I’ve sort-of officially started my portrait project though this first run was more of a lighting test.

One of my work colleagues kindly offered to pose so I went for two sheets of Direct Positive paper and two sheets of film, Adox 100.

The setup was quite simple with the most powerful bulb pointing into the umbrella away from the sitter and the other less powerful bulb was aimed into the umbrella towards the sitter and slightly closer.

The light was a little flatter than I hoped but I didn’t have time to play around so I might collapse the umbrella to see if I can concentrate the light more, maybe even cover the outside with some bin liners to reduce ambient spill.

Direct Positive Paper

The first frame was the paper. I metered the around the head with the Weston Master at ISO 2.5 which read 5 seconds at ƒ4.5, I actually went with 6 seconds but could’ve easily went up to 10 seconds or adjusted my lights.

I used the Dallmeyer enlarger lens for the paper portraits.

Rad was pretty good to hold still for 6 seconds and I like this one the best despite being very underexposed. It has a very old worldly look.

The second frame doesn’t work as well so it’s a lesson to meter better and/or position the lights better for slow paper.

Film: Adox 100

Film is more forgiving so I knew I’d be able to get something whether I underexposed or not, fortunately the negative looked pretty good.

I used the Schneider Krueznach Xenar, 135mm ƒ4.5 lens exposing at 1/10, ƒ5.6.

Out of the film sheets this one is my favourite.

The background isn’t right because I want my portraits at first to have neutral backgrounds like Ingres portrait of Louis-Francois Bertin. Once I get into it I might engineer additional elements but not yet.

It’s a start but I now need to secure a venue to make these portraits. Hopefully I can use a room at work but if not I’ll have to look around or go outside but then I’ll have no lights.

I might compliment the photographs with abstract or regular paintings of the final photos. I’m looking forward to finding out where this wee project might go and once I have a venue I’ll start putting out adverts and asking people if they wish to participate.

more to come



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