View Full Version : Help -- what is a "head screen"

10-Jan-2015, 08:05
In the (wonderful) 1947 book "Professional Portrait Lightings", a few of Mr. Abel's photographers make mention of a "head screen." I'm researching what that means, and it's not as easy to google as one might think. Some mention is made of a frame holding translucent material with or without a small hole in the center (that from 1910). The term appears to be no longer in general use.

Anyway, pointers to info would be greatly appreciated, including any thread in this forum.

Thanks in advance,


10-Jan-2015, 09:57
Just guessing, but one of my Century studio 8x10s came with a large filter holder. An arm attached to the side of the camera with a large frame to hold various diffusers/vignette screens. It was held several inches from the lens. The photographer would flip it over into place in front the lens when ready to use it.

Jim C.
10-Jan-2015, 13:24
Are there any photographic examples of a head screen in use in the book ?

Jim C.
10-Jan-2015, 13:41
You got my interest piqued.
It's a lighting flag -


You can probably make one from Duvetyne or Visqueen :rolleyes:

Peter De Smidt
10-Jan-2015, 15:27

You use the black net ones to darken an area of the picture. That's what Abel was talking about, using one to darken the side of a head.

10-Jan-2015, 15:42
Just a small scrim to feather the light off an area in a portrait, usually the balding head of a man.

10-Jan-2015, 19:48
Ah. So a translucent gobo. That makes sense.
Thanks, all....

William Whitaker
10-Jan-2015, 21:08
Thanks for clarifying that. For a while it looked like something I might find listed on Urban Dictionary.

10-Jan-2015, 21:09
Single and double nets are made of bobinette. I use them all the time. http://www.cinegearstore.com/categories/Expendables/Fabrics/Bobbinet/