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  1. #11
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I expose for the darker tones and let the light tones fall where they will. I can always burn in if necessary. Unless you have extreme blacks and whites in the same scene it shouldn't pose much of a problem. With color, there is no problem at all.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  2. #12
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    That is basically what I do too, Rick. Regardless of complexion I make sure I have enough shadow detail (or as much as I want), and take care of mid-tones and highlights in processing so that the negs print well on grade 2 paper.

    To me dark skin should look - dark, and light skin should look - light! I just fail to understand why the dark skin should need special treatment and can't come up with a good explanation to why that should be. It is all shades of gray, and some are darker than others. Even on a face with pale complexion there are areas that are so dark that they may become completely black without tonal separation and a lack of detail unless you give enough exposure.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #13
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I just take an incidental light reading and it doesn't matter what colour or combination of colours the sitters are. I would use Kodak Portra 160 NC or Fuji Pro 160 S
    Last edited by benjiboy; 05-24-2010 at 12:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  4. #14
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    All Kodak films were tested with many racial types when I was doing design work. The sensitization was adjusted to work with all of them in a proper fashion.

    PE

  5. #15
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    I always overexpose any complexion or almost anything for that matter. Like any dark object regard to exposure, if it isn't there it isn't there. I don't treat shooting a black or white person any different than any other exposure. I always just seek to capture all the tones available in a subject within the negative, and print from there. In photographing a person with light skin with a person with black skin my exposure wouldn't be any different than any other I might make.

    In regard to the color, I can't point you to a specific example offhand, but many times darker skin can come off with a purple tint with a vivid film. That will vary of course because there are many different complexions, just saying black or white or dark or light skin doesn't cover the spectrum of tones and hues found in human skin. It's a lot easier to jack chroma after the fact with paper/printing and move the overall hue than it is to remove a specific hue. YMMV.

    All of this involves making some assumptions. The only criteria that actually bears is the intention and the result, and so comes the old saw...test.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 05-24-2010 at 01:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16

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    Thanks all for answers!

  7. #17
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    This comment is not meant to offend anyone, so I offer my apologies in advance to anyone who may take this the wrong way.

    I realize that this is a photographic forum, in particular a question of proper exposure and not the subject of race or ethnicity. To be more specific, the question is one of propertly recording the reflectance of light waves from the subject onto a photographic medium.

    It just stuck me that, in the truest sense, I have never met anyone with "black skin." Nor have I met anyone with "white skin."

    We are a species comprising a multiplicity of races, creeds, ethnicity, color and nationality. Personally, I feel the word "color," or words denoting a particular color, should be replaced with something a bit more neutral. Maybe skin-tone, or pigmentation.

    No human being is truly black, or white, yellow, or red. Individually, our skin vary in hue, tonal characteristics and texture. What the eye and brain perceive are varying wavelengths of light.

    I just hope one day, human beings will mature enough to grow out of the use of labels denoting skin pigmentation and or race. We are all one race. The human race.

    There are no extraterrestrial beings on this planet.

    Again, I apologize if these statements offend. It is not my intent to offend anyone.

  8. #18
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I don't consider any comment that anyone has made on this thread on the tone of peoples skin one that anyone would find offensive.
    Ben

  9. #19
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    So how do we do this? We are talking about shades of skin tone and how to best photograph it, and in my humble opinion in a very respectful way. How would you phrase the question?
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #20
    Rick A's Avatar
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    The best film for photographing dark complexions is orthochromatic film. If you look at photos taken in the 30's and 40's, you will see whatI'm talking about. The absence of red sensitization of the emulsion renders that color as black(or tones thereof). The portraits of Native Americans displayed in NG and other publications of the day is testimony to this.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

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