Search This Blog

Loading...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

HOW WAS THIS DONE?



With the advent of digital photography and computer manipulated photographs, we have come to expect the extraordinary, maybe even the seemingly impossible.  Unfortunately, this has also caused some of the older, conventional photographic methods to become relics of the past, soon to be forgotten.

There is no doubt that modern, computer methods have made it substantially easier and more productive to manipulate photographs, to show the unusual.  Yet we have seen similar things done, in the past, with just conventional photographic techniques.  In a modern studio operation, digital techniques are definitely necessary to maintain a competitive edge.  But for just plain, photographic fun, some of the old, conventional techniques have a lot to offer.

 

The photograph in this article has often been thought of as being computer generated or manipulated.  Yet it was done by standard, photographic methods and a bit of ingenuity.  It came about as an assignment for a local client.  The basic idea of the shot was specified, and it was up to the photographer to execute the idea in the studio and to put it on film.

The photograph is the result of multiple exposures on the same sheet of film.  Following is an account of how this was done…

As a camera, a 4x5 view camera was chosen, although any other camera could be used as well.  Initially, the phone was hung up with very thin, micro filament line.  It would be very difficult to hang the phone in an angle; instead, it was hung straight, with the antenna facing down.  Two lines, in an angle were used to prevent the phone from swinging sideways.  An additional two lines were fastened to the antenna to avoid the phone from swinging back and forth.  To allow the phone to be recorded in an angle, the camera was tilted.  The upside down image in a view camera actually made it easier to compose the set, because the upside down phone showed upright on the ground glass.  With cameras other than a view camera, it would be easier to have the phone hung upright.

Lighting was done all with hot lights, using a strong cross light on the key pad, with a softer light source, with the same angle, as fill.  A reflector was used to lighten the dark, opposite side.  The camera was supported on a studio stand with a geared head.  This allowed for an easy addition of the motion streaks.  The initial position of the camera was marked with white board marker directly on the ground glass.  With other cameras the position would need to be marked on the tripod.  Then the camera was tilted down for the position of the end of the motion streaks.  With the shutter open, the camera was slowly tilted upward, until it reached the initial position as marked on the ground glass.  This gave the phone an exact, fixed position for the next exposures, the first of which was the phone by itself, against a black background with the above described lighting.

The flame had to be done carefully, in order not to hurt the phone or set it on fire.  Clients really don’t like it if you burn their products.  A light stand was positioned right behind the phone.  Wrapped in a black cloth, the parts below the phone did not show against the black background.  On top of the light stand a small piece of sponge material was fastened.  The height of the light stand was carefully adjusted such that the sponge was just hidden behind the edge of the phone.  The sponge was soaked with lighter fluid, which burns with a bright, orange flame.  Thus, the exposure of the flame was no problem at all.  Of course, the lighting for the phone was shut off for this exposure.

The fourth and final exposure was for the background.  To allow for the space scene, rear projection was chosen.  A standard, 35mm slide of the scene was projected onto a rear projection screen.  This is a bit trickier, since the product, in this case the phone, must not be allowed to move at all.  The subject lighting must be off for this exposure to avoid any light from spilling onto the rear projection screen.  For the previous three exposures the screen was not in place.  The screen must be carefully put in place, as close as possible to the subject, to avoid any depth of field problems.  Neither a change of aperture or refocusing can be done since both will alter the size of the product in front of the screen.  The product is, what is called, self-masking.  With other words, it blocks out the areas of the background covered by the product.  It is also important to filter the projector lens.  Most projectors use a heat absorbing glass which is slightly green in color.  Without filtration, the rear projection image would have a green cast.  A gel filter of CC10M (10 Color Correction values of Magenta) in front of the projector lens assured the correct color balance.  Thus, the fourth exposure made the phone move through space.

Exposure readings were taken in the following manner:  For the exposure of the phone, the initial reading was an incident reading, facing toward the light source.  To make sure that the bright spot on the phone key pad would not be washed out, an additional spot reading of that area was taken to make sure that it was not over exposed by more than 2 ½ stops.  A three stop over exposure would have rendered the area white without detail.

Experience has shown that the motion streaks will show just fine with the same lighting and a slow tilting of the camera, lasting about two to three seconds.  This is really not that critical, since it doesn’t matter if the motion streaks are a bit lighter or darker, as long as they show up well.  Please note:  The exposure reading for the phone also determined the exposure settings for the motion streaks.  Moving the camera for the motion streaks was the first exposure.

For the flame, a spot reading of the flame, adjusted to a 1 stop over exposure assured that the reddish color of the flame would be maintained without being too dim.

The rear projection exposure was determined with a spot reading also.  Incident readings cannot be applied here at all.  Of the star field, an area with neutral brightness was chosen for the spot reading.  The resulting exposure time then rendered the correct exposure.

It is important to note, that for all four of the exposures the same aperture had to be used. As mentioned already, a change in aperture will slightly change the size of the subject on film.

Since all four exposures show the same subject, this must be avoided.  To select an aperture which gave enough depth of field to cover the subject and the rear projection image, the screen was put in place initially, but then was removed for the first three exposures.

I have found that many such photographs have more than just one solution.  I would be very much interested in hearing about some other ideas how this photograph could have been made.  Such a photograph is obviously beyond everyday shooting.  If anyone has any questions regarding how this was done or to clarify any of the techniques described, please let me know and I will gladly get back to you with an answer.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DON'T FORGET TO SEND IN YOUR ENTRIES

LEICA Barnack Berek Blog PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST


For more information click here

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Upcoming shows in Tamarkin's Rangefinder Gallery


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography




Friday, April 24, 2015

LEICA AND COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY



Many are familiar with the history of the Leica and its influence on photography in general.  The photographic process Leica relied on essentially was no different from what we are using today.  Many of the early Leica photographs are well known.  Quite a few were taken by Oskar Barnack, the inventor of the Leica, himself.

Wetzlar Eisenmarkt
Photo: Oskar Barnack

All of these photographs are in black and white, which brings up the question of color.  Were there any color films in these early days of 35mm photography?  For an answer we need to go back to virtually the beginning of photography in general.

The earliest permanent photograph in existence was made in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niepce, showing the roofs and chimneys visible from his workroom.  It required an exposure time of eight hours on a bright, sunny day.  He used a pewter plate with a light sensitive varnish of asphalt (bitumen if Judea) and then used oils as a fixing agent.  During the exposure, various areas of the asphalt would harden to different degrees.  The oils washed away the less hardened areas of the asphalt, resulting in a recognizable image.  The word snapshot doesn’t apply.

Joseph Nicéphore Niepce photograph from 1826

Niepce’s process proved to be a dead end.  Through the company of Chevalier, the major manufacturer of lenses at the time, he met Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre.  They formed a company to research other means to take permanent photographs.  Unfortunately, Niepce died before they had any success.  A nephew of his continues to work with Daguerre, but when a viable process was developed, Daguerre took the credit all for himself.  This was the famous Daguerreotype, first introduced in 1839 to the French Académie des Sciences.  While a lot faster than Niepce’s first attempts, it still had the drawback of producing just a single picture at the time.  There were no negatives from which multiple copies could be made. 

"Boulevard du Temple", taken by Daguerre in 1838 in Paris, includes the earliest known candid photograph of a 
person. The image shows a street, but because of the over ten-minute exposure time the moving traffic does not 
appear. At the lower left, however, a man having his boots polished had both men motionless enough 
for their images to be captured.

The first successful negative process was developed by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1840.  He used sensitized strips of paper, which, when developed, allowed the contact printing of multiple images.  Thus the photographic process closest to what we use today, was born.

William Henry Fox Talbot, Laycock Abbey 1847

Virtually as soon as these processes became available, the quest for color photographs started.  The earliest color photographs were actually hand colored daguerreotypes.  Simultaneously, a number individuals experimented with a variety of processes to produce color images.  Some were met with limited success while others could not be repeated with any certainty.

The three color process of red-green-blue, RGB was first used by James Clerk Maxwell in 1861. His picture “Tartan Ribbon” is generally considered the first durable color photograph, and the very first made by the three-color method Maxwell first suggested in 1855. Maxwell had the photographer Thomas Sutton photograph a tartan ribbon three times, each time with a different color filter (red, green, and blue-violet) over the lens. The three photographs were developed, printed on glass, and then projected onto a screen with three different projectors, each equipped with the same color filter used to photograph it. When superimposed on the screen, the three images formed a full-color image. Maxwell's three-color approach underlies nearly all forms of color photography, whether film-based, analogue video, or digital. 

James Clerk Maxwell, "Tartan Ribbon" 1861

The credit for a valid color process goes to John Joly.  He was aware that a color image could be formed by mixing just three colors, red, green and blue, a process still used today in all types of color imaging.  He used a glass plate which contained a ruling of alternating RGB filters, about 200 per inch.  This was placed against the glass negative plate in the camera during exposure.  After developing, the same glass plate was put in register with the negative, resulting in a color transparency which could even be projected.

John Joly "Butterflies" 1893

The process worked, but was relatively cumbersome.  Obviously, it would be a lot easier to do away with the RGB plate and combine the RGB filters with the emulsion.  Such a process was developed by the Lumière brothers.  They patented their Autochrome process in 1903 and began marketing it in 1907.

Just like Joly’s process, Autochrome is an additive color process. The medium consists of a glass plate coated on one side with a random mosaic of microscopic grains of potato starch dyed red-orange, green, and blue-violet (an unusual but functional variant of the standard RGB additive colors) which act as color filters. Carbon particles fill the spaces between grains, and a black-and-white panchromatic silver halide emulsion is coated on top of the filter layer.  The glass plates were loaded with the filter layer facing the lens.  After developing, a color transparency was the result.  Autochrome was one of the most widely used color photography process in use before the advent of subtractive color film in the mid-1930s.

RGB colored starch particles function as a filter

Autochrome by the Lumiere brothers

Autochrome by Lumiere brothers

A similar process was developed by Agfa in the 1920s.  Instead of the dyed starch particles, they developed a very fine RGB screen with also was attached to the glass plate.  It too produced color transparencies.  In 1932 Agfa was the first company to offer a film-based version of their Agfa-Farbenplatte (Agfa color plate), enabling Leica owners for the first time to take color photographs.

Agfacolor

But there were still drawbacks.  The Autochrome and Agfa systems were notoriously slow.  The RGB filters absorbed a huge amount of light.  Anothr process was needed to solve that problem.

In 1912 Rudolph Fisher at Agfa discovered chemicals would react to the silver halides in the emulsion and convert other compounds into insoluble dyes.  These color forming ingredients, called dye couplers, could be included in the emulsion.  Fisher’s work resulted in researching three emulsion layers in films to form a color image.  Initial trials were unsuccessful because some of the color dyes migrated from one emulsion layer to the other during development.

This was the case with Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky, who worked at the Kodak laboratories in Rochester, New York.  To solve the problem, they switched to including the dyes in the developer.  This resulted in a breakthrough, and in 1935 the first three emulsion layer color film became reality, the Kodachrome.  Because the dye couplers of this film were added during the developing stage, it was necessary to send the film to Kodak to have it processed.


The first color film to incorporate the dye couplers in the emulsion was the Agfacolor Neu (new) in 1936.  It was the first time that photographers were able develop their own color film.  The Neu designation was used to distinguish these Agfacolor films from their previous Agfacolor films.  Both Kodachrome and Agfacolor very quickly spelled the end of Autochrome and other, similar films.



Both Kodachrome and Agfacolor were available as 35mm films giving Leica owners and owners of other 35mm cameras for the first time convenient and reliable means to take color photographs.  It is interesting to note that both companies initially marketed their films with the reference to Leica and other 35mm cameras.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DON'T FORGET TO SEND IN YOUR ENTRIES

LEICA Barnack Berek Blog PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST


For more information click here

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Upcoming shows in Tamarkin's Rangefinder Gallery


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography



Thursday, April 23, 2015

LEICA GALLERY 4-23-2015





Larry Christensen 
Leica IIIC, 35mm f/3.5 Summaron, Kodak Tri-X



W. Pringle Rodman
The Nutcracker, New York City 1980 
Leica M5, 35mm f/2 Summicron, Kodak Tri-X



Larry Christensen
 Leica IIIC, 35mm f/3.5 Summaron, Kodak Tri-X



Roland Porter
Urban Cowboy
Leica M4-P. 50mm f/2 Summicron, Kodak Tri=X



Peter Pepper
London VE-Day, May 8, 1945
Leica I, 50mm f/3.5 Elmar, Ilford Film

Mr. Pepper was working as a press photographer in London at the time of the cessation of World War II, and took this photograph from atop the Ministry Building.  It shows the celebration on the River Thames with Big Ben and the House of Parliament in the background.



Peter Kagan
Owl Snag

Leica M4, 35mm f/2 Summicron, Kodak Plus-X



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DON'T FORGET TO SEND IN YOUR ENTRIES

LEICA Barnack Berek Blog PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST


For more information click here

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Upcoming shows in Tamarkin's Rangefinder Gallery


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

THE EXTREMELY RARE LEICA Ig REPRO




By F. W. Rüttinger

Of this very little known variant of the Leica Ig perhaps only 100 were built.

It differs from the standard Leica Ig by the missing flash synch and the slow speeds, since these were not needed in the specialized use of the Repro.

The Ig Repro was meant to be used on the Reprovit II with a magnetic triggering device AMTOO (cat. 16777).  The flash synch was accomplished with the camera set at “B” and a special cable release connected to a special, magnetic trigger would set the shutter speed automatically via a timer.

For easier film and shutter winding, the special winding knob AQOOT (cat. 14014) was installed (see photo).

This version of the Leica Ig was sold in 1958-59 only to the industrial market.

It is unknown to the author if any Leica Ig Repro cameras were offered on the collectors market in recent years, so it is impossible to establish a current market value.  It is safe to assume that the price would be very high indeed if a Leica Ig Repro should be offered for sale.

Leica Ig Repro (front) with the special winding knob attached.
As with the Leica IIf, there is no slow speed adjustment dial

 
Leica Ig Repro (back).  Note the absence of the flash synch outlet.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DON'T FORGET TO SEND IN YOUR ENTRIES

LEICA Barnack Berek Blog PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST


For more information click here

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Upcoming shows in Tamarkin's Rangefinder Gallery


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography