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Lunatique
07-01-2005, 03:24 PM
I used to post my photography works in the General Discussion section, but now that we have this forum, it probably fits better here.

I wanted to do something dramatic, lush, and a bit wicked, so I did a pretty heavy job on Elena's make-up (I do make-up for my models sometimes if I feel that they might not understand what I wanted). The session was in two parts; the first part is the dark and dramatic look I wanted--something that evokes the kind of shadowy intensity you feel from watching David Lynch films (any David Lynch fans here?), the second part is sensual and luminous-- the opposite of the darkness of the first part. Elena kept the same outfit on, and only changed her make-up for the second part (she did the make-up for the second part). It's really intersting how the different looks affects Elena's mood, and also changes the way I perceive her from behind the camera. It was an interesting exploration of duality.

Here are some shots from the session:

EDIT:
BBCode doesn't like the character "&," so my images didn't show up here. But you can see them here instead: http://www.ethereality.info/ethereality_website/photography/1DMKII_portfolio/elena/between_darkness_&_light/between_darkness_&_light.htm

SpeccySteve
07-01-2005, 03:48 PM
"You are not logged in or don't have permission to view this board"

Lunatique
07-01-2005, 04:10 PM
Ok, I fixed it.

jmBoekestein
07-01-2005, 04:50 PM
lol, urhb, it says :
ISO
International Organization for Standardisation.

Either bbcode wants in on that or you've got jerked around by someone. :)

upload them some place else maybe? imageshack.us is good... I wanna see them :(

Blikkie
07-01-2005, 04:53 PM
Still can't log in... Are you sure?

jmBoekestein
07-01-2005, 04:56 PM
I think it's on your site wrongly, because I can't see them when I visit there and click on darkness and light.

Blikkie
07-01-2005, 05:32 PM
Okay, I can get there through your site, so I can comment on some :-)

I like what the lighting does to the texture of the skin. I think the difference between light and dark isn't distinct enough.6&12 could just as well be the other way around.

I really like the light skin tones in 19 and the colorful cushion in 18. It really helps to convey a feeling of brightness. The shallow DOF in 20 is nice too, but it doesn't really fit into the title. I think 9 is the best dark picture.

All in all I really like your photographs and love what you have got out of your model, but somehow it lacks expression I think. Maybe you should make Power! the subject of a next session.

Lunatique
07-02-2005, 06:15 AM
Ok, I'm sure it's fixed this time. Try the link again.

Blikkie - Thanks for the comments.

I shot the session for myself, so I don't exactly adhere to any focus of intent like I would if I was shooting for a client. I gave the session a title because it's better than calling it "session #50" or something non-descriptive.

The session also wasn't about emoting anything--it was more about lighting and atmosphere. I've done other sessions where expressiveness was the focus--you can see them at my website.

Blikkie
07-02-2005, 08:06 AM
*browse some more*

Hey, photo.net, like that site.

I see what you mean, there is a lot more power in your showcase. On a second watching (it works now!) I do get the David Lynch goodiness, but the light shoot doesn't come with the lightness of emotion I'd have expected of it., but maybe it is just that I am not good at reading asian faces. But as you said it wasn't about emotions, and my photo's are all lucky shots, so who am I to judge?

ashakarc
07-02-2005, 08:31 PM
Very nice collection, I thought the B&W one under Light selection is the best. I think all of them have very interesting light and color expression, but for some reason, I felt the B&W is very artistic with the play of light and focused intensities against the skin and posture, really beautiful.

Q: Did you shoot that one on B&W mode, or it is converted? and if it is converted, what is your method, if I may ask?

Lunatique
07-03-2005, 04:00 AM
ashakarc - Thanks!

Pro camera bodies like the 1D Mark II don't have monochromatic modes--that type of feature only exists on consumer grade cameras (M old Olympus C3030Z has it, but I gave it to my wife when I got the 1D Mark II)

The way I do B/W conversion is a bit complex. I have an action that creates 3 channel settings, pluse one greyscale and one straight desaturation. Then I pick the best version or combine versions to get the right look. There's also another trick I learned from someone else which has various layer controls for Hue, Saturation, and Levels, and you tweak them to get the right look you want. Most people don't understand how B/W conversions work--they think desaturation is all it takes, and that'll almost always give an unsatisfactory result.

ashakarc
07-03-2005, 04:40 AM
Thanks for the answer. Yeh, I think there is no out of the box answer to conversion, but the way I do it which gives me satisfactory results is I convert it into 16bit/channel and Lab color mode, then keep only the resulting Lightness channel and delete the others. The only thing that I feel is not right, the delicate highlights contrast, which could be corrected ;you know; by curves.

I still find B&W photography, in general, more intense in expression.

Lunatique
07-03-2005, 05:45 AM
I still find B&W photography, in general, more intense in expression.

I don't really have a bias, since color and B/W both convey different things. Color can depict certain moods that B/W cannot touch. For example, let's say we put a pale skinned beautiful woman in a coctail dress that's a deep, passionate wine-red, and she's against a dark and ornate door made of oak wood, and there's a warm amber glow on one side of her, perhaps from a nearby fireplace, while the other side of her has a cool lavender/blue glow from the sky of the setting sun outside the window. I would never shoot a scene like that in B/W.

However, B/W can unify and pull together a scene and give it a sense of depth that the color version might not have. It really depends on what you're after and what you're shooting. I love both, for different reasons.

ashakarc
07-03-2005, 06:43 AM
For example, let's say we put a pale skinned beautiful woman in a coctail dress that's a deep, passionate wine-red, and she's against a dark and ornate door made of oak wood, and there's a warm amber glow on one side of her, perhaps from a nearby fireplace, while the other side of her has a cool lavender/blue glow from the sky of the setting sun outside the window.
True, I tend to accept the fact that a good colored photo cannot be converted without a loss of essential qualities, and vice versa with a B&W photo. But in this specific scene, it seems that the color of light and material is the dominant factor, consequently B&W is not even applicable. The expression remains governed by intensities and values more than hues, but hues have a different effect applied to our perception.

By the way, do you think Rembrandt's paintings had correct or even achievable lighting conditions? (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5f/RembrandtNightwatch.jpg) He is considered as the greatest master of light, but I am not sure if that is based on artistic merits or physical correctness of light and surface behaviour !!

Lunatique
07-03-2005, 06:58 AM
Hahah, I'm going to get my ass kicked for this, but I'm not into Rembrandt at all. I understand why he's so revered, but his work just never did anything for me. Same thing with a lot of the other art history giants--sure I learned all about them like any serious artist should--looking at their works and reading about art history..etc, but I dunno--I've always been a 19th century guy. Now, THAT's a century to get excited about in art!

As far as true understanding of light and color, it didn't really happen in a serious way until the 19th century, because science before the 19th century simply wasn't advanced enough. Many people in the art circle consider 19th century to be the golden age, where painters reached amazing heights in both skill and knowledge--far surpassing those that came before or after. I'm one of the people who feel that way.

As as far as "based on artistic merits or physical correctness of light and surface behaviour" is concerned, if a painting were to be 100% accurate, then it would either look like a photo or reality. Since none of Rembrandt's paintings resemble either, I'd say it was all about selective details in lighting.

ashakarc
07-03-2005, 07:32 AM
I've always been a 19th century guy. Now, THAT's a century to get excited about in art!

Ouch !! Sorry, but thanks to Nietzsche, Darwin, Marx, and Freud who put an end to the 19th century idealism and meaningless aristocracy. However, in painting, I agree, it reached new heights, and short lived by the revolution of Modernists. The 19th century Masters, IMO, couldn't go beyond being super technicians with great eyes for beauty. They couldn't catch up with the trendy renaissance of new ideas and revolutions in the work of art. Society was changing like no other time in past history, and all what they cared about is how perfect their work should be like. By the way, this applies even more harshly to the architects of the 19th century and how they were resisting the new ways to accomodate the cultural and environmental changes in the society.

Re: Rembrandt, I think so too. I think he was very selective in detailing the luminance in the painting, which gave that glow effect in most of his works.

Blikkie
07-03-2005, 07:49 AM
I've always been a 19th century guy. Now, THAT's a century to get excited about in art!

I might even agree, at least partially. At least I happen to love the Pre-Raphaelites, though I have to admit I almost see it as a guilty pleasure :-).

Actually my plans for this summer include checking out Tate modern again, last visited 5 years ago and I have learnt to appreciate modern art much more :-)

ashakarc
07-03-2005, 08:18 AM
Back to photography :P

I've noticed in the posted collection that highlights are not as evident, when I looked into the histogram of some of the photos, white highlights are almost zero with really high values for the shadows in the same histogram.
Edit: Sorry, I'm just addicted to histogram analysis, I do that with every work I like trying to find common grounds.

Lunatique
07-04-2005, 09:07 AM
edBack to photography :P

I've noticed in the posted collection that highlights are not as evident, when I looked into the histogram of some of the photos, white highlights are almost zero with really high values for the shadows in the same histogram.
Edit: Sorry, I'm just addicted to histogram analysis, I do that with every work I like trying to find common grounds.

Very sharp observation. I've been on a low-key lighting kick lately. Even when I use fill-flash for casual snapshot, I take the flash compensation down by 2 stops or so, creating a very low-key and natural look. I've become a bit anti-blown out highlights, so I make sure not to blow out any in my exposures. I also think that low-key lighting gives a very rich look, one that is quite different from the contrasty look.

No need to apologize--histograms are photographers' friends. We love them. Almost every picture of mine goes through histogram analysis to see what could be improved.

erlik
07-04-2005, 06:21 PM
I've been on a low-key lighting kick lately. Even when I use fill-flash for casual snapshot, I take the flash compensation down by 2 stops or so, creating a very low-key and natural look. I've become a bit anti-blown out highlights, so I make sure not to blow out any in my exposures.

I'm just kinda opposite. I'd like some of your photos to be more contrasty. Like No. 8 and 9, which I think would benefit greatly from more light on her.

Actually, for me all of the photos look underlit and thus lacking a clear focus.

Yes, I agree about the rich skin tones, but still, you could have added more light and had at least similar rich tones.

ashakarc
07-05-2005, 06:53 AM
ed

Very sharp observation. I've been on a low-key lighting kick lately. Even when I use fill-flash for casual snapshot, I take the flash compensation down by 2 stops or so, creating a very low-key and natural look. I've become a bit anti-blown out highlights, so I make sure not to blow out any in my exposures. I also think that low-key lighting gives a very rich look, one that is quite different from the contrasty look.
Oh OK, thanks that explains it. Technically, Is it always the case that you compromise the full tonal range if you use negative compensation?
May be I should find out myself. I still have a long way to learning how to play with light through the lens and be able to predict the outcome. Any great learning resource you would recommend?

Alex Morris
07-05-2005, 10:07 AM
If you're coming to the UK to see Tate Modern..........

I could be wrong but I think the Pre-Raphaelites are in Tate Britain (the old Tate Gallery).
Also just started is a show of an American collection of Pre-Raphaelite art at a gallery in Nottingham. Other places that have good Pre-Raphaelite collections are the Birmingham Art Gallery, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and there's some at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge too.

Alex

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