effect I can only find how to not get a flat image instead

    Maybe there are some filters that could do the job?

    Any advice would be of great help! thank you!

  2. #2

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    Use flat lighting. Pull (downrate your film and reduce development time) if shooting B&W - you'll need to test this.

  3. #3
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Flat as in tonality? Or in terms of depth perception?

    Tonally flat is easy. First it's the lighting (lots of fill), then it's the film/dev choice (you'd want lowish contrast index and maybe even an expired film), then it's the print grade and the type of print e.g. silver or Pt/Pd or whatever- and the emulsion can be handcoated for a really strong painterly effect if you wish. So there are many points in the workflow where you can affect the tones.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Try a film like Portra 160NC or Astia 100F, preferably medium format or larger, and soft light, if I understand what you're after. Could you point to some examples of the look you're trying to achieve?
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    Maybe you should mention a painter you mean. Do you mean like Samuel FB Morse or Egon Scheile or what.
    I think it is possible you are talking of the way painters don't represent large white highlights like you see from certain light sources in photography. If that is the case you might try using a small light source and a polarizer filter.
    Dennis

  6. #6
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Painters never represent DOF or lens distortion either, so you might want to use a long, high quality lens, keep your film plane straght up-and-down, and use a small aperture for infinite dof.
    f/22 and be there.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    Painters never represent DOF or lens distortion either...
    Bite your tongue! Look at the work of Vermeer and contemporaries, much analysed by Hockney and others. For the past 350 years or so, quite a few*** painters have emulated limited DOF. You won't really see how much of a revolution for painting that was until you look into the pre-Vermeer work.


    ***But not all of course...
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    In Vermeer the use of a plane of focus is quite striking, but can be hard to see unless you are looking at the originals or very good reproductions.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floradeborah View Post
    I tried to browse online, but when I look for how to achieve this effect I can only find how to not get a flat image instead
    Don't do those things.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  10. #10

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    Thank you guys! You are being very helpful I'm going to try to use a long lens and see what happen.

    This is the kind of image that I'd like to try to shoot:

    http://harryallen.info/wp-content/up...erticordia.jpg

    colors are there, but everything seems flat. I don't know how to explain exactly, but I'd like to get some kind of magical effect, that will make the image not looks like a photograph.

    I'm looking for some photographs that looks like this, will write again soon with some link if I can find something

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