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Thread: Once upon a LF wedding..

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Once upon a LF wedding..

    It was the late 1980's when there was a market for high quality wedding images and similar. Back during those days, the vast majority of folks doing wedding pictures were Hasselblad or similar medium format centric. Majority of these images were done with color negative film. Kodak VPS was THE film for this kind of work back then.. Taking a different image making road could be a good thing. Decided to trying applying the 4x5 Sinar F to a few wedding pictures. Being currently semi-disabled due to a not very pleasant incident, decided to have a peek into the piles and piles of film boxes on the shelf. Happened upon these images that were long forgotten.

    Decided to share and try remembering what was involved with making them.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bride was willing and ok with doing this pose. Based on distant memory, it took about an hour to set up with the help of an assistant.
    Once the camera position was settled, portrait composition ok on the GG, had the assistant fix up the bride's gown and train to get
    the folds to sit as recorded on film. The light was changing, so there was limited to to achieve this. Some time passed, the image
    looked good on the GG. Had the bride drop her arms holding to bouquet of flowers and relax her arms, "look at the front edge of your gown's
    train.. One click of the 8-1/2" Kodak Commercial Ektar's Ilex shutter, done. There is only one negative image of this portrait on FP4 film.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Added the groom. Given the camera position was mostly set, it was much easier to change pose adding the groom. Similar drill for the assistant. It just took less time.


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    Generic studio portrait of the bride.


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    Church scene with a 75mm Grandagon.



    Bernice

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Canyon Country, California
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    Re: Once upon a LF wedding..

    Nice!

  3. #3

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    May 2015
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    SooooCal/LA USA
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    Re: Once upon a LF wedding..

    Hope you feel better soon!!! Health is wealth...

    Nice handling of the formals!!! They translate to personality for the couple very well, and the challenges well tackled by the photographer (you)... Clients should have been very pleased!!!

    I have avoided weddings due to the high stress of all involved, and always felt my best was not enough... Add a room of folks drinking and mugging for the camera and what honesty in the pix will one get??? Doing the formals on another day gives the couple a chance to be expressive and breathe...

    My first photo mentor looked me in the eye early in my teens and told me I would never be successful in photography unless I mastered shooting babies and weddings, then made me find a SG with large flash holder to use flashbulbs bright enough to expose a group at f16, and a "potato masher" as soon as I could afford it (from the earnings from weddings)... He also made me practice "the pressman's hand" method of "motor driving" a stack of holders and all the required setting steps... (Perfect for shooting burning Hindenburgs...) And made me practice them like piano scales... Also looked me in the eye and stated that "shooting anything with camera smaller than LF was a show of disrespect"... Old school...

    I went to a modern wedding a few years ago, and was amazed to see a team of about 2 dozen shooting and videoing everything, and even had techs printing the table group shots and individuals minutes later for direct sales... Even had a large rolling camera boom over the dance floor to record the dances!!! Jeez, didn't they do enough??? What about those poor old solo shooters???

    Times have changed...

    Steve K

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    The Netherlands
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    Re: Once upon a LF wedding..

    I do like all the images! Appreciate the patience and perseverance to make it happen.

    I've been a witness only once in a wedding shot on LF (8x10") and saw the amount of work and knowledge that went into that.
    But more than that, this photographer was a very likeable guy, they all followed happily his direction.
    I own the gear, but those don't make masterpieces. My everyday experience.

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    16,625

    Re: Once upon a LF wedding..

    High end money now is divorce shots

    Gates divorce
    2022

  6. #6

    Re: Once upon a LF wedding..

    It's very mysterious and magical.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Colorado
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    Re: Once upon a LF wedding..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    ... Being currently semi-disabled due to a not very pleasant incident...
    Bernice
    I am sorry to hear that and I hope you have a speedy and full recovery.
    As a large-format newbie, I appreciate your contributions and always pay attention when you have something to say.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Vermont
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    Re: Once upon a LF wedding..

    Great to see & hear about your process.
    Memory lane can be fun to revisit...
    As you said VPS + MF
    VPS was the calibrated film for weddings!
    MF & Color neg gave beautiful results for portraits!
    Detailed yet not harsh
    LF B&W was a great idea.
    Did they appreciate the extra work involved & the quality?
    Last edited by Serge S; 18-Jun-2021 at 10:08. Reason: edit

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    2,280

    Re: Once upon a LF wedding..

    Then came FujiFilm NPS & NPH, better than VPS in so many ways. Still have a quite a few stray rolls from that time.

    These color negative films were low contrast with color bias towards skin tones with very pleasing color rendition in a "R" print.
    Film resolution for 120 roll was IMO well balanced for what the print size needs were (5x5 to 11x14 works, larger degraded image quality but still client acceptable more often than not).

    That couple (client) really liked the print. It was done "fine art" style. 11x14 B&W print (looked a LOT better than this scan), dry mounted on 16x20, 4 ply bone white acid free board, outer matted, framed. Premium product, premium $. They really liked the finished product.

    Did a few more of these.

    The commercial work was FAR more interesting, challenging, technically demanding and rewarding.

    Different times for image makers back then.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Serge S View Post
    Great to see & hear about your process.
    Memory lane can be fun to revisit...
    As you said VPS + MF
    VPS was the calibrated film for weddings!
    MF & Color neg gave beautiful results for portraits!
    Detailed yet not harsh
    LF B&W was a great idea.
    Did they appreciate the extra work involved & the quality?

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