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Thread: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

  1. #1

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    Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    I'm wondering if anyone know how Edward Curtis lit his subjects. I seem to recall he had a tent with diffusion on top and black background. If you look at many of his portraits, light came from above and maybe was bounced to the subjects face. Is there anyone using this type of thing? Or skylight in a studio? Thanks. db
    David Blumenfeld

  2. #2

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    Re: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    Didn't Irving Penn use something similar in the Mideast when he photographed nomads? In any event it would have to be a custom job - a pretty fun but expensive project.

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    Re: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    There are a couple of images of Penn's tent system in one of the old Time/Life Library of Photograpahy series. AS I recall, in this illustration, he was working with New Guinea Mud Men.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

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    Re: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    He went to Peru and other remote places too, I forgot the name of the book that resulted. I do remember that when I was a kid, Pizza Hut decorated their restaurants with knock-offs of Penn photos of fake indigenous Italian pizza makers and I was kind of insulted. Except why was I in Pizza Hut at all?

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    Re: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    Here is a photo of Penn's tent....http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections...s/ethnographic
    David Blumenfeld

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    Re: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    bill schwab does many of his wet plate portraits under his ez-up style tent.

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    Re: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    He went to Peru and other remote places too, I forgot the name of the book that resulted. I do remember that when I was a kid, Pizza Hut decorated their restaurants with knock-offs of Penn photos of fake indigenous Italian pizza makers and I was kind of insulted. Except why was I in Pizza Hut at all?
    There probably is Pizza hut]s at all those places he photographed by now...
    David Blumenfeld

  8. #8

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    Re: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    Early photographers built crazy glass houses rigged with levers and pulleys and such. I don't know about Curtis but if he had a stationary studio out there in a frontier town maybe it was one of those.

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    Re: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    He had a studio in Seattle, that his wife got in the divorce settlement. She had managed it when he was on the road.
    Pictures here
    http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm...m&file_id=8857
    and here
    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma02/dan.../becoming.html
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  10. #10

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    Re: Edward Curtis Lighting Techniques-Lighting Tent??

    Such tents were very popular with itinerant photographers in the 19th century. If you look at old catalogs from then, then we're frequently advertised. Pretty much all of the wet platers who shoot at living history or civil war reeenactments use such a set up. You can check the reenactors collodion page for some threads on these tents. Also on Lumious Lint, there are some historical pics of such rigs. Not really difficult or expensive. Just a tent with openings in the right places and a backdrop.

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