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Wednesday, 10 February 2010


Thanks for writing up this exhibit, I really hate the over-retouched look that is so prevalent today in mass media so it's nice to see work that fights against that in some manner. People can be beautiful just as they are...

It's becoming a political issue, of course.

I never let a portrait out of my computer without some retouching, personally. If I were shooting supermodels and presenting the results as art I might make different decisions, but when I want the approval and/or money of my subjects, it's necessary.

What's hard is figuring out what each one wants, and deciding how much of it I'm (a) capable of doing and (b) willing to do. People have the strangest relationships to their own image, and they vary all over the map.

This seems to be another area where I am Not Normal; there aren't many pictures of me at all that I hate for no reason anybody else can see, and I like largely the same pictures of me that other people do.

He's right. These women are still VERY attractive, without the need for any retouching. There is a vérité to these images that I personally find very appealing.

"The images, taken on my vintage Deardorff 8x10 view camera, were shot on color negative film, with a sharp, realistic, modern lens"... unless he retouched Film borders on the images he must mean reversal/transparency film.

Aside from that whether retouched or not I just don't get it about his Portraits... sorry.

Um, one point...

As he said, some of those women came "photoshopped". I know he wanted to give 'em a compliment, and he should have because they look very pretty, but they most probably did come "photoshopped". And not the way you might think...

You see, sustaining beauty is an exhausting and expensive sport. Creams, tonics, gels, exfoliation, hydration, nourishing, depilation, styling and what not. If they didn't take care of their looks, they certainly wouldn't have looked as pretty. All the "retouching" happens backstage, so to say.

Of course the point of taking photographs of "super models" has absolutely nothing to do with "art", regardless of what the photographer may believe. The objective is to encourage people to BUY; BUY the magazine, BUY the clothes, BUY the jewelry, BUY the lifestyle suggestions. Production of this imagery is a trade more than an art. If success (defined by the publisher paying the bill and inviting you back) means removing a model's right eye or moving an ear to the top of her head so be it.

Yes, these women certainly look wonderful today so many years later. But what did you expect...really?

Ah, so that is what those women look like...


That's a great picture of Karen Bjornson he has. She seems to be comfortable with her age and appears to be the kind of person who will always look good without desperate measures. (I know things aren't always as they seem but… well, this is how they seem.)

I like it however it is odd and slightly shocking to see "real" skin...like mine...on these women. That just tells you what (I) am used to looking at in all those magazines, tv commercials, etc.

I think when he said they came to him "photo-shopped" [sic] he meant they've had plastic surgery. That was my reading, anyway.


"unless he retouched Film borders on the images he must mean reversal/transparency film"

No, the borders show that way on prints from negatives.


Mr. Trumbo, if you scan, or print, a color negative you will see that the rebate (film edge)prints black, exactly as shown in the photos above. And I doubt that Mr. Greenfield-Sanders, who has a very precise vision, has any need to retouch in his film edges.

Like I said in my post last week about Mr Greenfield-Sanders's exhibit, I find it sad that "unretouched" (which isn't even a real word) is now used as a selling point. What is special about these photos apart from "no Photoshop"? Nothing, really.

Would anyone pay what's being charged for these prints if the subjects weren't famous? Would they pay less if the subject had been Photoshopped? Do they even care what the photo is about or do they just want to say "I have a Greenfield-Sanders hanging in my office"?

The real merit of these photos, in my eyes, is being able to get 10 gorgeous ex-supermodels in front of your camera without the use of force or narcotics. I'm a decent photographer, but my skills of persuasion are not that good yet.

Gawd, yes! You should see my wife's cosmetics bill!!

P.S. I wave those bills under her nose and I have no trouble buying my next camera or lens.

You can print color negatives on Ilfochrome? Please explain, somebody. Interpositives? Memory is hazy...

All these persons are super beautiful, but if I recall the 1970s and early 80s accurately, the term 'supermodel' was applied first, and exclusively, to Cheryl Tiegs towards the mid to late 1970s and then to Christie Brinkley and Carol Alt in the following decade. Before then, the word 'model' itself had connotations of awesome beauty that is now conveyed only by the term 'supermodel'in the hyperbole plagued present day.

No disrespect or judgement intended of course. Today, of course, they would all be termed as supermodels.

How refreshing; it's about time and, I hope, a portent of things to come. These woman are beautiful, in part because of their age. In a more photographic vein, it is interesting that the prints are on Cibachrome. They must have been digitally printed (color negative and scanned). I use an Epson for many reasons, but miss the darkroom. Ctein: those portraits would be great dye transfers.


I clicked on the links and sorry being a beginner Deardroff 8x10 photographer myself, I found some minor questions but I cannot just stop myself to ask them -- especially the pictures touched upon the process (i.e. "no retouch").

a) the photography notes said "Ilfochrome, printed 2009, edition 1/10 14 x 11 inches" is it the traditional chrome to chrome process? Or the laserjet process involving scanner and printing?

b) It does not seem to be a contact print. Not sure how one contact print from 8x10 to 14x11. Hence it is not chrome-to-chrome process then?

c) if it is not contact print, well you are talking about negative-scan-and-print. In this process, what is meant by no touching when scanning is involved? I like chrome (8x10 velvia) as "this is it". Only chorme may I say can be said as no touching as you can exhibit chrome by itself. May I say any negative need "touching". Any scanning is "touching". It is a matter of degree but not kind.

d) Dig deeper, I really want to know the enlargement/printing/process issue -- what is the process? What is being no retouch meant here if there is a process? Or can one say no retouch but exclude dodge or burn (can you do this for color?), or if scanner is involved it is simply white balance/adjust some curve/... but is that re-touching or just meant it has not just a pen to touch the cheek (which use of the word "touch" originally menat)? Or is it just say that it is no retouching because it does not use any photo software which you cannot even any scanning-printing is involved? One knows that even colour balance change a bit can change a lot as a recent Luminous Landscape wonder in a change in white balance can make(but perhaps not as much for people photograph).

e) May I ask how is the edge so smooth? All sheet film need something on the edge mark (notch). You know the zen experience of finding the edge mark and put the film into the developer. (or worst, getting the holder and try to find the notch to determine what film is in the holder.) Also, really without the edge mark, how does a guy put the film like this onto the holder in the first place? Anyway what is the film (it is not one of the Kodak see http://wwwhkzh.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/e4040/e4040.pdf which all has patterns on the edge as notch) and what is it?

Sorry just my first reaction -- strange reaction may I say but being a 8x10 Velvia&BW beginner photographer for 18 months I am sorry but cannot help myself.

For the ladies'pictures, I am not sure. The whole pic is a bit soft to me. I like contact print (unfortunately never saw the real one) of 8x10 lady and other picture by Weston and I think it is, may this beginner say, much better than these shoots. They are like, really sorry to say that, mug shoot.

Of course he is the master and I better go back to my little cave to learn more before starting too much jokes. But I have saw other masters and I cannot help to say that I am not 100% sure about these pic are good one.

They are all still very beautiful but I what I like most in the pictures is the evidence of their maturity in counterpoise to the beauty. My guess is . . . that's rare. One could go on at length but I think that's enough.


Mani, this is a digital process (Lightjet / Lambda / what-have-you ) that writes the image directly to Ilfochrome with LEDs or lasers. The advantage is that you get those Ilofochrome colors that you just can't get with a standard C-print or inkjet.

TGS often prints with Epson, so it's interesting to see him use this process...

Mike, my reading was that he thought they were so pretty they looked like other women look after they'd been photoshopped. I cannot see any obvious evidence of plastic surgery. You know, older women who look like they have clothespins holding their skin behind the ears. Still, a lot of money will buy you a good plastic surgeon and unobtrusive surgery, too. :) For instance, under the chin...

OTOH, Christie Brinkley has that look around the eyes that I usually can connect with very lavish application of anti-wrinkle cream and other preparations through the years. That whitening of skin.

There is a melancholic air to each of these photos that is a little unnerving.

For me, they speak to a)the inexorable passage of time and the desperate fight by the subjects to stem the tide of the aging process and b) the fleeting period during which beauty can be exploited for profit.


Ben, thanks for your info on this technique; cleared up my confusion as well. Need to do more research on this.

I don't know who does Greenfield-Sanders's lab work, but Elevator Digital in Toronto is one of a few labs that prints digital files with Lambda or LightJet to Ilfochrome (I don't believe it is possible with Chromira, or at least it wasn't when I asked Chromira a couple of years ago at PMA). Prices here under the "Ciba" column--


I think there's also a lab in Australia that does it.

Of course there are other possibilities. He could be printing from 8x10" color negatives to color print film and printing that to Ilfochrome, or he could be scanning, outputting to color transparency via a film recorder, and printing the transparency from the film recorder conventionally to Ilfochrome.

Whatever the process the edge seems to be touched. If so, how can we be sure no one has been touched. He should have keep the film as it is.

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