Theory and reality!

Started Mar 2, 2018 | Discussions thread
SmilerGrogan Senior Member • Posts: 1,288
Re: Theory, Reality, and Time Marches On!

I grew up in Los Angeles at the very end of the large-format film era and there were retouchers from the studio era still working. They were artists who used their pencils, inks knives, chalks, and burnishers with restraint and virtuosity. Did they do a better job than today’s $200/hr editorial and advertising retouchers? That’s up to the individual artist I would predict.

And yes, that’s obviously not Ms. Stewart, but looks enough like her to be worthy of a humorous comparison.

jlafferty wrote:

That’s not Stewart. And I don’t really get your point WRT big sheet film as opposed to a properly handled 24, 36, 50 or more megapixel file these days. Same potential for trickery exists now, and many more.

I think it’s safe to say hard light has no qualitative attachments - it’s neither good nor bad on its own, just more or less aligned with concept, subject matter and technique. There will always be people making good work of a style with hard light sources, just as there will always be people who feel it’s difficult and will handle it poorly.

The people who shot the image you mistook for Stewart gave me my sig: I asked them about multiple shadows in their work and the woman half of the duo said “We prefer light that is evocative not academic.” “Hard light is bad” strikes me as an academic stance and to put it nicely, it’s very limited and dated at that.

SmilerGrogan wrote:

Let us not forget, however, that these hard-light guys and gals used big sheet film which gave the master retouchers of the era plenty of room to use their thousand little techniques to do things like smooth out complexions, soften wrinkles, and add hair where there was none.

One of the great photographers of the time, whose name escapes me at the moment. said that his secret for getting beautiful photos of actresses was that when the was printing, he gave the enlarger a little kick.

And how did this picture of Kristen Stewart get in here?

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