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Thread: How do I do this?

  1. #1

    Talking How do I do this?

    Hi all,

    I am not a professional and I still shoot mainly in film.

    I would appreciate if anyone out here can tell me how Lisa Cohen gets her shots done. Here's the link:

    http://www.lisacohenphotography.com/

    They are contrasty, sometimes over exposed, there's a grainy feel to the images and the blacks are really solid. Almost graphical but yet you can tell they are photos.

    Really hoping to see this effect on film rather than on digital prints manipulated by Photoshop.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member
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    Default Re: How do I do this?

    If we're not talking about any post work later (given negs can be scanned and then becomes "digital")... i stress no post work (except maybe a bit of lab work for negatives)

    A good understanding of lighting, metering/exposure, the way different films react to light (a quick generic way is slides more contrasty, punchy blacks, vs more subdued more latitude neg film). You'll need to have the necessary equipment. A good sense of what you want to achieve.

    Say for eg. the walnut cake and glass of red juice on the main page. You could do a rough one by have a white backdrop and placing it near your window. The source of light would have to be a strong but diffuse (no direct sunlight unless u got a diffuser). You'll also need to fill up the shadow side with a white card or similar and your final shot is about 1 feet across tops, since we're not involving any lights (if you do, then you can try to use it, but the fill side has to be very soft) There is generally insufficient light in this very cheap setup, so camera on tripod and long exposure is good. DoF seems quite deep, so a 5.6 or 8 on a 50mm sounds pretty okay. (Film wise, it's somewhere btwn slide and neg???)

    Your colour temperature has to be spot on for slides and if neg, i think you can do some tweaking when printing at the lab. Otherwise, a range of CC filters would be needed. It's a bit towards the cold side maybe 6000k on a 5600k film??

    At the end of it, it's only a rough rough setup. You may need black cards to create contrast, depending on how it looks like. There's no 1 setup that works all the time; tweaking is always needed. Exposure seems to be +1 to +2 stops the window light to give the slightly "overexposed" look; again dependent on which film.

    edit: oh yeah, i forgot to add, you'll most likely need to have a handheld light meter to work faster. Build/visualise the scene in your head with regards to the light reading you got and thanks for the intro to the site.

    If all these seems too much, you could try shooting outdoors. Overcast conditions are quite good or partly sunny so you dont have to worry too much about controlling the range/overly hot spots. Try to favour shadows more to give the more uplifting/fresh feel.
    Last edited by alexj; 29th July 2006 at 12:09 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do I do this?

    Maybe you might like to point out a specific photo? They don't look "graphical" to me. The processing doesn't look like anything out of the ordinary.
    My Personal Folio (of random events and things)

  4. #4
    Member
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    Singapore
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    77

    Default Re: How do I do this?

    If anything, it's real - or close to real life. It's not glamour photography; no shiny makeup, eyelight, 3/4 backlight (nothing wrong with glamour photography, just a comparision). Outdoors, it's something to wait and see; catch the opportune moment. Indoors, it's just like any other setup; you need lights, equipment and time - if you're extremely lucky a good location might suffice, along with a bounce board.

    It is mainstream, nothing spectacular. Just like any other thing, takes skill and time to get it good.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do I do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoned
    Maybe you might like to point out a specific photo? They don't look "graphical" to me. The processing doesn't look like anything out of the ordinary.
    Hi,

    OK perhaps graphical is the wrong way to describe them. I should ask how do you get the contrast to be that intense. Take a look at

    http://www.lisacohenphotography.com/6.4.html


    The mussels and bread on the plate looks somewhat 'unreal' in colour. Again, the blacks are black...the shadows are great and the grains are still there.

    Sorry, maybe you guys think it is not that big a deal. I am shooting interiors and would like to improve and get effects like this.

    Thanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How do I do this?

    Ok I understand what you mean now. Master 'Curves', you'll get what you want.

    This link will help greatly.
    http://kenrockwell.com/tech/ps-contrast.htm
    Last edited by Stoned; 29th July 2006 at 04:18 PM.
    My Personal Folio (of random events and things)

  7. #7

    Default Re: How do I do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoned
    Ok I understand what you mean now. Master 'Curves', you'll get what you want.

    This link will help greatly.
    http://kenrockwell.com/tech/ps-contrast.htm

    Arh yes, the power of Photoshop.

    Would this be applicable using the Push or Pull method in slides?

    What do you think is the technique equivalent of the 'junk trunk' example in Ken Rockwell's site? A push or a pull?

    If I am not wrong, not everyone can do Pushing or Pulling development in Singapore. Would you know?

    Thanks again dude.

    Been a great help. Will load up a roll and start as experiement once I get more advice from you.

    Cheers!

  8. #8

    Default Re: How do I do this?

    Just my humble opinion...looks like she uses diffused sunlight most of the time. Maybe sunlight from windows and diffused with white curtains...not very sure, but looks tt way to me

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