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Thursday, 06 March 2008


Twenty bucks that's an Annie Leibowitz..

AL? Nah.

A box of doughnuts says it's from the National Enquirer.

Interesting, the contrast between two beautifully toned photographs, the great Roy de Carava yesterday (I love the way that "...and Elvin" gets your attention on that blurred, hunched shape in the background), and this. Each is so distinctively of its time.

Is there a technical reason for that "nineteenth century" look? I don't mean the sepia toning, I mean the distinctive richness of the dark tones, and the delicacy of the light tones -- they're so rarely just grey, those old photographs. It's as if they lived under a different sun, in those days...

It's an OK photo, but the colors need a little more "pop".

Is there a technical reason for that "nineteenth century" look?

The nineteenth century negatives that I have seen are pretty darn dense with plenty of shadow detail.

Also the printing out paper they used has a self masking property where the shadow areas in the print get less sensitive as they get darker.

Combine the two qualities and you have a system where if you over expose the negative then overexpose the print until you get some highlight detail, everything works and you get those creamy highlights and rich detailed dark tones that never quite get to black

Hugh & Mike C. I believe the film plates back then were only blue and green sensitive with probably some ultra violet light sensitivity thrown in and pyro developer may have been used.
Also lenses had a little more internal flair giving you that creamy look. If it were a cloudy day that would also help the look.
This photo is a classic beauty, all the elements work. Notice the clenched hand, probably not sure what was going on.

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