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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos View Post
    Dear Singlo,

    I'm (half) kidding about the 'name on the book' thing. No problem!

    About the drawings in Hollywood Portraits: you are very sharp and 100% correct. All I can say is ¡Ï©ÚÌß`£Ì{¶{º‘êÙ¬îô¡Ì¡Ç¡¶?« (translation by personal email only)....

    When Roger and I originally worked on the lighting schemes on his kitchen table in England, we drew all of them as "birds-eye views", that is, looking straight down. However, when I received the final proofs (strangely, with no possibility to make further changes), the schemes were drawn in 3D, at eye-level. I was furious, particularly because several of the lamp heights were incorrect. At the time, Roger told me that the artist had taken it upon herself to change the point of view of the drawings without asking for previous approval, and that it was too late to change things (?). I insisted, though, that text at least be added to the preface, warning the reader that the drawing were approximate, and to conduct tests for reliable results. Sorry for any confusion!

    Right you are about lighting women: go soft. Here's a trick: use ONLY fill, and light the outline of the head with backlight (rimlight... two kickers, one on each side.. and a fairly hot hairlight, but not too far forward. Skim the hair.). Lastly, don't forget the importance of retouching..(plus, if you have the possibility to do it on the negative, even better!)

    Why not post your result here and make this thread even more interesting?!!

    Have fun,

    Christopher
    dear chris,
    we seem to be typing both at the same time, so I missed your answers while I was typing.LOL

    Thanks for the tip about about using fill only; gotta try that set-up. Yeah i do lots of D-E-M-O-N retouching. I feel not so confident to post my works here while some real experts like you hanging around in this forum; I am still learning, researching and polishing my techniques. I practice frequently with a dummy head before I do it on a live person. One thing about Dedolight, it is the most cuttable and shapable light you can lay a hand on. Before that I used large diameter fresnels for strobes, the light quality is much sofer but much harder to cut with cutters/barndoors. At the moment I play with custome design DIY cookies a lot.
    Last edited by singlo; 04-25-2007 at 06:46 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  2. #42
    Christopher Nisperos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    Hi chris my dedo comrade! I have a terrible confession to make--I went DEMON 6 years ago after ditching my Contax and Mamiya RZ67 film camera plus a dozen Zeiss glasses. Shame on me! I am so afraid to be a DEMON hanging around in analogue forum.

    Do you think Greg Gorman can be counted as one of contempory photographers still use the old Hollywood lighting techniques with the mordern look? I have seen quite a number of contemporary fashion adverts using Hollywood lighting-a modern twist, e.g. a photo of Kate Moss by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott currently in the London National Poratrait gallery...they are a few others that i can't remmeber their names now at the top of my head. These big name fashion guys are paid with bottomless bank account so i wouldn't be surprised they use HMI fresnels.

    Yes Studio Harcourt use "soft edge band of light" on the faces quite a lot..to the point that it becomes their signature style or somewhat over-used. I get lots of enjoyment out of trying to work out how they light the subjects in their book.
    Dear Satan ..uh, er.. Singlo. No, just joking ... digital photography is good. I like it. No, really.

    Really.

    OK, back to seriousness: Greg Gorman is of course a very good photographer and his exceptional work speaks for itself. I think it's a moot point to criticise his studio-spotlit photography because I don't believe he's after the "real" Hollywood look anyway. In any case, anyone who uses a big fresnel in the paramount position will always "sort of" get that Hollywood look, but it'll mainly be for the effect.

    Aside from the actual photography, it's interesting to note that Studio Harcourt is fundamentally different because they are a direct carry-over from the olden days: a fancy studio mainly catering to big stars and rich people, and creating images mainly for publicity purposes. Plus, as a cow-tow to their clientele of stars, the photographer-in-chief, Pierre Allard, deliberately likes to keep a low profile (ever heard of him? See!). Greg Gorman, on the other hand, is just as famous as most of his subjects... um, come to think of it, so was Hurrell!


    Best,

    Christopher
    DedoBro

    PS - repent! chuck your PhotoShop software and get a tiny paint brush and retouching dye ... only then will you be forgiven!

  3. #43
    Christopher Nisperos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    dear chris,
    we seem to be typing both at the same time, so I missed your answers while I was typing.LOL

    Thanks for the tip about about using fill only; gotta try that set-up. Yeah i do lots of D-E-M-O-N retouching. I feel not so confident to post my works here while some real experts like you hanging around in this forum; I am still learning, researching and polishing my techniques. I practice frequently with a dummy head before I do it on a live person. One thing about Dedolight, it is the most cuttable and shapable light you can lay a hand on. Before that I used large diameter fresnels for strobes, the light quality is much sofer but much harder to cut with cutters/barndoors. At the moment I play with custome design DIY cookies a lot.

    ...you're right.. but it's 2:a.m. as I write this, so time to hit the sack after this post..

    Glad you mentioned barns. Indispensible in Hollywood portraiture. The Dedo barns are heaven (I use the winged type .. any shape at all. Fantastic).

    Did I ever address the main question in this thread (how to avoid the subject squinting)? Here are a few suggestions .. Choose one: a weak spot, close and barned. Or a strong spot, far, scrimmed and/or snooted.

    Feathering the light also helps (because it directs the light more toward the lens). Straight down (paramount) can be very nice, and is easy on the subject's eyes —I call it "pizza restaurant lighting"—, but may be bad for lamp life.

    Go get 'em!

    Best,

    Christopher

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos View Post
    ...you're right.. but it's 2:a.m. as I write this, so time to hit the sack after this post..

    Glad you mentioned barns. Indispensible in Hollywood portraiture. The Dedo barns are heaven (I use the winged type .. any shape at all. Fantastic).

    Did I ever address the main question in this thread (how to avoid the subject squinting)? Here are a few suggestions .. Choose one: a weak spot, close and barned. Or a strong spot, far, scrimmed and/or snooted.

    Feathering the light also helps (because it directs the light more toward the lens). Straight down (paramount) can be very nice, and is easy on the subject's eyes —I call it "pizza restaurant lighting"—, but may be bad for lamp life.

    Go get 'em!

    Best,

    Christopher
    hi Chris Dedo bro,

    I went to bed beofre i saw your reply.

    Thanks for the tips about squinting. Maybe it is better to sacrifice the light output for the sake of the subject's comfort. When you work with 50W of output, you very much need to shoot with larger aperture or faster film.

    Dedolight no longer makes your 8 leaf super barnrdoors (with articulate joints) any longer. I only got the new 8 leaf which you can't make trapzoidal shape. Do you use the Dedo gobo projection attachment? It is very expensive.

    I want to ask you about feathering: when you feather a fresnel spot using the edge of the beam to light a person's face (the center hot spot is not used), does this make the light quality sofer? Obviously you lose significant light output probably 1-2 stops. For example, the center hot spot of Dedo is 6500 lux, the edge of the beam would be 3000 lux at 3 meters acoording to the photometric.


    I would enjoy retouching large negative becuase it is a very tactile experience like drawing. With regard to digxxxl (forbidden word in this forum?) retouching, you can still reconstruct the lost skin texture by using a trick known as texture face mask with Photoshop. I have tried the technique but it is downright time-consuming and tricky to create the skin texture face mask.

    One photographer worth mentioning is Glen Luchford (www.artandcommerce.com) . You can say his style is not classical hollywood, but his lighting techniques are kind of "neo-classical hollywood": cinematic lighting using lots of tungsten fresnels and Dedos. He once said he used over 30 tungstens lights for a fashion shot. It seems overkill but that's his "additive" lighting technique---lighting small areas with many lights to build up the whole scene.Through this way, you can create lots of depth and three-dimensionality in the photo.

    yours sincerely,
    Mr Satan.

  5. #45
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    As far as the thin negative goes, one reason for this may have been that retouching could be used to push the highlights up. Hurrell would use powdered graphite over the whole face, for instance, to smooth out the skin, in addition to lightening up lines, wrinkles and blemishes with the point of a pencil, and this could easily add a stop's worth of density to the neg.

    I tried to see if there was a source for powdered graphite and realized that I produced plenty of it myself from sharpening my leads with a stone. It can be applied with a Q-tip or a blending tool that is essentially a tightly rolled cylinder of paper about the diameter of a cigarette, cut on an angle.

    It's pretty common on old portraits that have been retouched for the faces to be lighter than the lighting itself would have allowed.
    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

  6. #46
    Christopher Nisperos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    hi Chris Dedo bro, Thanks for the tips about squinting. Maybe it is better to sacrifice the light output for the sake of the subject's comfort. When you work with 50W of output, you very much need to shoot with larger aperture or faster film.
    Not necessarily. Just move the light closer to the subject! That's the beauty of the Dedolight units, with their built-in "zoom" optics (combined with the fact that it's an adjustable spot), you can change lamp-to-subject distances without loosing too much of your intended lighting dynamics. Secondly —and I repeat— with the small lighting circle given by a Dedo or similar spot spot— you'll still need some supplementary light, whether fill or another Dedo, to light the rest of your subject. Therefore, you don't necessarily need to shoot wide open.

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    Dedolight no longer makes your 8 leaf super barnrdoors (with articulate joints) any longer. I only got the new 8 leaf which you can't make trapzoidal shape. Do you use the Dedo gobo projection attachment? It is very expensive.
    Too bad. I suppose you could use Cinefoil to cut shapes but that's not as practical. I do have the Dedo projector and I find it very useful for creating a tight circle giving sharp shadow edges. If you don't have a projector, you can fashion a snoot out of Cinefoil. This works great and is cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    I want to ask you about feathering: when you feather a fresnel spot using the edge of the beam to light a person's face (the center hot spot is not used), does this make the light quality sofer? Obviously you lose significant light output probably 1-2 stops.
    Yes, feathering softens the light, but the principle idea in using this technique is to obtain a better rendering of texture. Feathering works by "scimming" the light off the skin (or whatever other surface) much like you would skip a pebble over the surface of a lake. That is why the technique is easier to apply with a light source that is not too diffused, and easier to apply with continuous light sources than with flash, given the latter's nature (an explosion of light!) Also, since the rendering of texture is the priority, note that film development works hand-in-hand with your intended results (in other words, why break your neck to feather the light and then block up the delicate highlights by overdeveloping the film later?) The key word here is "subtle". Which leads right in to you next question . . . The look of commercial portraiture of the 1950's incarnates top feathering techniques, moreso than 1940's glamour portraiture. Google Wallace Seawell, a very good Hollywood portraitist of the 1950's.

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    I would enjoy retouching large negative becuase it is a very tactile experience like drawing. With regard to digxxxl (forbidden word in this forum?) retouching, you can still reconstruct the lost skin texture by using a trick known as texture face mask with Photoshop. I have tried the technique but it is downright time-consuming and tricky to create the skin texture face mask.
    Hand retouching of the negative ties-in areas immediately adjacent to the area you are retouching. Digital retouching allows you to import similar
    adjacent textures with which you "fill-in" your retouch target zone. Much of the digital retouching I've seen is unsuccessful, to my eyes (no pun intended!). Why? That's just it: because I can see it! ...or because it "looks" retouched. Yes, I know.. Hurrell's portraits have perfect skin, too. But if you compare them with, say one of today's cosmetics ads from L'Oreal, you may understand what I mean. It brings us back to that word: subtle difference, but all the difference in the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    One photographer worth mentioning is Glen Luchford (www.artandcommerce.com) . You can say his style is not classical hollywood, but his lighting techniques are kind of "neo-classical hollywood": cinematic lighting using lots of tungsten fresnels and Dedos.
    Interesting stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    yours sincerely,
    Mr Satan.
    ..naw, I take it back. Being a digital user doesn't necessarily make you evil ..
    Apologies for jokingly calling you 'Satan' .... the fact that you're here in the holy APUG forum hopefully means that your on the righteous road back to analog! Can I get a witness?!

    Best,

    Christopher

    .
    Last edited by Christopher Nisperos; 04-27-2007 at 05:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #47

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    hi chris,

    Thank you very much for taking time to answer my questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos View Post
    Not necessarily. Just move the light closer to the subject! That's the beauty of the Dedolight units, with their built-in "zoom" optics (combined with the fact that it's an adjustable spot), you can change lamp-to-subject distances without loosing too much of your intended lighting dynamics. Secondly —and I repeat— with the small lighting circle given by a Dedo or similar spot spot— you'll still need some supplementary light, whether fill or another Dedo, to light the rest of your subject. Therefore, you don't necessarily need to shoot wide open.
    Do you prefer to use a dimmed Dedo spot set in flood position (without diffusion) as fill? This week, my dealer gave me a demonstration of a newly arrived Dedo softlite with softbox and removable fabric grids. It makes great fill light but the price is steep.

    Yeah I use weak fill soft light all the time; usually Chimera softbox fitted with Lighttool eggcrates or "beauty dish"-sky pan reflector. I am yet to try to use hard light like a spot as fill. I discovered a while a go that there is difference between using hard fill and soft fill. If the studio space is small and the subject is sitting close to the background, hard fill can create unwanted shadows in the background.

    Too bad. I suppose you could use Cinefoil to cut shapes but that's not as practical. I do have the Dedo projector and I find it very useful for creating a tight circle giving sharp shadow edges. If you don't have a projector, you can fashion a snoot out of Cinefoil. This works great and is cheap.]
    I do have the Elinchrom projector lens for strobes but it is nowhere as versatile as the Dedo one.I do use cinefoil, black cards, black foam boards...to make cucaloris, gobos,...cinefoil is very heat resistant but it is just floppy at times when you want to make something that is more robust & reusable. I also have Matthrews cucaloris and flags but I prefer the ones i made myself.

    Can you enlight me what are the real world application of dots in Hollywood Portrait? Have you tried this patterns you mentioned in other thread?

    http://www.lightbreak.com/

    Yes, feathering softens the light, but the principle idea in using this technique is to obtain a better rendering of texture. Feathering works by "scimming" the light off the skin (or whatever other surface) much like you would skip a pebble over the surface of a lake. That is why the technique is easier to apply with a light source that is not too diffused, and easier to apply with continuous light sources than with flash, given the latter's nature (an explosion of light!) Also, since the rendering of texture is the priority, note that film development works hand-in-hand with your intended results (in other words, why break your neck to feather the light and then block up the delicate highlights by overdeveloping the film later?) The key word here is "subtle". Which leads right in to you next question . . . The look of commercial portraiture of the 1950's incarnates top feathering techniques, moreso than 1940's glamour portraiture. Google Wallace Seawell, a very good Hollywood portraitist of the 1950's.
    I presume feathering skin texture is only good for male character portrait, and not applicable to female except for "cloth light". For example, if the actress wore a glamourous satin dress and you wanted to accentuate the texture of the dress. You would light the face only with a spot flagging or scrimming off the cloth, and then light the clothes using anothor feathered spot to accentuate the cloth texture.

    Besides, I may often unconsciously feather the key light to avoid it spilling over the background.

    I google Wallace Seawell and found this:

    http://www.mptv.net/main/main_elements/photoglist2.htm

    Hand retouching of the negative ties-in areas immediately adjacent to the area you are retouching. Digital retouching allows you to import similar
    adjacent textures with which you "fill-in" your retouch target zone. Much of the digital retouching I've seen is unsuccessful, to my eyes (no pun intended!). Why? That's just it: because I can see it! ...or because it "looks" retouched. Yes, I know.. Hurrell's portraits have perfect skin, too. But if you compare them with, say one of today's cosmetics ads from L'Oreal, you may understand what I mean. It brings us back to that word: subtle difference, but all the difference in the world.
    I see what you mean. Yet a few top digital-devil retouchers can achieve very subtle results and their trade secrets are closedly guarded like those top hand retouchers hired by Hurell in the old days.


    ..naw, I take it back. Being a digital user doesn't necessarily make you evil ..
    Apologies for jokingly calling you 'Satan' .... the fact that you're here in the holy APUG forum hopefully means that your on the righteous road back to analog! Can I get a witness?!
    Not really need to apologise. My sin is beyond any redemption. We digital-devils often wonder how you film elites can afford to buy large format films and the processing, printing costs associated with it. Say if the model accidentally blinks her eyes during an exposure, wouldn't it be very costly for a 8x10" negative nowsday?
    best
    Mr Satan
    Last edited by singlo; 04-27-2007 at 09:19 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  8. #48
    Christopher Nisperos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    hi chris,
    Do you prefer to use a dimmed Dedo spot set in flood position (without diffusion) as fill? This week, my dealer gave me a demonstration of a newly arrived Dedo softlite with softbox and removable fabric grids. It makes great fill light but the price is steep.

    Yeah I use weak fill soft light all the time; usually Chimera softbox fitted with Lighttool eggcrates or "beauty dish"-sky pan reflector. I am yet to try to use hard light like a spot as fill. I discovered a while a go that there is difference between using hard fill and soft fill. If the studio space is small and the subject is sitting close to the background, hard fill can create unwanted shadows in the background.
    For my portrait purposes, I usually like to keep the fill as close as possible to the lens. That means the-smaller-the-better. I used to use a Dedo with a tiny softbox, but it wasn't strong enough (When I moved it closer to the subject I'd lose coverage area, even with the zoom adjustment). Maybe the new Dedo is different— I haven't tried it yet. Then I tried a Lowel Tota-Light with diffusion material attached. Too strong (yeah, I know .. change the globe!). In any case, I think that almost any kind of diffused source will work well as a fill, even a beat-up, old Smith-Victor 12" photoflood with diffuser. (... and, in ALL cases, with barndoors!)

    "Hard"-but-weak fill will work (such as an undiffused photoflood), but be prepared for specular highlights on the nose-tip, cheeks, etc.. Of course, this is prefectly OK, if that's the effect you're looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    I do have the Elinchrom projector lens for strobes but it is nowhere as versatile as the Dedo one.I do use cinefoil, black cards, black foam boards...to make cucaloris, gobos,...cinefoil is very heat resistant but it is just floppy at times when you want to make something that is more robust & reusable. I also have Matthrews cucaloris and flags but I prefer the ones i made myself. Can you enlight me what are the real world application of dots in Hollywood Portrait? Have you tried this patterns you mentioned in other thread?

    http://www.lightbreak.com/
    Home-made cookies (nothing to do with chocolate chip) can really add a personal touch to a portrait, in spite of their ephemeral nature. Matthews cookies are great but heavy. I use LightBreak cookies quite a bit. They are made of mylar and are inexpensive, durable and there's a wide choice of pattterns. The website is particulary excellent ..lots of examples and ideas for use. The LightBreak cookies can even be combined with diffusion gels or another LightBreak cookie.. Just mind the instructions and keep them a proper distance from your spot.

    Dots are very useful, for example, in preventing too much light from striking the near shoulder in a head & shoulders portrait. Sometimes you can use two, together, to create a heart-like shape, and shoot the light through the resulting "v" at the top. (top secret technique). There are a thousand possibilities .. go crazy and use your imagination!

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    I presume feathering skin texture is only good for male character portrait, and not applicable to female except for "cloth light". For example, if the actress wore a glamourous satin dress and you wanted to accentuate the texture of the dress. You would light the face only with a spot flagging or scrimming off the cloth, and then light the clothes using anothor feathered spot to accentuate the cloth texture.

    Besides, I may often unconsciously feather the key light to avoid it spilling over the background.
    No, no! Feathering is not "only good for male character portraits, and not applicable to females". I think you're confusing feathering with "character lighting", which is used to bring out relief. When I talk about using feathering to bring out texture, I'm speaking about texture at an almost microscopic level, if you will. Feathering is one of the factors which can change a face from a flat-looking notan rendering to one which reveals underlying facial bone structure, pores, etc. It is related to highlight brilliance. Feathering is generally done by pivoting the lamp-head on the lightstand without necessarily moving the whole lightstand itself (often finishing with the lamp being directed somewhat toward the lens. Hence, barndoors are obligatory!) Character lighting would require you to adjust (move) the whole lamp-and-stand set in relation to the subject's head.

    This would be easier to understand simply by looking at a couple of portraits showing lighting "with feathering" and "without feathering", but I unfortunately have never made such a comparison set. That means you'll have to experiment, or find an old Kodak lighting book containing such examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    I google Wallace Seawell and found this:

    http://www.mptv.net/main/main_elements/photoglist2.htm
    Wallace Seawell just turned 90 last year, and is still as sharp as a tack. I talked to him recently about a portrait he did of Debbie Reynolds. He still remembered the lighting!
    He told me that Reynolds had lamented to him at the time (1960's, when color first began eclipsing black & white and flash came into high use) that "photographers don't know how to light anymore .. all they know how to use are umbrellas!" It's interesting that many people say the same thing today of softbox use. Anyway, here's one of his portraits: http://www.hollywoodcelebrityphotogr.../1153B-ph.html

    I often prefer this type of portraiture to Hurrell's. There was really a lot of top quality work done during the 1950's and, in addition to the great lighting, the poses of the period, —due, in part to faster films (compared with Hurrell's heyday), faster lenses —and sometimes, faster-to-use cameras, such as the Rolleiflex— were more "fun", lively, kitchy, cheesy.. call it what you want. Not always as glamour-classy as the 1940's, but I like it a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    I see what you mean. Yet a few top digital-devil retouchers can achieve very subtle results and their trade secrets are closedly guarded like those top hand retouchers hired by Hurell in the old days.
    Yes, there is some very good digital retouching being done today. Still, it would be interesting to see a "battle of the retouchers" —with one digital retoucher and one traditional retoucher (while they're still around!)—, doing a retouching comparison on the same image ("ping"... magazine article idea!)

    Quote Originally Posted by singlo View Post
    Not really need to apologise. My sin is beyond any redemption. We digital-devils often wonder how you film elites can afford to buy large format films and the processing, printing costs associated with it. Say if the model accidentally blinks her eyes during an exposure, wouldn't it be very costly for a 8x10" negative nowsday?
    best
    Mr Satan
    Ok, digi-sinner. Blinks? Listen, one of the advantages of continous lighting is that you get fewer blinks than with flash! Secondly, one reason a photographer takes several shots .. ah, nevermind. Just a hint, my friend: defending digital photography on APUG is already risky... but if you're going to start the old "digital is cheaper" argument here, be prepared to get jumped-on or lectured-to or explained-to (not by me.. I'm too tired of it, after having done it for years to certain photographers here in Paris who know Weston only as a shoe brand* or think that Ansel's wife is named Gretel).

    To help you better understand the analog mentality, here goes: "We know that film costs more than digital .. AND WE DON'T CARE!" Hey, have you ever checked out photonet.com? (Just joking.. ) Stay here and learn the difference between fast food and haute cuisine!

    Best,

    Christopher
    *PS - I hasten to add that not all French photographers are as ignorant as this about West Coast photographers! Just a couple of them I used to have coffee with. Note, "used to".
    .
    Last edited by Christopher Nisperos; 04-27-2007 at 06:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #49

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    Thanks Chris my hero for your enlightenment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos View Post
    For my portrait purposes, I usually like to keep the fill as close as possible to the lens. That means the-smaller-the-better. I used to use a Dedo with a tiny softbox, but it wasn't strong enough . (... and, in ALL cases, with barndoors!)
    That makes a lot of sense. I usually like to keep the light at 6 o'clock (gaffer's jargon) but I use small Chimera which gets in the way of the camera, so i always place it around 7 or 5 o'clock. The new Dedo soft light box is no bigger than the old one though.

    [B]"Hard"-but-weak fill[/B] will work (such as an undiffused photoflood), but be prepared for specular highlights on the nose-tip, cheeks, etc.. Of course, this is prefectly OK, if that's the effect you're looking for.

    I love specular highlights and can't get enough of it, otherwise I wouldn't use fresnel in the first place and stick to soft boxes.

    Home-made cookies (nothing to do with chocolate chip) can really add a personal touch to a portrait, in spite of their ephemeral nature. Matthews cookies are great but heavy. I use LightBreak cookies quite a bit. They are made of mylar and are inexpensive, durable and there's a wide choice of pattterns. .
    It looks like their stuff look less boring those by Chimera. I got a few Chimera patterns but use them occasonally.

    Dots are very useful, for example, in preventing too much light from striking the near shoulder in a head & shoulders portrait. Sometimes you can use two, together, to create a heart-like shape, and shoot the light through the resulting "v" at the top. (top secret technique). There are a thousand possibilities .. go crazy and use your imagination!
    Chris we must keep this secret! Shhh...Argh I am making DIY dots with wires and black foam board now. This gets me excited.

    [I]No, no! Feathering is not "only good for male character portraits, and not applicable to females". I think you're confusing feathering with "character lighting", which is used to bring out relief. When I talk about using feathering to bring out texture, I'm speaking about texture at an almost microscopic level, if you will. Feathering is one of the factors which can change a face from a flat-looking notan rendering to one which reveals underlying facial bone structure, pores, etc. It is related to highlight brilliance. Feathering is generally done by pivoting the lamp-head on the lightstand without necessarily moving the whole lightstand itself (often finishing with the lamp being directed somewhat toward the lens. Hence, barndoors are obligatory!) Character lighting would require you to adjust (move) the whole lamp-and-stand set in relation to the subject's head[/I].
    With feathering, I understood half of it and be mystified by the other half. I always thought feathering is like eating a strawberry cheese cake: it likes you eat the whole cake but leave out the strawberry. Maybe I think too hard.

    Wallace Seawell just turned 90 last year, and is still as sharp as a tack. I talked to him recently about a portrait he did of Debbie Reynolds. He still remembered the lighting!
    He told me that Reynolds had lamented to him at the time (1960's, when color first began eclipsing black & white and flash came into high use) that "photographers don't know how to light anymore .. all they know how to use are umbrellas!" It's interesting that many people say the same thing today of softbox use. Anyway, here's one of his portraits: http://www.hollywoodcelebrityphotogr.../1153B-ph.html

    I often prefer this type of portraiture to Hurrell's. There was really a lot of top quality work done during the 1950's and, in addition to the great lighting, the poses of the period, —due, in part to faster films (compared with Hurrell's heyday), faster lenses —and sometimes, faster-to-use cameras, such as the Rolleiflex— were more "fun", lively, kitchy, cheesy.. call it what you want. Not always as glamour-classy as the 1940's, but I like it a lot.

    Hurrell's style is not my favourite but I am interested his techniques. I don't shoot cheesecake now. I only did a bit of cheesy stuff in my film era and got tired of it, becuase everyone is doing it and there is a newspaper in England called the Sun and Page 3 and loads of "Lad's" magazines which saturates and cheapens cheesecake. Don't call me a snob though. I personally like Horst,Sieff( who is a master of sunlight and cookies), Vallhonrat, Klein, Lindbergh,Skrebneski, Alas & Piggot, and the list goes on.

    Ok, digi-sinner. Blinks? Just a hint, my friend: defending digital photography on APUG is already risky... but if you're going to start the old "digital is cheaper" argument here, be prepared to get jumped-on or lectured-to or explained-to (not by me.. I'm too tired of it, after having done it for years to certain photographers here in Paris who know Weston only as a shoe brand* or think that Ansel's wife is named Gretel).To help you better understand the analog mentality, here goes: "We know that film costs more than digital .. AND WE DON'T CARE!" Hey, have you ever checked out photonet.com? (Just joking.. ) Stay here and learn the difference between fast food and haute cuisine!
    That was a close shave. I wasn't trying to start a Devil Advocate on digxxxl vs analogue debate. I better not to mention that d-word anymore otherwise I would be rounded up and shot like a traitor.
    Best,

    *PS - I hasten to add that not all French photographers are as ignorant as this about West Coast photographers! Just a couple of them I used to have coffee with. Note, "used to".
    .
    West coast, you mean the Yankee or the Brits? I better go and finish off my dots.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    As far as the thin negative goes, one reason for this may have been that retouching could be used to push the highlights up. Hurrell would use powdered graphite over the whole face, for instance, to smooth out the skin, in addition to lightening up lines, wrinkles and blemishes with the point of a pencil, and this could easily add a stop's worth of density to the neg.
    David - It would seem to ME (maybe it's just me) that the reason for the thin neg would have far less to do with the image 'aesthetics' (i'm not too sure they were even thinking that deeply about film characteristics this way) and, maybe, a whole lot MORE to do with the fact that they have to knock off 5000 prints from the same neg on an 8x10 enlarger - probably at f/16 (for neg flatness reasons). Just an idea...

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