Bill Henson, how is it done?

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by stingray, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. stingray

    stingray TPF Noob!

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    Not entirely sure if this is the appropriate forum for this and I appologize profusely if i' 'twas the wrong one.
    After seeing an extensive exhibition of the work of Bill Henson here in Melbourne some time early last year (2005!) there has been significant debate within my family, especially between my art teacher mother and I about the process of creating the following image. http://www.roslynoxley9.com.au/artists/18/Bill_Henson/98/33420/
    yes, the girl seems to be floating, but i'm more interested about the process for obtaining such amazing skin tones. This small web image doesn't really do the glitteringly silver, yet soft skin justice.
    On that site, I just noticed it is listed as a "type c" photograph. that was what decided me on where I would put the thread. Thanks in advance for any help, I really look forward to hearing your ideas,
    William.
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I've gone through a lot of them and there are a lot of appalling shots in there. I was almost convinced at one point that a lot of them were still frames from a cine film.
    If they are C type prints I would put a lot of it down to very poor scanning - that might explain a lot of the film faults I came across.
    That being the case, some of the effect you are interested in could well be due to poor reproduction.
    If you look you will see in some of the shots the model has red-eye. This means that his lighting is close to lens axis - either a tungsten light or more probably on-camera flash.
    Looking at the light it has a slight bluish tinge, a bit like moonlight.
    You can get this in several ways. Use tungsten balanced neg - this will make the artificial lights in the background look normal and the flash will look blue because of it's colour temperature.
    Use daylight neg and put a pale blue filter over the flash.
    Use tungsten film and daylight flash with a CC filter on the lens to tone down the imbalance.
    I played around with these effects in the 80's. My favourite trick was to shoot tungsten in daylight. That makes everything go quite blue. You then use flash to illuminate the foreground and you put a CC filter on the flash head. If you use the right one for the film then everything the flash hits gets normal colours and everything else goes blue. You can do it in reverse for daylight at night as well.
    I think that the effect you like is a combination of things - and from experience I wouldn't be surprised if you saw the originals and find the effect had vanished.
     
  3. stingray

    stingray TPF Noob!

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    no, i've seen the originals in the National Gallery here in Melbourne. Bill Henson is one of the most famous Australian photographers. I really dislike a lot of his work but this to me has a real thereal quality and if you saw the original i'd imagine you'd be impressed too. Thanks for the tips though and I'll keep investigating.
     

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