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Photography Question 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
 

Getting pale results with black and white film


I've got an idea that involves a dramatic portrait with high contrast but I'm not sure how to get the exact look that I'm going for. I'm going to get a completely white background and I'm want to be able to control the contrast of the skin of my model along with the hair. I'm probably going to be using TMax100 along with a small flash unit on a sync cord to light the background while I'll be using a hotlight and reflector for to light the model. Anyway, I want to make her skin look as pale as I can without being blown out or too gray and keeping dark hair. I'll be combining to similar photos on 11x14 multigrade fiber paper and wanted to know if somebody thought that I should try to overexpose a little to get the face light or just expose normally and use a high contrast filter. If I were to over expose, I might be able to burn in the hair? Thanks for any advice you can give! I may just try them both to see which works the best.

-Andrew


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2/9/2006 10:57:44 PM

 
Bret Tate
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/12/2005
  Andrew:

I'm not sure that this is the answer that you are looking for, but, if you use a deep red filter when shooting in BW the model's skin will become very "porcelin" like. It will be very white and smooth.


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2/10/2006 8:20:56 AM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  Thanks, I'll check that out too, I wanted to shy away from filters because of the light loss with my tungsten lights and weak flash unit that I'm using for the background. I forgot to say, but I've even seen senior pictures use the effect where they're black and white but very high contrast so it almost looks like something from the movie SinCity. Thanks!


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2/10/2006 9:58:35 AM

 
Bret Tate
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/12/2005
  You may get the results that you want through a combination of developer and processing time. TMax is fairly sensitive to changes in chemical and time.

You could also try Kodak tech pan. It is VERY contrasty but extremely slow speed. There is really no grain.


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2/10/2006 10:49:27 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Hey Andrew !

T-Max 100 is ok but for what you're looking to accomplish, try Tri-X 400 exposed at 250 ISO and find someone to process it in either T-Max R.S. or D-76 1:1. The red filter is a good idea, but shooting with tungsten lights, try a #11 yellow. That'll clean up the amber from the tungsten and make the whites seem much cleaner. With the higher ISO and even the red filter, you'll be gaining a stop and a half and you should be ok.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, Kodak pulled Tech Pan and Panatomic X off the market. You could probably still find some Agfapan 100 which is great stuff too.
For more info on processing etc., put your question up at http://www.apug.org (The Analog photographers user group). There are lots of really sharp folks over there who (like me) still shoot (and process) strictly film.

Take it light.
Mark


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2/11/2006 4:34:41 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Another thing you could do is in the darkroom, get some of Kodak's Polycontrast papaper (IV is my favorite) and use the contrast filters. If you expose/develop normally a filter in between 2.5 and 4.5 usually gives me very strong results. I usually am trying for results like the following photo shot by Michael Tarasoff.

Not my photograph below:

Not my photograph above:


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2/12/2006 8:24:19 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  And of course the higher the filter, the lighter her skin gets.


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2/12/2006 8:24:47 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Again a higher filter will probably yeild a photo similiar to the following:


Not my photograph above:


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2/12/2006 8:28:06 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Retry:

And a higher filter will probably yeild a photo similiar to the following:

Not my photograph below:

Not my photograph above:


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2/12/2006 8:29:42 AM

 
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