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Recreating The Look of "The Natural"


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#1 K Borowski

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 07:04 PM

This doesn't exactly fit in the processing section, so I'm posting it in General Discussion.

I'd like to try to recreate an effect similar to that in "The Natural", and am going to try it with stills first.

I recall from a prior excellent Mullen post that the soft hazy color look was accomplished by making a B&W dupe of the OCN and printing the B&W in focus and then rephotographing a combination of B&W and color elements with the color element deliberately out of focus.

So my confusion here would stem from how then to keep the two elements in register when you have to defocus the color neg.

I am thinking of contact-printing the negative onto B&W reversal stock and then just printing that upside-down.

Any suggestions for a good percentage split of the B&W exposure time and the OOF color exposure time?

Also, would it be wise to use some clear negative film from the leader of the color negative over the B&W element to eliminate the need to print each element with different color packs?
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#2 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 07:12 PM

Karl, I just deleted the "wrong" topic you created by mistake, as you requested through your "report".

I tried to send you a pm but your mailbox is full.

Sorry I can't clean it ;) .

Regards
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 07:14 PM

Karl, I just deleted the "wrong" topic you created by mistake, as you requested through your "report".

I tried to send you a pm but your mailbox is full.

Sorry I can't clean it ;) .

Regards


Merci beaucoup Laurent.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 07:31 PM

Trouble with contact-printing onto b&w reversal is that you end up with a b&w negative -- I'm not sure exposing a print stock twice from a color negative and a b&w negative creates a desaturated positive, though I could be wrong. Generally you'd double-expose two positives (one b&w, the other color, from the same color neg) to form a desaturated negative for printing.

Plus if you don't use an optical printer for the two passes onto the new element, it's hard to throw one of them out-of-focus if you plan on using contact-printing for all your passes.

For "The Natural" they made a color IP and a b&w fine grain positive from the same color negative, the copied them onto the same color internegative in two passes.

In terms of how much exposure to give to each pass, that depends on how much desaturation you want. Testing is the only way to find out and it is highly scene-content dependent.
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 07:59 PM

Trouble with contact-printing onto b&w reversal is that you end up with a b&w negative -- I'm not sure exposing a print stock twice from a color negative and a b&w negative creates a desaturated positive, though I could be wrong. Generally you'd double-expose two positives (one b&w, the other color, from the same color neg) to form a desaturated negative for printing.

Plus if you don't use an optical printer for the two passes onto the new element, it's hard to throw one of them out-of-focus if you plan on using contact-printing for all your passes.

For "The Natural" they made a color IP and a b&w fine grain positive from the same color negative, the copied them onto the same color internegative in two passes.

In terms of how much exposure to give to each pass, that depends on how much desaturation you want. Testing is the only way to find out and it is highly scene-content dependent.


Hi David, thanks for your reply.

So, is working with the OCN and a B&W dupe negative going to be more difficult?

It would really be overkill to go through an extra two generations, not to mention I'd have to modify materials as there is no such thing as IN film or even "print" film in the C-41 process anymore.

I'm also probably going to have to deal with a contrast mismatch as well as a contrat build-up, as all I have is B&W slide film, which will probably have excessive contrast unless I flash or underexpose slightly.

But, as far as printing, I'd only be contact-printing the OCN and the B&W reversal stock. Everything else'd be enlarged onto paper as this test is being done with still photography material.

What do you mean when you say this is all "scene-content-dependent" though?


I'd imagine this'd be relatively cut-and-dry once I nail the amount of desaturation and color haze I'm going for.


Any suggestions as to how much I'd want to throw the color element out of focus? I'd imagine I wouldn't want it completely defocused, but would you recommend very very slight defocus or more moderate for starters?

I guess I'll aim for a slightly anemic B&W negative, use a colored blank piece of film sandwiched with it to build up density and ensure the correct printing light between color and B&W element, and then star at 50-50 color/black&white percentages and go from there.

Thanks for your advice!
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 10:28 PM

How are you going to throw the focus off in a contact printer?

Everything has to be tested and in the case of the diffusion effect, projected to determine the strength.

A pastel scene will desaturate a lot faster than a scene with primary colors in it.
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 11:33 PM

How are you going to throw the focus off in a contact printer?

Everything has to be tested and in the case of the diffusion effect, projected to determine the strength.

A pastel scene will desaturate a lot faster than a scene with primary colors in it.


I'm going to contact-print in sharp focus.

In projection-printing I'd just defocus the color negative and print the B&W copy negative in sharp focus.
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