The summer evenings in the Robert L. Solley Theater at the Paul Robeson Center in Princeton, New Jersey provide nice, natural window light for portraiture.
This model is a dancer. Why have a dancer dance when she can just as easily or more comfortably sit?
For this portraiture session, I used my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II with Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white film. I shot three rolls in 6×7 format, and selected the best to print, scan and process.
Darkroom printing results in a very satisfying print. I printed two of the best photographs on Delta warm tone fiber paper, with some slight dodging and burning to get the final image where I wanted.
I chose several more images, including the two I printed, to scan for digital storage and sharing. There wasn’t much post-processing work for me to do digitally. I’ve been using PhotoShop less and relying more on just Lightroom and Color Efex Pro. With these tools, I added a more natural, warm tone. Neutral grey, through scanning the negatives in black and white, results in a dull-looking image. The resulting toning matches the print more accurately.
Two of these photos were scanned with a new attachment for my Epson Perfection V700 Photo scanner. The medium format holder and anti-Newton ring glass from Doug at DSF OmniCorp — otherwise known as BetterScanning.com — should result in better quality scans if, from nothing else, a good way to flatten negatives for scanning without the distortion you might get from placing negatives directly on the scanning surface. The holders that come with the scanner are inferior. I’ve never had success getting the negatives to sit completely flat in the stock Epson film holders.
Technical details aside, I believe these six are the most successful of the thirty frames.