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macandal
15-Apr-2016, 14:32
I am not against testing, but due to the number of variables I have going on here, Iím trying to minimize as much as possible the number of total shots I will have to evaluate. For this reason, Iím asking, has anyone ever used B&W filters on people? If so, would you mind sharing your results? In case you are wondering, my variables are: the number of lights, the power of the lights, developing time (N, N+1, N+2), the filter to be used. I have the usual B&W filters: red, yellow, orange, and green.

Thanks.

Denny
15-Apr-2016, 15:18
You can find some info in Ansel's The Negative, look for "portraiture" in the index.

Jim Noel
15-Apr-2016, 15:19
Your knowledge and use of lighting as far as placement, type, diffusion, and other factors is far more important than any filter whether photographing people or anchovies. It makes a difference also as to what people you are photographing- pre-teen girls, pre-teen boys, teenage boys or girls, young women,young men, middle aged men or women, older men or women. Types of facial features to be emphasized,or de-emphasized is also extremely important. Once these problems are adequately solved you are likely to find you don't need filters. I use filters on only extremely rare occasions, i do it with light. Books and articles can be of help on this,but only practice, lots of practice will answer your questions.

Jim Noel
15-Apr-2016, 15:21
Mortensen's book on Portraiture, and "On Portraiture " by Fred Archer are probably the best two books in existence. certainly none of the books I have seen published in the last 30+ years come close to these.

Drew Wiley
15-Apr-2016, 15:52
What kind of people; what kind of film; what kind of overall contrast (lighting ratio as well as degree of film development etc). The kind of "rugged" portrait
of a weatherbeaten old seaman might not be appropriate for a woman who does not want her wrinkles or freckles accentuated. That's why portrait photographers of older men often selected orthochromatic film to darken red spots. Now that effect could be achieved with a deep green filter using panchromatic film. Then not all film are equally panchromatic. Some have extra red sensitivity which can come out looking paste-like on a smooth strawberry complexion. For this kind of problem I have frequently employed a very light yellow-green filter, which brings these films more in line with how human vision perceives tones. Then there are all kinds of "ethnic" skintones, environmental portraiture options (involving both landscape techniques and portrait evaluation). In a studio, lighting ratios can be controlled. Outdoors they sometimes cannot unless you plan your location and timing carefully. Sorry, but there is no silver
bullet out there. You have to be thoughtful about your strategy in this respect, and that is difficult to do without an initial learning curve in which you are going
to make some mistakes. But one of the mistakes many beginners do make is to carry around way more filters than they actually need. For black and white
outdoor portraits (versus color film) I might carry exactly one: that pale yellow-green, for example, the Hoya X1.

Heroique
15-Apr-2016, 15:59
You can find some info in Ansel's The Negative, look for "portraiture" in the index.

Count on AA to provide practical tips, as he does in that very section:

"The use of a greenish filter (#11 or #13) will tend to give more vigorous flesh values, most noticeably in the lips and ruddy or sunburned skin."

Not being a portraitist, I've always been curious if "vigorous" is a common way to describe (Caucasian) flesh values with panchromatic film.

Drew Wiley
15-Apr-2016, 16:04
Just remember that AA used traditional Wratten filter numbers. When in doubt, a modern filter manufacturer will have a chart of equivalence somewhere in their
data base if they have a differing numbering system of their own. For example, that no. 11 noted in the previous post equates to the Hoya XO.

Jim C.
15-Apr-2016, 16:30
You could Google for examples of how the different filters render colors and skin on BW film.

BrianShaw
16-Apr-2016, 06:36
You could Google for examples of how the different filters render colors and skin on BW film.

Similarly, most of the filter manufacturers catalogues illustrate exactly what each filter will do.

jnanian
16-Apr-2016, 08:30
sorry for cross posting a reference to another website ( apug )
http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?threads/ortho-not-pan-film.71898/
but a few years ago i asked what filter sets could be used
to create the "ortho" look from films like tri x ortho &c
and the answers were greenish filters.
that is what AA was talking about.
red lipstick, brick walls becomes black, ruddy/ leathery/sunburned complexion, "character" portraits for me
( karsh used tri x ortho often ) .. unless the woman is wearing makeup
it can really mess with the female complexion, splotchy, not very flattering.

in other words,
with the greenish/bluish filters you can make pan film look like xray film or paper negatives
or dry plates ( any pre-1910 film/plate ).

good luck !

Peter De Smidt
16-Apr-2016, 08:56
Filters lighten whatever the color of the filter is relative to the other colors and darken complementary colors relative to the other colors. Skin is yellow/red. Hence, blue and green filters darken skin, whereas yellow, orange and red lighten it.

macandal
20-Apr-2016, 11:15
I understand that only testing will answer my question, but, as I said in my post, I'm trying to minimize the variables so as not to be overwhelmed with too much "data."

So let me ask this, I am shooting Ilford Delta 100. Which of all the filters (the ones I have at least, the common ones: orange, yellow, green, red) will make whites "lighter" and the blacks "darker"? Will any of these filters give me these two extremes?




Filters lighten whatever the color of the filter is relative to the other colors and darken complementary colors relative to the other colors. Skin is yellow/red. Hence, blue and green filters darken skin, whereas yellow, orange and red lighten it.So what will yellow, orange, or red do to black?


You could Google for examples of how the different filters render colors and skin on BW film.I did and didn't quite get what I wanted. A little but not really, that's why I'm asking to see if anyone had actually tested this.


sorry for cross posting a reference to another website ( apug )
http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?threads/ortho-not-pan-film.71898/
This link didn't work for me.



Thanks all!

djdister
20-Apr-2016, 11:47
I understand that only testing will answer my question, but, as I said in my post, I'm trying to minimize the variables so as not to be overwhelmed with too much "data."

So let me ask this, I am shooting Ilford Delta 100. Which of all the filters (the ones I have at least, the common ones: orange, yellow, green, red) will make whites "lighter" and the blacks "darker"? Will any of these filters give me these two extremes?

So what will yellow, orange, or red do to black?

Thanks all!

Put simply, if shooting B&W of a light skinned person, using an orange or reddish filter will lighten their skin and perhaps even out some skin imperfections. A red filter could reduce or eliminate the appearance of freckles on a person (which may or may not be the desired effect). Using the opposite, such as a blue or green filter on that same person will darken certain tones and bring out every skin imperfection that person has (hint: it's generally not a good look).

In Photoshop, open up a color portrait and play around with the color filters and view the result as a monochrome image - you can get a good idea of the effect of various color filters on the resulting monochrome image real quick...

Jim C.
20-Apr-2016, 11:58
Presuming you're talking about colors and not skin tones, none of the color filters
will have any effect on the color black, since black is absorbing all the color wave lengths.

White is reflecting all the color wavelengths so adding a color filter whites would
be a darker than what you would get shooting BW film without a filter.

It sounds like what you're looking to achieve is better done manipulating in the dark room or photo editing software.

You can also take a look at this example, unfortunately the picture is small but it does show the effect of color filters
on BW film - http://www.alanrossphotography.com/more-on-using-filters/

Peter De Smidt
20-Apr-2016, 12:30
One other effect filters can have is that they might change the contrast of the film, and so that might effect white, black and gray tones in the scene. David Kachel had an article about this a number of years ago. With many older films, for example, using a red filter increased contrast, but with TMX and TMY it lowered it. With those films a green filter increased contrast. So if you need to be super precise about contrast, you'd have to run your own tests.

Drew Wiley
20-Apr-2016, 13:13
When is black ever black? Never, unless one is placing shadows values clear below the toe of the film, wholly underexposed. In outdoor shade under a clear sky, shadows are inflected with blue, and can be dramatically affected by a colored filter. Nor is there even such a thing as black paint. It will have colored reflections of some form, or be composed of a "black" pigment with either a green or purple bias. It like assuming green in natural foliage is actually green. Wait till Fall and you encounter all the underlying reds, oranges, and rust hues after the dominant chlorophyll is lost. But they're there all along and will influence filtration. Skintones are even more complex. Not hard to deal with with a pinch of experience, along with the correct film. A common situation would be a wedding, where the groom might be in a dark suit and the bride in brilliant white; then throw in a mixed ethnicity group shot or whatever. That's why I prefer films like TM100 for portraiture: long straight line well into the toe, with soft edge effect yet ability to hold a lot of detail. But take a modern sweeping curve film
like Delta 100 - about the closest we're going to come to classic Plus-X portrait film - and yeah, you get wonderful high key separation, but mud in those lower
tones, so critical to such scenarios. Well, maybe you covet that Irving Penn look instead. Fine; if you only want blondes in white. Otherwise....

Tobias Key
20-Apr-2016, 13:35
In your list of variables you have missed out the hardness/softness of the light and the size of the light source, both of these variables are right at the top of my concerns when shooting a portrait. Personally filter wise I have used a #11 Green most often for portraits, to darken the reds.

What I am interested in at the moment is mixing hard and soft light. So using a gridded reflector for the main light then controlling the effect with a softbox directly behind the main light. That way you can use the gridded light to provide the punch, and the softbox to moderate it without one fighting against the other (in theory). Bowens have some good tutorials on portrait lighting on youtube, for digital or course, but a good starting point. Controlling contrast through the light source makes a lot of sense - you don't lose film speed to filter factors, and you can convert your style to colour film or digital more easily.

Drew Wiley
20-Apr-2016, 16:26
Not just books. Get ahold of some classically lit old B&W movies. A favorite of mine is On the Waterfront with Marlon Brando. Brilliant lighting technique. Also a lot
of Hollywood stills by people like Hurrell were done with a mix of diffused light and fresnels. But these guys also did a lot of not only makeup, but red dye and soft pencil smudge on the negs prior to printing. That why they preferred as big a neg as possible, even 11x14. I don't do this kind of work very often, so use a minimum of gear: a few Lowell hotlights, a classic Arri fresnel, and standing diffuser panels, plus a few scrims. Since I charge by the print, not by the job, everything is done in the darkroom. No Photoshop. They wouldn't come to me otherwise. Something to be put in a picture frame, custom made too. But 8x10 film, and yes, usually the equivalent of that #11 filter on hand.

jnanian
20-Apr-2016, 16:40
This link didn't work for me.


here it is again, sorry it didn't work the last time
http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?threads/ortho-not-pan-film.71898/
here is a google search ...
site:apug.org "ortho not pan"
if the link didn't work, cut and paste that string into your google search
it is the first thing that pops up
john

Drew Wiley
21-Apr-2016, 08:48
Then there's Orthopan, basically pan but with reduced red sensitivity, and effectively a bit more green sensitivity. The only version of this still on the market is Fuji ACROS. It gives you the look of pan film with that no. 11 filter on it, without using any filter. My only objection to it as a portrait film is that I like a little more
speed. For all practical purposes I rate it at 50 if I expect decent shadow separation. With TMY or TMX I can use full box speed.

Dan O'Farrell
21-Apr-2016, 15:40
I didn't see it mentioned here, and indeed I did look, but I use a lot of X-Ray film which is notoriously lacking in RED sensitivity.

Nowhere did I see whether this OP is, or could be, using a B or BG film, in which case all bets are off.

macandal
21-Apr-2016, 16:19
Nowhere did I see whether this OP is, or could be, using a B or BG film...I don't know what that is.



....I am shooting Ilford Delta 100....

Dan O'Farrell
22-Apr-2016, 07:07
I don't know what that is.

X-Ray blue or blue-green sensitivity film.

Dan

Drew Wiley
22-Apr-2016, 08:30
Most people fussing with blue or SO-CALLED "ortho-litho" blue-green films are probably going to identify that niche to begin with. I can't imagine why anyone just
starting out would even think along those lines.