How do I get this fashion portrait effect?

Started Apr 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: How it was done and how you could do it in camera:

kb2zuz wrote:

Yes, you are correct that it would blur. I did not mean to say to imply you could take the exact image in camera using the method I mentioned, but this is as close an approximation as you could get in camera without going to extremes like in camera masking (which wouldn't work with a moving subject, I'll explain below). It would not be a perfect representation, but it might be an acceptable effect. Besides, it's a good exercise for someone who's starting out with studio lighting to understand how longer shutters with ambient light works (which is why I also mentioned trying it on black and blurring the highlights). As I stressed twice in my post, I'm nearly certain this was done in Photoshop (I reserve 100% certainty as I wasn't there when it was shot so I didn't see it with my own eyes and it is possible for me to make mistakes, as you pointed out it could also be done in a traditional darkroom, or maybe they used something like GIMP or another program and I could be wrong on a technicality).

As far as in-camera goes, the only way I can think of to get it exactly that way is in camera masking, which is practically impossible to do with a moving subject. In camera masking would require shooting a chrome or transparency film while swiveling the camera side to side under continuous light (no strobe). Developing the chrome, shooting the subject lit normally with the background black. Then carefully registering the first chrome over the piece of film you just shot (in total darkness of course because the film you just shot is still sensitive) without moving the camera. Then photographing the scene again but this time with the background lit properly and the subject in silhouette. The silhouette would act as a mask, and the white background would expose the blur from the first shot only on the background. Of course if your subject or camera position moves at all in the process (besides the initial swivel to create the blur) the masked shot won't register.

I agree that complicated in-camera masking would be needed to achieve the effect as originally shown ( without desaturation of the darks...)

... indeed the darkroom technique I proposed would also need selective masking. It would be very tedious either way, if slightly less so in the darkrom, where it wasn't being attempted with a live model.

Many thanks for your response. It was nice to get one that was about the actual topic.

"Ahh... But the thing is, they were not just ORDINARY time travellers!"

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