While the original post is referencing digital shots, I'm left wondering how I'd recreate the effect on black and white, which is no doubt possible.
Suggestions listed already area blue filter (great, now there's another filter I gotta buy...), high-contrast developing (I'm guessing more frequent agitation?) and high-contrast paper grade. Do you think 35mm is too small for such detailed shots, or does it have to be bumped up to MF or higher?
Apart from the filter and printing, I consider using something like a Pan F, in 35mm or better 120, and push it 2 stops in XTol. That might keep the grain small but create a lot of contrast. In 120 size Microphen might be an even better choice because I remember it creating very high contrast when pushing HP5.
The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands smell like fixing bath.
I personally would find them just as frightening if they were on film.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
I am not implying that they are bad, because they are not, but I simply could not look at the majority of them for long or buy them to hang them on my living room walls
They are certainly powerful though, no doubt, and extremely well executed.
Last edited by MaximusM3; 02-04-2011 at 08:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
it is the "ortho" look
karsh was a master of character studies
using this sort of technique.
it is lighting as well as the emulsion though.
i worked with someone trained in this technique when i
was starting out ... and you need to really know how
to use light and emphasize highlights and shadow like
rembrandt ... the blue filter is just the beginning ...
You could also play with Rollei Pan 25 or Rollei Ortho to create a high contrast, dramatic look. If you are not afraid of grain, you could also try Tri-X @ 200 and overdevelop in Rodinal 1:25. With a blue filter, you may get what you're looking for, plus the grain. Looking at those pics though, it looks like he doctored most if not all of the subjects eyes to make them look lighter (and more zombie-like frightening), and that is something you won't be able to play with on film, unless you can get your model to wear blue contact lenses while you're using the blue filter, which in turn would make their eyes look like that (or close to it anyway).
Originally Posted by cmo
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Actually, if you look at a lot of those, they're quite "Grainy"/noisy. I'd go for the high contrast development/underexposure with Tri-X on 120, and add the blue filter. Try it at 400, then add 20-30% to your development time.
You can get the light eyes thing in film without the contact lenses- it's called localized bleaching of the print. You'd just have to work with a very dilute ferricyanate bleach and a stash of q-tips.
Actually, his compositional skill is very good regardless of technique to achieve the effect. I think lighting is important, as well. I really believe that many of us are so stuck in the "ambient light" frame of mind that we don't pay enough attention to this. I've been reading a few of the "old" portrait books from the '40s and '50s, and all of them talk about judicious use of lights for studio work.
I am interested in how one would duplicate this however. Might make an interesting set of contrast juxtapositions to shoot folks with the blue filter and with a deep red filter to display side by side.
if you have some photo paper, you can make
similar character portraits with paper negatives ...
lipstick goes black .. be careful though ... with women, this kind
of emulsion might make women upset.
" men look manly " ... women well ... you might need to learn how to retouch the negative ..
unless you are able to have your subject sit for really long soft light exposure ...
if you're interested in these, you might consider Oscar Lozoya's portraits too
his book details the lighting he uses
Last edited by colinlane; 02-04-2011 at 12:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.