Explorations in contrast + a portrait, C&C please


TPF Noob!
Nov 19, 2008
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All have been scanned in at 800 dpi (and subsequently downgraded by TinyPic - anyone know a better photo hosting site?) from uncropped originals produced by a traditional optical printing process. All of these photos look stunning with deep blacks and bright whites on Ilford Multigrade IV RC Deluxe Glossy paper, and the dull colors here I blame on the digital conversion process.


Yes, half his face looks like it's painted because the light's uneven. But otherwise, I like it. Shot with a 50mm f/1.8, don't recall the aperture and shutter speed because film doesn't store EXIF data and I couldn't care less.

The two examples below are taken with a 24mm f/2.8, contast #2 was taken with a yellow filter during shooting.

Contrast #1:



At least on paper, the difference between the two is that for the above one, there's a huge amount of subtle detail in the floor and on the couch in the foreground that's visible under a bright light and the ensuing picture is very ominous. The lighter of the two comparatively STREAMS light all over the place, lighting the floor in the foreground and the bust on the right hand side (don't know if you can see it here), in essence adding a detail in many places that detracts from the aim of the photo, which displays the contrasting elements of light and dark in an ominous way.

Similarly, for contrast #2 (and this is perhaps a more visible example):



For the top photo, both the construction in the background and the sign in the foreground have been mostly blacked out, making the photo more about finding these contrasting shapes and lights in urbanity, but the lightening in the second photo makes the sign readable and the construction obvious, making the photo more visually busy and more of a snapshot; also, lens flare is more evident.

In fact, both of the above examples would be considered throw-away snapshots under perfect exposure and full color, but by playing around with contrast filters and enlarger exposure times the photos perhaps become something more.
i like the portrait a lot and i like #2 in both, darker blacks and i like how the contrast is just more extended, more detail in the shine on the brick floor and building to the left.

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