Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 62

Thread: On LF portraiture

  1. #1
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,841

    On LF portraiture

    I've become very interested in portraiture with LF cameras lately. How do you all go about it? Working with a LF camera seems to be such a ritualistic thing that it seems like it would be easy to neglect the sitter. Also, how do you deal with the fact that once you put a holder in, you can no longer reframe or focus? Does the sitter just inherantly have less freedom of input with LF portraits? I would like to read some input by some of you who do this a lot, and feel free to post some photos. I love looking at them :-D

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,476

    Re: On LF portraiture

    If anything you pay more attention to the person. Not only do you look for expression, but in the back of your mind you are calculating wether they are in the zone of good focus...

    Practice!

    Here are some samples... I only photograph old men
    Last edited by Frank Petronio; 30-Oct-2006 at 21:24.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Pasadena, CA
    Posts
    882

    Re: On LF portraiture

    Frank...

    I like the Michael Graves photo!

    Here's a recent portrait of my brother, taken with available northern window light. I was very happy with the way it turned out, very much like my visualization of it. This print is still a work-in-progress, not quite perfect yet, but thought it would add some input to this thread.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/viapiano/254671890/

    I had him stand in position, metered (incident, by the way),focused, told him to stand still, put the holder in, and just talked to him a bit until I got the natural look I was seeking. The shutter was 1/2 second and there was definitely some slight movement, but at my final cropped size of 6" square it hardly is evident.

    There is a photographer named Brooks Ayola on Flickr who has some wonderful Type 55 portraits there at http://www.flickr.com/photos/brooksa...7594222973092/, and this forum's Jim Galli has some wonderfully impromptu 8x10 portraits at http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Ta...Portraits.html

    And although it's only a med format shot, I couldn't resist adding this one of my daughter:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/viapiano/254668124/

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Redondo Beach
    Posts
    551

    Re: On LF portraiture

    This is a shot of my daughter Danielle, she's wearing an 'Isicholo' hat, it's a ceremonial hat worn by Zulu women, this particular hat was created by a Zulu women/artisan from the KwaZulu region located in South Africa,............I loved photographing my daughter w/these hats since they are pretty much based on geometrical forms.

    The representative for the Zulu artisans who produce these kinds of artifacts doesn't sell to the public(mostly to galleries), so I had to do quite a bit of negotiating to get him to part w/a number of these hats.

    I wanted to do a shot of my daughter wearing a genuine African artifact that suggested a connection between her and the African part of her heritage. I also wanted the image to suggest a texture/earth color which has often been used in the ceremonial dress of some Afican peoples.

    I used some old Polaroid 809/804 films, combining them via the Polaroid 'Chocalate' process, since these old/outdated materials tend to a prominent 'texture' where some of the chemicals in the receptor sheet/chemical pod have exhausted, it produces uneven, unpredictable effects, w/every sheet different, no matter what you do.

    This shot took 16 exposures/16 attempts,.....many of the shots failed because of the complete and utter exhaustion of the chemicals in the pod on the receptor sheet, others where out of focus. My daughter wants to be a model, volunteers for every project I dream up, and has gotten pretty good at staying still while effecting a pose/attitude/feeling, and thus I was only able to get this shot because she's learned to discipline herself to effect an attitude/feeling while actually suspending time.

    I wouldn't have attempted this shot w/somebody cold off the 'street', actors/entertainers/dancers/mimes et al, have a sense of exactly what every inch of their body language is doing while they put on the convincing act of conveying a feeling, the folks who don't have this training, will pose, think they're holding still, but of course all the while they'll slowly move/sway/raise/lower/drift from one expression to the other/grow tired/move different parts of their bodies, and the time you've closed down the lens/closed down the the taking aperture et al, they in a different spot.

    I think it takes some thought as to just what you're shooting/who you're shooting in coming up w/a plan for success focus wise, I think that's the real barrier between portraiture in 8x10, versus the other formats.

    I shot this image w/my Wollensak 300mm Velostigmat II somewhere between F5.6-8 memory serves me right, the soft focus ring was set to 2.
    Jonathan Brewer

    www.imageandartifact.bz

  5. #5
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    5,141

    Re: On LF portraiture

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post

    Here are some samples... I only photograph old men
    Frank, if there's ever a thread on large format nudes, please stay away...

  6. #6
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    local
    Posts
    3,712

    Re: On LF portraiture

    hi christopher

    i tend to do a few different types of lf portraits....
    some a bit more documentary style, some more posed.

    in each case there is a conversation with the subject. like with a smaller format cameras, with a large camera a subject can be really freaked out, especially when you wander in their shop and they expected snapshots. the conversation usually relaxes the subject and you coax them to do what you want.
    with a large format camera you are both the camera-operator and the director and everything is slow and deliberate most of the time. it takes a lot of film and a lot of practice (and luck!) to get things to work out. while i don't recreate olde photographs, i love to go to junk stores and buy up as many olde portraits as i can. the portrait photographers from days gone by really had a way of getting people to express themselves, a way that for a long time was lost because of rapid-fire and a distance from the subject that doesn't happen with large format. (for me at least) because of all the hoops we have to jump through to get a portrait we tend to see more of our subject for who they are ( or who we want them to be).

    anyhow, the first portrait was done on 5x7 film low light, vitax lens stopped down a tiny bit and i think i moved the defocus knob between 0+1. we worked together for about 2 hours. i photographed her, and then we reversed roles and she photographed me. this exposure was about 2 or 3 seconds.

    the second portrait was shot with a graflex slr ( 4x5) provia ( 120 roll back taped to the back of the camera ) with a 21cm tessar wide open (3.5) at about 30s.

    -- john

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    1,904

    Re: On LF portraiture

    View Camera is looking for photographers working with pre 1940 cameras and lenses.

    steve simmons

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,476

    Re: On LF portraiture

    The cool thing is how people respond to the larger camera, it is an entirely different kind of thing than getting shot with a little slr, even with lighting and set-ups. It is not the extra resolution that makes LF portraiture work so well, but it is the different process...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine
    Posts
    1,171

    Re: On LF portraiture

    LF portraits require you to be EXTREMELY familiar with your equipment and procedures. If operating the camera and film holder is essentially "unconscious," then you have more brain to spare to attend to the person you're photographing.

    There's only one way to get this familiar: PRACTICE! Practice focusing, practice lens manipulation (cocking, aperture, shutter speed). Practice seeing the person and whether they've moved. With practice, you can frame, focus and make an LF exposure of a person in a little over a minute, sometimes less if you've done most things in advance.

    Do you want good practice? I love 4x5 Polaroid portraits. I have pre-cut mats, linen tape, and plastic bags so I can peel off a Type 72 print (ISO 400, coaterless, lovely), mount it in the mat with linen tape, and hand it over in a minute or so. When I'm feeling the urge, I go set up on the street in town and ask passers-by. Usually, I don't even charge them, because I figger it's good practice. I have done these as fundraisers for worthy organizations, charging $15.

    I also go out on the street with negative holders, and promise no one prints because I know I'd never keep track of who belongs to what negative. That's actually easy, unless you're a mental slob like me.

    I also made a limited edition book of original prints of portraits of the 18 8th graders in my son's class. The pictures were a blast to make, and they're among my best work. Making 20 books (760 finished, toned, spotted prints in all, plus name labels: 1200 pieces to dry mount) was less fun.

    Do portraits! They're fun!
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    1,904

    Re: On LF portraiture

    I agree, once you put the film holder in you have to engage the subject directly. In my experience the subjects enjoy it as much as I do.

    steve simmons

Similar Threads

  1. DOF in LF portraiture
    By BrianShaw in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 17-Jul-2006, 18:39
  2. LF and ULF portraiture
    By Christopher Nisperos in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 22-Nov-2005, 09:43
  3. Portraiture with M7ii
    By Tony_5130 in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 18-Apr-2005, 11:38
  4. Developers for pt/pd portraiture
    By Wayne Crider in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 19-Feb-2004, 10:59
  5. Linhof or Speed Graphic for Portraiture
    By Mani Sitaraman in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 8-Sep-1998, 00:00

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •