B&W portrait on film - very pale skin

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by am_glazewska, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. Hello,
    I've been learning to shoot analog B&W and my next goal is to learn to make good portraits.
    I've been thinking of an auto-portait as well, but here's the problem - I have very pale complexion, both in real life and in photographs.
    I'm looking for a filter that could make me look less alien and more human in those photos :)
    I have lots of freckles, and I like them, but a green filter that would give me more tone and accentuate them, would also make all the blemishes and wrinkles come out.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. SCL


    If you do your post processing on a PC, use the channel mixer function to achieve the desired skin tone.
  3. Red filter will subdue freckles. Rest is
    exposure and lighting. Pale complexion is not
    a problem.
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe I misread the OP? I thought that we want to keep the freckles not subdue them. . . if so then:
    Yellow-Green Filter used outdoors in sunlight; pan film; rate film normally; normal development; print on 1 Grade harder contrast paper than you would normally.
    e.g. I have an Hoya G [XO]
  5. Try pulling your film (i.e. over exposing and then underdeveloping it)
    Works the reverse of pushing (where contrast is enhanced due to the longer development time, and can get even more contrasty through higher temperature and extra agitation)
    In the case of pulling, due to the over exposure, all areas (including the freckles and skin blemishes) get such much light that, when developed normally, the whole negative will get so much density that the final print will be washed out all over the image.
    When however the development time is cut, that 'over the top' built up is prevented, which will result in a lower contrast negative, with not only a not heavily over exposed high light area (which show as 'black ' on the negative and 'white on the final print), but also some density in the dark area (which in the negative normally would show as 'blank/transparent', and blacked out in the final print).
    Basically similar to the (intentional) variation in development time (found after trail and error) in combination with a certain type of film, and the prior to taking the picture determined contrast in the situation which is to be photographed, as described in the Zone system (hard to explain in two words, recommend to do some reading on that subject)

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