Yesteryear Photos: Route 66 Americana

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Ricochetrider, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. Incredibly sharp images. Why are we chasing those new lenses? Thanks,
  2. Not only incredibly sharp, but the depth of field as well.
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  3. I have to stop and take a breath. This is like something from the Twilight Zone. I can almost hear Rod Serling intoning the introduction. Everything in the barber shop is familiar, even though I never got closer than 1800 miles to New Mexico at the time. The enameled chairs, standing sink and wire stool, square linoleum tile floor. Most of all, there is the tin ceiling. Pink's Place is what I remember, named for the owners once fiery red hair.

    Thank you for posting.
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  4. These were an absolute treat. Thank you for posting, and they were absolutely mesmerizing.

    I do have one quibble with the article, though. The author needs to learn what a box camera is, since those most definitely did not come from one(and I'm guessing were from the view camera shown both over the photographers shoulder and in the "self portrait").
    michaellinder likes this.
  5. Technically excellent but more than that, they did a wonderful job recording America in a way that humanized it.

    Rick H.
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  6. Love it! Thanks for posting.
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  7. That was great and inspiring. The clothing stores and restaurants reminded me when I was a kid. WIndows to the past. Thanks for sharing that article.
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  8. ...and perfect exposure! The dynamic range of these images is wonderful. This with the depth of field (and great digital scans also) means one can explore each one from edge to edge and see so much from long ago - a great way to spend some time in isolation.
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  9. Nice shots, but the reproduction is not good. Very "chalk and cheese" rendition, with often blown out highlights. Where are all the middle tones? Smacks of heavy handed digital manipulation to me. Interesting how this is 95% white America too.
  10. I have to agree with Robin above. They are really cool photos, but using the view camera sort of made them all posed shots, which isn't bad at all, just makes the set kind of one dimensional, but I love these old barbershops and drugstores etc. A view camera will produce incredibly detailed photographs, but a lot of what seems like sharpness is digitally done and the overall tonality looks very brittle and over contrasty. With all that, I still like these a lot.
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  11. As a side note, on the frames where the notch codes are visible, all are Super-XX.

    That's such a beautiful film all around, and it's easy to see why Kodak kept it in production in sheets up through the 90s. I really wish I could find some to play with-I had a roll of 120 disintegrate in the camera, and have one of 35mm sitting on the shelf, but I'd like some recent-ish 4x5.
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  12. Thanks, Ricochet, for posting this. I'm amazed at the clarity and sharpness of these photographs. As one who, believe it or not, has never travelled Route 66, I wish I could. Sadly, long car trips now are not in the cards.
    Ricochetrider and ajkocu like this.
  13. Fantastic series!

    Why can't they make a BW sensor with digital that give such nice BW images instead of the usual fair of a mass of highly graduated light and dark grays?
    mikemorrell likes this.
  14. A really engaging series of photos. Thanks for posting.

    Vive la difference.

    I have no idea what the originals looked like, but it is definitely not the case the B&W film couldn't produce graduated grays. Just look at Edward Weston's work, or Ansel Adams' work. After all, that is what the zone system was all about.

    If you like the look in these photos, it isn't all that hard to create it from a good digital image. You could probably get a good part of the way there just by choosing one of the film emulation filters in SilverEfex Pro. But it wouldn't be all that hard without filters, just with standard tonality, local contrast, and sharpening adjustments..
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  15. Wouldn't the LeicaMonochrome camera(s) cover that ground? I mean, at a price for sure, but don't they have advanced tech on this?
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  16. I didn't know that digital cameras are equipped with a separate B&W sensor. Perhaps I'm just ignorant?
  17. No, in almost all cases, they don't. Leica makes at least one model that shoots monochrome only. Beats me why anyone would want it.

    A digital (color) sensor gives you much more control over B&W than B&W film did. For example, in the old days, if you wanted to darken the blues in a B&W image (e.g., make a sky more intense), you had to put a red filter on the camera before you took the capture, and most people I know had only one density of red filter. Now you can do that all simply in post, with a great deal more control. You can do it for any color(s) and in whatever amount you want. This is trivially easy, for example, in Lightroom, and other software allows you yet more flexibility.
  18. One reason I’ve heard comes from people who like restricting themselves to black and white for a given shoot or period. What they may lose in terms of conversion flexibility they seem to feel they gain by seeing and thinking in black and white only, as if they were using black and white film. I’m not advocating or criticizing this process, merely relating what I’ve heard. What I do advocate is someone working however they want, with the recognition that self-imposed restrictions can be either very limiting or open many doors of creativity, or some degree of each. I’ll usually assess the work more on its merits than on the process chosen.
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  19. Bear in mind that digital sensors are inherently B&W(just as film starts as B&W).

    Each pixel is overlaid with a colored filter. The most common arrangement for this is called the Bayer pattern, although there are others. With Bayer and many other patterns, the color is interpolated for each pixel by comparing adjacent pixels.

    Normally, if you want a B&W photo from digital, you are usually best to capture it in color and then use one of various tools to convert it to B&W. These tools will let you mimic both the spectral response of different film stocks and also add the effects of filters. As a side note, in the late film era, I knew more than one person who used color film and scanned it for the same reason.

    A few sensors, including the ones used in some Leicas(and a couple of older Kodaks) lack the color array over the sensor. These should be used with colored filters to get the desired effect.

    A while back, I also looked at an older Leaf(I think) back on a Sinar view camera. That was a mid-90s era back, and actually worked by taking 3 separate exposures using 3 different filters in front of the sensor and and then combining them into a color image.

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