FeketeNorbert.hu

Mid van, amit nem kaptál? – Didn't God give you everything you have?

Photography Content was shifted to Wildangle

Most of the photography-related content of FeketeNorbert.hu was shipped to wildangle.net a site dedicated to street photography and film photography in general. That site is not really a blog-type homepage that would share text posts with the visitors, it is a lot more oriented on sharing actual pictures however if you click on the ‘Tech’ link in the menu of the top right corner then you can see the articles listed. It also includes the articles that were on FeketeNorbert.hu before.

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How to Develop 120 Roll Film?

Due to a thematic restructuring this article was shifted from FeketeNorbert.hu to wildangle.net on 26 November 2011.
You can read the full article clicking at the following link:

wildangle.net Tech —> How to Develop 120 Roll Film?

Thank you for your understanding! :)

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Shooting the beauty again

I have not shot any classic portrait series since late 2010 so I was really happy when my beautiful model from last year, Szilvia told me she wanted some new pictures of herself. We became quite good friends last summer and we really enjoyed shooting that time but she spent the recent year working in Russia while I was studying in the US in the recent few month. Returning to Hungary we both found ourselves not having too much to do during the summer so she happily volunteered for another shooting.


Canon 450D digital SLR w/ Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM
shot in RAW

Well… having her for a second round was both good and difficult. It was great because she is a really good model who takes things seriously and easy at the same time and spending time with her was always a pleasure. But the best thing about having her back in front of the camera was her being used to what I do and how i do it. We could work together a lot better this time and there was significantly more openness on her part this year. However it was also a bit difficult because i had to come up with some new ideas that we could shoot with my somewhat limited technical background. Not mentioning the fact that it has been several month since I haven’t used my lighting equipment and reflectors so it was challenging on my part too.


Canon 450D digital SLR w/ Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM
shot in RAW

When it came to the shooting on a late August day everything turned out good. She was so familiar with all the surroundings that the whole thing turned into some friendly talking where we were completely at ease. Usually I try to chat continuously with my portrait models so that they feel relaxed and the tension does not show in the pictures (it does not work all the time) and it is sometimes okay, sometimes more difficult. Not having to do it this time was really great and it also helped me to relax into the shooting and it certainly met with more openness on her part and as a result we both had a really great time.
My good old digital SLR worked well this year too but I decided to take a couple of images on film as well just for fun. I used one of my favorite films (Kodak Tri-X 400) in one of my favorite film camera (Canon EF) with one of my favorite manual focus lenses (Canon FD 50mm f/1.4) and the images turned out to be quite pleasing developed in one of my favorite developer (Rodinal).


Canon EF film SLR w/ Canon FD 50 mm f/1.4
Kodak Tri-X 400 developed in Rodinal 1+50

I also tried another film camera setup, namely my old Russian rangefinder Fed-2 that is absolutely not suitable for the purpose of such shooting but still I like to shoot with that camera and I wanted to give it a try. I used Rollei Retro 100 film (also not the most suitable for this purpose but who cares), the standard 52mm f/2.8 lens on the Fed-2 and developed the negative in Diafine. The result turned out to be better than expected however framing such shots with the Fed-2 is not the best thing.
For my digital shots I used the Canon 450D digital SLR with the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM that is certainly my favorite lens for the digital body. I did not want to bother with the light meter so I switched to manual mode and used a shutter speed around 1/60-1/80 and an aperture required by the particular lightning and framing. And of course shot the images in RAW.


Fed-2 rangefinder 52mm f/2.8
Rollei Retro 100, developed in Diafine

My lighting did not change much from last year so I used constant light sources and reflectors. This year I was a lot more into the moody black background shots that went well with her somewhat sexier and more open approach. To add to the mood I went down to using only one light source for several images but making that light really soft by pointing the lights to opposite positions and just having some soft light reflected back on the model. For the less glamour-like shots I used more lights having a soft light as a fill-light as described last year.


Canon 450D digital SLR w/ Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM
shot in RAW

So we had a lot of fun taking these pictures and here you can see some attached to this post. Some of the images are also posted on the WILDANGLE.NET photography blog where you can check out other images too. And… no nude pictures in the gallery section. ;)

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The Horseshoe Bend


Horseshoe Bend, Arizona, USA

I took this digital picture of the Horseshoe Bend in the morning of 5 March 2011 as RAW image with the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM mounted on my Canon 450D. The amazingly beautiful Horseshoe Bend is part of the Glen Canyon located at the border of Arizona and Utah. The Horseshoe Bend is on the Arizona side about 3-4 miles south of the city of Page, Arizona. Probably it is the easiest to approach it from Page on US Route 89 South. The road does not approach the bend itself so you have to park the car and continue on foot. Prepare for an easy hike of about 1.4 km on a rocky road that goes up and down and brings you to a cliff that overlooks the Colorado River and the beautiful panorama. The sight is just breathtaking.

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About Wildangle.net and my stay in the USA

FeketeNorbert.hu was updated in the recent days and became a little bit more advanced while also receiving a slightly different outlook. Now we are running on the latest WordPress php engine and using the latest version of our nice theme (sliding door). Beside all these several new plugins were added to the page so that it fits my needs better:)
The recent changes became necessary because of two things. The first one is the fact that we (my friends and me) launched a new website named wildangle.net. This is also a WordPress-based blog-like page that features only and exclusively pictures taken on film. The idea is this: every registered member may receive rights to post pictures that were taken on film whereas every visitor may comment on them even without registration. If you are interested, please check out the homepage here wildangle.net.
I really hope that wildangle is going to do fine so from now on FeketeNorbert.hu features an RSS feed on the left hand side of the page that shows the latest posts and events on wildangle.net. Since I am one of the contributors on wildangle currently, I intent to post several images there but the photography category of FeketeNorbert.hu remains a technical site for both film and digital photography and I will continue posting articles here when I have time and when I feel like it. Probably you can find some of the images here in the gallery section but not all of those posted on wildangle so please check out that page.


Manhattan, New York City at night from the top of the Rockefeller Center
Digital; Canon 450D; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM; ISO 1600

FeketeNorbert.hu has now a quite big photography gallery so I had to divide it into two main galleries. The usual photography gallery is available under the “Gallery” page whereas those images that are more related to traveling and trips are available under the “Tour” link in very similar flash-based galleries.
Another thing that made changes necessary is the fact that I am in the USA right now and intend to stay for a few month. During this time I have no or limited access to my photography equipment (such as cameras, lenses, chemicals and first of all the scanner) so I plan to post mainly digital images during this time. This is one of the reasons why I itroduced the “Tour” section because I want to clearly divide the tourist-like digital images from my film photography projects. So feel free to check out the “Tour” section for the latest digital images. This is also the reason why I added a “Random Picture” function to the sidebar on the left hand side. This is to promote the new digital uploads while new film uploads will be mainly promoted on wildangle.
From now on the main page of FeketeNorbert.hu features only and exclusively the posts in ‘photography’ and ‘technical’ categories (so no recepies or other issues on the main page any more) and I hope this will give the site a more organized look. The ‘photography’ category includes articles on photography issues (both film and digital) and the ‘technical’ category (where this post belongs to) provides information about the site, the updates and about other interesting issues that I want to put on the main page for some reason. Obviously not every new post will be featured on the main page in the future.
That is all for now, please be back for coming new posts.

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Classic Indoor Portrait Photography with Túróczki Szilvia

Whereas street photography or probably any form of underground photography tries to focus its attention to freezing a particular situation where the personality of the acting people is just the second line of interest, portrait photography is essentially about capturing the model’s beauty and personality. Obviously it means that every distracting elements shall be eliminated from the picture and emphasis given to the model; the face and the eyes in particular. In order to achieve this effect, classic portrait photography generally requires a studio or at least a suitable indoor facility where lights can be controlled(!!!). Thinking back at the recent years of my photography it is easy to see that I usually enjoy taking pictures of situations, random events, people and of course taking snapshots in the street. Classic portrait photography or anything that has something to do with a studio was not really my taste and probably it wouldn’t have changed if it wasn’t for Túróczki Szilvia. Szilvia is an extremely attractive young Russian and English teacher who I first met in early summer 2010. It quickly became obvious to me that if there’s such beauty in the world that shall be captured by all means then it is hers! So I decided to go for a classic indoor portrait photography and here I try summon up my experiences concerning shooting this kind of pictures.

THE EQUIPMENT
Although the most important thing to do when preparing for portrait photography is to find a beautiful model, this time it was not a problem since Szilvia’s stunning beauty ensured that no difficulties will have to be faced on the model’s side. Except maybe the photographer’s attention being continuously distracted from actually taking pictures… :) So once you have found a model, let’s have a look on the equipment you are going to use. You will need a camera of course where both digital and film cameras will be fine as long as they allow you full manual operation since that is what you are to use. You don’t need too many lenses to take classic portraits so let’s just choose one lens and use that during your shooting. The optimal lens has a focal lenght of at least 50 mm and a maximal apperture of at least f/2.8. You might be using a wider lens than 50mm of course but it is really not recommended to go for a wide-angle lens since it distorts the image in such a way that will have visible effects on your subject’s face or body. This distortion is highly undesirable in classic portraits. If you’re shooting film than better to choose a C-41 color print film that has good dynamic range and wide exposure latitude, softer contrast and good shadow details. Essentially Kodak has the best color print films for classic portraits but if you’re doing it for the first time, than any Kodak C-41 will do it.

If you’re shooting digital – such as I was in this case being reluctant to risk any pictures of this beautiful girl – then the most important thing to do is to set your camera to RAW format. If you do not know what RAW is or you have no idea how to handle them, you should really take your time to learn it if you want to have high quality portraits. Actually RAW allows you to set the white balance after (!) shooting the picture and it provides the most accurate values and settings for white balance that is available today. You shall know that processing RAW files into a final JPEG image shall be performed out of your camera and you will need some additional software such as Adobe Lightroom, but it is really worth it.

THE LIGHTING
Once again you have to be in full control of the lights hitting the subject or anything that will be in the picture. In classic portrait you do not want to have a background that has too much details so let’s just confine ourselves to a single colored background and of course black and white are the more often used for such portraits. It probably won’t mean any difficulty to get some black or white clothes or carpets for background. Once again it is up to the photographer’s taste but I favor black background with nice colors on the subject or white background with less saturated colors on the face. So it is no wonder that I shot most of Szilvia’s pictures with blank black background. For lighting you may use the sunlight if you can control it, so if you have reflectors and blockers that ensures that you will have as much light as you want and you will have it right where you want it. If you are not sure, or you just want to have better control, than let’s go for studio lighting with strobe lamps and headlights. You have to be careful to soften the lights. I tried to avoid hard lights at all times since I did not want to see strong shadows on that nice face of Szilvia. To achieve a classic portrait lighting you will need three different light sources. The first is the key light that is going to be your main light. This is the strongest lighting in your setup so you want to place it facing the subject but at least 30 degree to the side. The second is the fill light that is to fill in the shadows created by the key light. It shall be weaker than the key light with a 4:1 or 3:1 ratio. It should be place to the opposite side of the subject. The third light that you are going to use is the hair light that is to be a quite weak light source that only gives a nice contour to the hair especially if you are shooting with a dark haired model and a dark background.

AND SHOOTING
You will need manual control of the shutter speed and the aperture value of the camera. First set your aperture. You should use a wider setting that makes your subject sharp but blurs out every possible detail in the background. Probably you do not want to go below f/2.8 because wider aperture would give you such a shallow depth of field that you couldn’t focus properly on the subject’s face. The most important: when I was shooting Szilvia I always tried to focus on her amazing brown eyes and focusing on the eyes under all circumstances is something I recommend the most. After setting the aperture, set the shutter speed as well. Watch out for the focal length especially if you’re using a digital SLR with a crop factor! In Szilvia’s case I used 1/60 and 1/80 shutter speeds depending on the position of my pretty subject. The shutter speed settings worked fine with f/2.8, the above mentioned lighting and ISO 400 settings.

The above described method shall enable you to shoot classic portraits on a dark black background. Remember that it is not just down to technology! You should shoot a picture that is interesting, so forget the boring pictures of the subject sitting in front of the camera and try to shoot her a little bit from the side. While taking the pictures keep telling your subject the instructions on what she should do since it is you who shall see what the image is going to look like and then it is of course up to you two what she’s willing to do. Try to stay in contact with the subject, talk to her, laugh with her, try to get to know her since it is fun and that is basically what this whole thing is about.

Special thanks to Túróczki Szilvia (who is much more than just beautiful;)) for being my model and to London Gábor as always for his helpful and nice tutorials;)

Check out the Gallery section for nude pictures of Szilvia!!!! :D

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How to make Kodak D-76?

Due to a thematic restructuring this article was shifted from FeketeNorbert.hu to wildangle.net on 25 November 2011.
You can read the full article clicking at the following link:

wildangle.net Tech —> How to Make D-76?

Thank you for your understanding! :)

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The C-41 development process

Due to a thematic restructuring this article was shifted from FeketeNorbert.hu to wildangle.net on 25 November 2011.
You can read the full article clicking at the following link:

wildangle.net Tech —> The C-41 Development Process

Thank you for your understanding! :)

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How To Develop black-and-white Film?

Due to a thematic restructuring this article was shifted from FeketeNorbert.hu to wildangle.net on 26 November 2011.
You can read the full article clicking at the following link:

wildangle.net Tech —> How to Develop black-and-white Films?

Thank you for your understanding! :)

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How To Make Rodinal?

Because of a thematic restructuring this article was shifted from FeketeNorbert.hu to wildangle.net on 25 November 2011.
You can read the full article clicking at the following link:

wildangle.net Tech —> How to Make Rodinal?

Thank you for your understanding! :)

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