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“The tricks of today are the truths of tomorrow”

by | 20 February, 2020 | News | 0 comments

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Romany – After Man Ray

Updated: Jan 13

I took this portrait of Romany a while back. At the time I had in mind to create a portrait after Man Ray, an amazing photographer and artist. That was my self imposed brief.
Some of you will be familiar with Man Ray’s collaborations with Lee Miller. She was his oft’ model and muse.
Lee Miller herself, was also a fascinating character, and a great photographer, who led an extraordinary life.
I have included an image of Lee Miller (1930) below my portrait as a point of reference.

I hope you enjoy viewing the image – Colin

The tricks of today are the truths of tomorrow

Man Ray

American visual artist

Romany as Lee Miller - after Man Ray

Romany as Lee Miller – After Man Ray

For those of you that are interested, I have also included the original shot of Romany, used as a cartoon to create the final image above.

Lee-Miller by Man Ray

Credit: Man Ray

Romy-Man-Ray

Cartoon used for final image

Additional Notes: I first saw the image of Lee during a lecture on Man Ray, when I was at art college, and it stuck with me.

Despite being taken in 1930 her humanity and femininity cuts through the ages. Somehow, she looks modern and young. It’s not just the short hairstyle and it’s certainly not the make up. As my experience with portraits grew I realised that this look is very rare and difficult to achieve.

Man Ray’s images are both beautiful and sometimes disturbing, but always thought provoking. Some of them have a mad scientist – film noir quality to them, due to both the subject matter, and the techniques he employed to achieve the end result.

During the 1970s and 80s I worked in photo processing and learned about, and used, the post production techniques that Man Ray used. These techniques included solarization, sometimes called posterization. This reversed highlight and shadow look is achieved by “fogging” the film, and, or paper, during processing to achieve this look.

Put simply, you turn on the darkroom light while the paper is in the developer.
Of course, in the twenty first century it’s now achieved in a more controlled and nuanced digital environment. Post production and retouching have been a part of the photographer’s arsenal since the dawn of photography. The only difference now is we have almost infinite control. As the title says… “The tricks of today are the truths of tomorrow…”

Pixel Peepers’ Notes & Newbie Hints & Tips

The lens I used is sublime. I had been coveting one for a few years, and happened upon it when I was in California. I thought I’d show you a part of the image at 100% (@72ppi)
It is ungraded, just cropped and saved as a 100% quality JPG.

The lens has silky tones with clinical sharpness, and all from a lens that was designed in the 1990s, intended to be used with film.

Romany-Close-up

Camera: Hasselblad 503cw with CFVII 39mp Digital Back
Lens: CF180 f4 Sonnar @f11 125th Sec ISO 50 with studio flash.
Model: Romany
Make Up Artist: Viktoria Kohl
Assistant: Gary Sandy
Jewellery: Theo Fennell, “Quiver” – White Gold, Pendent with Pave Sapphires and Diamonds, White Gold Snake Chain

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