The Pros and Cons of Large Format Portraiture

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by b._poetz, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. This thread emerged from an earlier thread I posted on MF forum.This is an interesting topic and I feel it would be facinating to get insight from other LF shooters. What motivates and inspires us to shoot portraits in LF and so on. Essentially, does anyone feel that the view camera is as effective in capturing expression and generally being a well suited tool for portraiture as compared to a MF SLR, for example? I ask this despite the fact that I have an ongoing love hate relationship with LF portraiture. Recent example of 4x5 portrait....
    009Twq-19617184.jpg
     
  2. Con: depth of field, depth of field, and depth of field!

    I agree, LF is great for portraiture, but I have a lot of beautiful 'also ran', except the small depth of field puts them out of focus in the eyes. Argh!
     
  3. After years of fashion work, I have learned that the model (or in this case, the portrait sitter) is not the star of the show.

    The photographer (if he is any good) is the performer, and the model is his audience. For example, if you want a smiling picture, don?t say ?smile?, tell a funny joke. And then quickly try to capture the result in the model?s reaction.

    A small format motor drive is best for this. But because of the spontaneity, the quality of the final pictures will often be by chance. A common technique is to give the model some wine, crank the stereo up loud, then turn her loose to flop around the studio set like a freshly-caught fish on a boat deck. Very exciting. But you will never know what you have on film until it is processed and on the light table.

    Large format work is entirely different. You must carefully pre-plan the angle and position of every body part, every light and camera angle, every fold of clothing. It involves careful pre-planning. Not chance. If you do it right, the results will be predictable and more perfect, down to the last detail. How many frantic motor-driven head shots have you done where everything was absolutely, stunningly wonderful except that the model?s necklace was turned backwards?

    An interesting variation which would guarantee that the model/sitter gets exactly what was desired, would be to put a plexiglass mirror in front of the camera with a hole cut out for the lens to look through. Let the model make faces and capture them on film. No surprises for either person.

    Not only will the resulting picture be exactly what was desired, but the LF quality will be breath-taking. No amateur fuzziness.
     
  4. I think we must acknowledge that a portrait is not a portrait is not a portrait. A slick fashion or
    commercial shot is not the same as a fine art portrait or a commisioned "vanity" portrait, for
    example. Not to mention that each photographer has his own personal vision and treatment of
    the subject even within the context of a given assignment.

    Yes, I absolutey agree that the photographer is the star and the model/subject the audience.

    John, your comment about "amatuer fuzziness"... could you clarify that, please. I often aim for
    that fuzziness. The attached portrait of the boy is case in point. What is your opinion of this
    image. Please be totally frank; you needn't walk on egg shells. I made a portrait that was exactly
    what my minds eye envisioned. That said, I'm keen to hear your reaction. Fire away.
     
  5. Portraits are just about all that I do, with all of my equipment from 35mm through 8x10. The smaller cameras allow a lot more flexibility and spontaneity, but the large format reveals more presence, I thnk. My large format portraits tend to be more still, and quiet than the work I do with smaller cameras, which I use handheld. I can't say that one format is better than another, or even that I prefer one to the other, except in the darkroom, where large format rules unequivocably. It's not the size that matters, but what you do with it.
    009U0z-19617884.jpg
     
  6. B.

    This is a very interesting topic, for me at least :) I very much like the shot you
    have included. However, I bet I'm not the only person looking at that shot
    thinking I've done something mightily similar in the past. I hope you don't take
    offence at that comment because none was intended I promise.

    One way of answering it is to think about the response of people when they
    are presented with prints of portraits, that you have taken, but they don't know
    anything technical about the shot. In other words, they don't care what camera
    the shot was taken on.

    You,or I, might feel terribly pleased about the shallow DOF we have achieved
    by using LF but this aspect might be totally ignored by other folks who are just
    viewing the shot on its own artistic merits. It's a bit like some people who think
    that taking a photo with an M3 and a Summicron somehow makes the shot
    intrisically more worthy than mere mortals using humble Japanese camera
    equipment.

    I am guilty of all of the above charges but if I had to plump for one format, for
    portraiture, it would be MF (Mamiya RZ). However, like you, I still try to use LF
    for portraiture whenever I can. Confusing, isn't it ? :)
     
  7. Karsh didn't seem to think the LF hindered him.
     
  8. Karsh had adult subjects. Kids wiggle and squirm as do amateur adult models. Try to provide a hand rest like a posing table to keep the subject still.

    A view is hard to focus under modeling lights. I use Lowell DP`s bounced into heat resistant Lowell umbrellas. This light produces a pleasing soft light that does not blind subjects as a photoflood does.

    Nothing beats LF portrait if you get it all right, it`s just hard to get it right
     
  9. Andrew, thank you for you candor and interesting thoughts. I assure that I take no offence to
    your comments. In fact, I encourage anyone to express whatever they wish.

    However, although, your comment about it being "mightily similar...." I must ask, is being new
    and unique really the criterion for quality in portrait photography? How "original" must one be to
    make a moving portrait? Also, to my way of thinking, taste is ultimately what governs a
    photographer's style. I like classicism. I am a traditionalist. I can only measure the success of my
    work relative to what I sought out to achieve in the first place.

    Some folks think a new Chevrolet Corvette embodies automotive beauty, I prefer an old
    Aston Martin. The analogy could be made for furniture or clothing or architecture and art. For me,
    taste is paramount.
     
  10. I've found that it's not easy to shoot portraits with LF (I use a monorail) but when you pull it off it shines. Some of my favourite portraitists have worked with LF (Strand, Avedon, Vishniac..), so equipment can't be an impassable barrier..
     
  11. Eric, Karsh's shots were carelfully posed. His lighting is what I feel is so impressive. Here's a shot I've posted before (forgive me) of a child shot with a 4x5 in studio lighting.
    009U8G-19618984.jpg
     
  12. i think its also a case of getting used to your equipment. how many times have you picked up a camera that youve never touched and you think its all good but then after shooting with it for 3 weeks or so you already realise that you have become better 'friends'..?

    When I had begun shooting portraiture with LF I was excited but at the same time very static. I absolutely love the static nature of a view camera, the sense of formality is what kept me shooting with LF. The simplicity of LF also helps dictate my result. I try to treat my subject matter in the same way. With time you find that you become more controlled, and less controlling...
     
  13. I've been shooting 35mm for about 50 years and MF for about 10 years, including portraits in both formats. I've been shooting LF for about 2.5 years, but only two weeks ago got the courage to try a portrait (of my wife) in LF. The world didn't come to an end, though it did feel like time raced ahead for a bit as I was moving from focus/compose to Polaroid to film-holder for the first and second exposures. By the third frame it seemed to take on a rhythm, and I found it possible to get my wife (not a very sedentary type) to warm up with conversation so she no longer looked so stiff. I'll do this again, on occasions when she's in a very indulgent mood.
     
  14. Looking at this man's work made me purchase a 4x5 (still on its way). The interviews with him are also very good. And what about the portraits by Thomas Struth?? It is just impossible to generalise. I am excited and nervous as "portraits", or rather photographs of people, is all I am interested in. Greg Miller has shown that this it is possible to do street photography even with an 8x10. Let's see how it goes...
    Anyway, rules that certain cameras or even certain focal lengths are to be used for "portraits" are just waiting to be disproved by some great people that come along once in a while.
     
  15. 35 mm and MF portrait is like cooking a hamburger at a picnic. You can make many and they can be damn good when done well ( not well done..yuk). LF is like cooking a gourmet French meal course, a lot of planning and preparation is in order if one is going to be successful.

    Both have their uses. Me, I love my hassy for portraits, but then I have not done them in years.
     
  16. B: by amateur fuzziness, I was referring to the generally low technical quality of cheap point-and-shoot small-format cameras. Most prints larger than 3x5 completely fall apart. I have shown 16x20 tack-sharp LF prints to dinner guests who were absolutely stunned. They did not realize that photographs came that large, and had never seen a grainless, sharp print of any size.

    Large format in natural light always involves limited depth of field. We like to think of it as an artistic tool, calling it ?selective focus?. Not a problem as long as the eyes are sharp.

    One thing I would do to your portrait is get some light gray (not white) tempera on a damp spotting brush and strengthen the catchlight in the child?s left eye. Then make a matching one in his right eye. His I.Q. will instantly increase by twenty points. (Dick Blick has it online.)

    Had you photographed this boy with a 35mm motor drive, you might have caught him in the middle of some boisterous mischief at a birthday party. But this soft, gentle, sensitive picture seems to quietly reach into his soul. In years to come, it will become increasingly valuable to all concerned.
     
  17. Let me make just one more point. People have been spoiled by chain department-store portrait giveaways. Only a small segment of the public is willing to pay sufficient money to have a portrait done well. Today?s quick-and-dirty portraitists keep their costs low by shooting through a strong soft-focus filter to hide blemishes rather than laboriously retouching them. Thus, some of these 98-cent mall portraits are so fuzzy, they could be pictures of almost anyone.

    The day will come, much sooner than you realize, when the portrait sitter is no longer around. All you will have left is his picture.

    I remember 58 years ago sitting on the lap of my late father when he came home from work. I was just at the right height and angle to see him up close and personal. He had a heavy beard which had frayed his white starched shirt collars and the top edge of his silk bow-ties. I remember the scar on his chin from a childhood accident. I can still see the fancy little gold Masonic pin he wore in his lapel.

    A LF portrait (if I had one) would have captured all of these cherished details. It would be almost as if I had him back, for a few too brief moments. I would not get that feeling from a cheapy fuzzball Sears quicky shot. Leave the flaws in...
     
  18. Thank you, John.
     
  19. Yes, thank you John for sharing those thoughts. How true, indeed. It's a real pity, although far
    from a surprise, that the public doesn't appreciate and isn't willing to pay for a fine LF portrait. But
    the taste of the masses has always touched on the lowest common denominator...fast, cheap,
    easy. Quality has never been -- and sadly, will most likely never be -- valued to the point
    people are willing to pay for it. The only proviso is when status is attached. People say they
    buy a Mercedes because of the quality but of course the emotional desire for status is really the
    compelling reason.

    But it's not only a matter of not valueing the quality of a finely made LF portrait, it's also a matter
    of taste. To the average Eddy-six-pack or Sally-house-coat, black and white is takes a back
    seat to color photos. Not to mention the subtleties of LF's "artistic" and historical aspects.
    Sadly, all of these things are lost on the public.

    For the most part, only other photographers -- sometimes -- have the interest and appreciation
    we photographers have in our own work.

    Just the other day, I photographed a child for my own personal work and when the parents saw
    the image they ooed and ahhed but when I told them the price, they said.... "We'll just stick with
    her school pictures".

    So, now where does that leave us? How do we get the public to attach enough status and
    value to commision a LF portrait. Can we presume to ever be as important as Cable TV?
     
  20. Andre Kertez didn't make hamburgers with his 35mm, he made magic, since it will always be the brushstroke that counts and not the brush, and while many shoot 35mm and MF 'shotgun' style hoping something will luckily come out right, that's not true of everybody and has everything to do with a comment on them and not the format they choose to shoot with. Some of the most famous images of all time were taken w/35mm and MF, and in contrast, many photojournalists used LF cameras on instinct and split second timing to come up with some incredibly timeless imagery. The folks ringside of some of the most famous fights of long ago, getting that perfectly framed, perfectly timed punch, because that's the only way they could get the shot.

    Sure you can categorize the gear, but not the way any particular format is used, the answer for me is quite clear, before the question was even asked, despite some obvious obsticles you can use any format for anything you want to do, with enough resourcefullness.

    Some of the shots I was able to get in Rio and Bahia during carnival, shot sometimes in a moving, shoving, jostling crowd of countless thousands was only possible because I was on the move, particularly one night when a couple of folks tried to relieve me of the camera. If I could go back in time, would I replace each 35mm image I took during carnaval with the increased fidelity and tonality and lack of grain of a 4x5 or 8x10 image, yes, in a heartbeat, but this isn't the point, I used what I used because it was the only way I could get what I got.

    I would agree with John Cook, along with the additional aside that not every client that inquires about my services for a portrait cares about photography the way we do, on the way to Rio one year, I ran into a guy who was real interested in getting his son into acting, upon telling him I was a portrait photographer, he asked me if we could talk about it, when I got back from Carnaval.

    When I got back, we sat down, and I ran down what I would do for his boy in terms coordinating his wardrobe, make-up, and so forth, for an upscale image that would put his boy in the best light, on a head shot, and composite, conversation went great until I mentioned my price, he responded with, 'I can go down to the Mall and get the shot down for next to nothing', and I responded, 'then that's what you need to do'.

    This gentleman is concerned about his boy making it in acting, casting directors/their asst. take a grand total of about 5/10th of a second on each particular head shot of anybody in the stacks of thousands of head shots they look at daily, I was ready to use every resource I could to make his boy stand out, but the bottom line for him is price.

    I would not encourage my son or daughter to get into Portrait photography as it is now undercut by outfits like Sears et al, although I would teach them anything they want to know, with the encouragement to get into something like Commercial work if they were interested and could get the work.

    Bottom line regardless is that a well done portrait done on LF is hard to beat, I've gone to some Weston exhibits, 'Summer Sunshine' made the hairs on the back of my head stand up, that shot could've been taken with any format, it was so spontaneous looking, all this being true, I don't think this demeans or diminish those who work with the other formats.
     
  21. You will never sell quality portraiture to the general public. Pearls before the swine, and all that. Mark Twain had it right when he said, "God must really love the common people, He made so many of them".
    You need to seek work from those very few educated, successful people who appreciate it. To do that, you must be able to move among them without embarrassing yourself. A Master of Photography medal around your neck from the P.P. of A. won't cut the mustard.

    I'm talking about the women in white pleated shorts, hair tied back with a wide pink ribbon, driving a new Volvo with a ski rack on top, case of Scotch in back and a decal for each of the kid's prep schools on the window.

    Put some money into a navy blue blazer, crisply-pressed slacks, well-shined loafers. Dress like Dominick Dunne. Subscribe to the Weekly Standard, memorize some Shakespeare, Keats or Shelley. Read the latest best-seller. I once had an assignment in art school to stand in front of the class and talk intelligently for a half-hour on any subject other than photography. Can you? How's your grammar? Do you know the difference between "bring" and "take", "less" and "fewer", "lie" and "lay"? Find out, or sound like a jerk.

    Every few years, A&E runs a dandy biography on Karsh, which he narrates. Watch for it. He was a class act, able to smoothly work with (and handle) heads of state. Copy his moves.
     
  22. I'll say this............I've had folks who I knew didn't have a lot of money, who paid up front and paid quickly, because they did happen to have an abundance of class. I've unfortunately run into a couple of folks who 'stiffed' me after a job, for the balance after paying the initial deposit, who I knew had a lot of money, bottom line, their attitude was that they decided they just werem't going to pay me.

    I haven't the slightest idea of whether you can still sell quality portraiture to the general public, whoever that is, but I try to do the best job I can on the clients I get, which is what we're talking about here in terms of the original question or else why would anybody consider the time and sweat involved in pulling out his LF camera?

    One issue discussed here is the amount of exposure or the lack of it, to just how impressive a well done presentation of good work can be, unless I make a point of going to see an exhibition, most of the presentations I see up close, are when I go into Samys Camera, I get the feeling that many folks undergo an epiphany once they get up close and personal with good work.

    I don't need to go see Karsh, because Hurrel and Karsh were two of the artists I greatly admired when I got into this, but many of the images of my ancestors shot with LF, exhitibed technical virtuousity, from the days when doing portraits with LF was the norm/normal, which is why this discussion is ironic. My point is that our society today is fast food, Junk food, indeed everthing is cheap and quick, and incredibly as it's already been mentioned there are generations that've grown up not knowing that it was any other way.

    I've recently had a client who was special in that she's a very close friend of my wifes/her college roomate, who expected/insisted on paying for her portrait even though we are friends, her preconceptions about what was involved changed after we sat down and talked, she was so happy with the 8x10 that I presented to her, she ordered a 20x24, she was blown away by the 20x24 moreso than the 8x10, kept saying 'she had no idea', in terms of how it held together.

    I'll never be 'hobnobbing' with the elite, even if I could, I just think it's a matter of exposure, exposure to the full potential of what photography can do,...........what it's already done in the past.
     
  23. No, Jonathan, exposure will do nothing to impress upon those who don't get it that fine Portrait
    is desirable. One can only recognize what what already knows. The general public have no
    frame of reference for a fine photographic portrait. If anything, it may just seem "old fashioned" to
    them; possessing a certain nostalgic or sentimental component. You were on the right track
    when you commented on the fact that we are living in a fast food, junk food world. I stated this
    earlier that the masses sink to the lowest common denominator and nowadays that means fast,
    cheap and easy. People don't have noble aspirations and cultivated taste anymore. At one
    time, peasants looked up to the aristocrats. Today, it's all about what's cool. Unfortunately, this
    is in crass contrast to everything that I value.

    Do you remember the gentleman's retailer "Abacrombie & Fitch"? Not so long ago they were a
    mainstay of conservativism and gentlemanly style. Hemingway had his Safari Jacket made
    there. Today, it caters to the cool kids on the block. Sulka, Triplers and many other Classic
    establishments have also gone the way of the Dodo. In a "give 'em what they want" world,
    TASTE and quality is most certainly what they don't want. Exposure? To whom?
     
  24. A few days ago, I shot some portraits of my 99 year old grandmother on 9x12 cm with a 1927 Zeiss Ikon Ideal 250/7. I used the common technique for a non-reflex camera; I prefocused and composed, set the shutter and aperture, then stood beside the camera with cable release in hand waiting for the right moment to trip the shutter. I haven't had a chance to scan or enlarge the negatives yet, and the cyanotypes I made suffered from my inexperience with that medium -- I added contrast enhancer, when it seems it wasn't needed -- but the negatives look wonderful, focus right where I wanted it.

    IMO, large format is the best for portraiture. OTOH, I did shoot a number of conventional 35 mm SLR shots, on modern color film, the previous day -- they aren't processed yet, but they're my insurance; I know for certain that they're focused and composed correctly.

    Since I'll probably never see my grandmother again (I'm now 2500 miles away, and likely won't be able to afford to travel back there while she lives), these were important shots -- and I wouldn't have missed the opportunity to make the large format portraits for anything.
     
  25. Hi Donald, always good to have you join a thread. I would love to see the shots you took of
    your grandmother if that's not asking too much. So, with a 250mm lens how far were you from
    her. Head and shoulders... more or less? I agree that LF portraits are very satisfying when
    done right and the traditional approach of focusing and waiting for the right moment to realease
    the shutter is not a problem IF you're subject is not framed to tight, IF you have sufficient depth
    of field and IF the subject doesn't move too much. Try taking a close up of a person's face with
    the GG filed and then you get a bit more nervous when you put that film holder in and wait for
    the right moment. There's just not very much margin for error. I really think it all boils down to first
    deciding what you want the final image to look like and then choosing the right tool for the right
    job.

    It's been pointed out in this thread and elsewhere that good images can be made with all
    formats. True enough. But it must be remembered that AA wouldn't have been AA without his
    Deardorff. Likewise it's hard to imagine HC-B with anything other than his Leica.
     
  26. I've only just begun experementing with LF portraiture. But I think it has many possibilities. The leaf shutters work great with flash. The large film size makes a wonderfuly soft image with no grain. True it is not quite as fast as MF or 35mm. But the end results are wonderful. Here my example. Busch pressman 4x5. Ilford FP4+
    009VNt-19650884.jpg
     
  27. Just look at the portraits taken by the great Hollywood photographers in the 1940's. That will answer your question. Nothing can make a beautiful subject more beautiful.... or an ugly subject more ugly.
    By the way that "Legs" shot was superb.
     
  28. I agree that most people will not be able to afford the services of a professional portrait photographer. Most people have limited budgets and a large-format portrait is a long way down on the list of necessities. This does not mean that these people are 'common' or do not appreciate quality, it simply means the value they place on it does not match the cost of producing it. The real rewards will come to those who can figure out a way of to provide a quality product cheaply.
     
  29. David, that's the definition of common. The fact that a large-format portrait is a long way down on
    their list of necessities in fact does imply that these people do not appreciate quality.

    "...The real rewards will come to those who can figure out a way of to provide a quality product
    cheaply." Huh? Did you ever hear of "You get what you pay for" ?
     
  30. 'The real rewards will come to those who can figure out a way of to provide a quality product cheaply.'.........................One of the problems is the perception of what is cheap. I am aware of several folks located in the general area of Hollywood who advertise their services for a portrait for $30-$60, they don't guarentee or promise anything except 36 exposures...................36 exposures!!!

    They essentially expose one roll, with 'cookie cutter lighting', that is, one size fits all, no make-up, no co-ordination of wardrobe, 'sit down............................say cheese' and that's it. Someone who came to me to do their portrait showed me some of this work and it was not the work of a legit portrait photographer, it looked terrible, terrible looking 3 1/2 x 5, the subject of the photographs said she sat down, and it was over in five minutes.

    The department stores out here aren't too far behind this with a little more elaborate set-up with a price for portrait and/or group shot for around $40.00, they, like the folks above, advertise with imagery that was obviously done by a professional(a phony family which is composed of model, co-ordinated clothes, make-up, excellent lighting done by somebody else who I gurentee you is not working for $40) which is suggestive to folks that they will be getting the same kind of service, and for next to nothing.

    So everybody is undercut, and the people who go into the above kinds of services, are undercut, and/or barely satisfied, and left with a bad taste in there mouth, folks will look at an ad, see a great photo, and think they'll get the same kind of service for $40.00, it's not going to happen.

    I'm not looking down my nose at $40.00, anybody who makes $5.00 doing what he/she already loves doing, is ahead of the game. When I started out doing portraits quite a few years ago, I wasn't making much more than this, but I was doing everything I could to give folks a nice portrait, and until 'word of mouth' kicks in, you aren't going to make much money, that's just the way it is, also I wouldn't except any money until they were happy. This is different, people are conned out of their money and recieve a terrible product.

    I've gotten clients who've been through this, and I've sat them down and explained that this guy may have showed you portraits that were done by somebody else, or if they were done by him, he's only guarenteed you that he will expose one roll, NOT that there'd be anything decent on that one roll, that he's there basically to collect a quick bit of cash, after running down what's involved in trying to get a decent portrait by somebody who's supposed to know what they're doing, many folks start to understand. Some can't see past the $60.00 that's been planted in their minds, and the original ad of a beautiful model, or group of models that have been photographed to look like a family by a real professional who is not the one at Sears who's about to take their photo.

    Someone else has mentioned the value of a well done image, I've some kids who want to start out in acting will ask me what I charge, I'll tell them my price, almost always they'll ask me what they get for that price,.........I ask them, when a casting director, or more likely one of their production assistants pulls out their photo from a stack of thousands do you want them to see an image done by the cheapest photographer, or by somebody who'll make you standout?

    I turn down folks who want me to kill myself, while sparing to expense, and expect me to work for nothing, because I'm in a position to do it. Plus there are some folks out there that expect to pay their gas and light bill, but don't expect to pay you. So the question is open about what's cheap, and that's the problem, particularly if you're thinking about doing somebody's portrait with a LF, which can run into some money.
     
  31. Jonathan, I would be very interested to see a portrait you made and of which you feel
    particularly proud. I'm sure others would enjoy seeing this as well.
     
  32. Sure...............go to the Cooke website........that's at....www.cookeoptics.com....................click on 'Cooke PS945 portrait'..................my image is 'Portrait of Dayna'.
     
  33. Quid pro quo...
    009VWm-19654284.jpg
     
  34. It's not LF, but there's a franchise called Venture that has been surprisingly successful in
    getting people I know to stump up for portraits. People who otherwise expect their
    photos to come with the school report or free with a frame from Ikea. The look is
    deliberately commercial, and they've perfected a way of hiding the production lines and
    making clients feel like they're being wooed rather than processed.

    www.thisisventure.co.uk
     
  35. I'm a black and white portrait photographer who shoots mainly Hasselblad and recently bought a Littman to help in the process of shooting young children in LF. I have a Linhof but found it almost impossible to use for small children.

    Most prints I sell are 16x20 and 20x24 framed. You are absolutely right that high end portrait photographers having a limited clientele. We are not even competing so much with other photographers but with the mentality of our throw away/consumer society who are constantly being inundated by advertising for all the cool stuff that they think they need. People are replacing computers or adding on all the time, they are buying the latest big screen TV sets or the latest whatever.

    We as photographers are competing with these purchases for the disposable income of people. To get these new gadgets, they will often take second rate other products if they are able to serve sort of the same purpose. Hence crap pictures from cut rate photography outlets.

    However I still prefer to plod along and provide a high quality product to the clients that I have who really do care about their children or families and will not compromise on quality.
     
  36. Mr. McBlane -- you summed it beautifully. Also, I enjoyed your comment/critique on Thomas
    Paul's "early portrait of a CEO". Very funny! Care to comment on any of my images on this
    page?
     
  37. I love the 4x5 depth of field look of the boy at the top and I also love the "early immigrant" look of the child. I'm less impressed with the lady with the closed eyes although it's technically well done. The boy has a curious intensity about him and the "immigrant child" has a timeless look.

    If you have any interest in the work I do I'm at michaelmcblane.com

    Later,
     
  38. Michael, thank you for your candid comments. I think you and I may have similar taste. Although
    the last image has won several awards as well, I prefer the feeling of the first two.

    Yes, I would very much like to see more of your work but your website doesn't seem to be
    responding. Are you sure you typed it in correctly? Otherwise, it may just be my computer
    right now...
     
  39. Sorry, it's www.michaelmcblane.com
     
  40. For those of you who have not gone to Mr. McBlane's website, it is worth the visit. Stunning work. Glad to see such fine portraiture in black and white.
     
  41. Very, very nice Michael.
     
  42. B. POETZ! Your work is stunning. Thanks!... :)
     
  43. About the only thing I shoot with my 4x5 Crown Graphic is portraits and lucky for me it excels at that. LF portraiture is very possible, it just takes a little more patience than with my Nikon. Both give wonderful results, but nowadays I prefer to capture my images with my Crown. The image I have attached is cropped a little bit because the 135mm Schneider lens is unfortunately not as long as I'd like. But it is wonderfully sharp since this image was shot almost wide open.
    009aac-19774284.JPG
     

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