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Discussion Starter #1
Since I'm not cranking out figure models like the old days (because they don't make as many as they did in the old days), I find myself rephotographing kits that have all been seen before. I wanted to devote some time to experimenting with Black and White. Of course, there's nothing new about that. Many of us have posted B&W images of our classic monster models.

I just wanted to give the idea a bit more thought and think about the way B&W photos are composed. I spent a lot of time in my darkroom back in the film days and I know that B&W is more than the absence of color. Hitting the "Black and White" button on most photo-processing software provides a perfectly balanced monochrome image that just doesn't have the old time look.

I think I'm making some progress. I took these pictures from an angle that would eliminate any display base or item that immediately identify them as miniatures. I wanted them to be from a point of view that might be in a still frame or poster.





 

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Discussion Starter #2
And I'll add something from the TV era. Nobody needs to point out that the robot has a 2nd season color paint job :).

 

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Beautifully done, KBG! Nice compositions with wonderful use of shading/lighting! Very evocative! I'd love to see further examples...

- GJS
 

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It does give that old time feel, like watching B & W TV. On the 40th anniversary of TOS ST on Sept. 8th,I turned the color off, and watched Man Trap as I saw it the first time. Your photos remind me of that time.
 

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Very nice! Have you thought of doing something similar with some of your classic 1950s rocketships, maybe with a sky or starfield backdrop?

BTW, when I saw the thread title, I thought, "Uh-oh, I hope this isn't political. . ."
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys. One small problem is that I have a surpsingly limited number of classic figures that really fit into the B&W category. I thought I could use my Metaluna Mutant model but then I realized that the movie it's in (This Island Earth) is in Technicolor. And the movies with the MARS-1 and Space Ark ships are also color. Of course, that doesn't preclude me from making B&W pictures of them...but I wanted to start of with things that were really seen in B&W.

But, now that I think about it, this might be the perfect use for my Creature From the Black Lagoon kit. I did the Creech many years ago and he was really my return to figure modelling. I did a good job of building him but I was never satisfied with my garish green paint job. However, it just might work in B&W.

BTW, if anybody else wants to use this thread to post B&W pics, be my guest.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here's a picture of Blackie Lagoon...an early build and not my best but a suitable subject. The most notable change I've made to these photos is adjusting the brightness and contrast to provide for more dramatic shadows and highlights. Simple B&W conversion usually generates an image with a huge range of mid tones...countless variations of grey with little pure black or pure white. That makes for an accurate and detailed image but also makes it rather flat and dull to look at.

When I used to do a lot B&W photo printing, I liked to move things to the extreme ends of the scale and emphasize shadow and highlight with less concentration on the middle tones. That's really a personal preference.

 

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Brent Gair said:
Here's a picture of Blackie Lagoon...
Sounds like a Damon Runyon character.

Looks very menacing in B&W.
Brent Gair said:
. . . the movies with the MARS-1 and Space Ark ships are also color. Of course, that doesn't preclude me from making B&W pictures of them...but I wanted to start of with things that were really seen in B&W.
The Mars-1 ship from Flight to Mars was re-used in It! The Terror From Beyond Space, which was in black-and-white. So now you have an excuse to shoot it that way!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Coincidentally, I extensively rephotographed the MARS-1 yesterday when I realized I didn't have any recent pictures of it. That's one of the oddities about digital photography...each time you get a new camera with more megapixels, you feel the need to rephotograph things.

All the pictures I took have the model firmly attached to the base so no starfield backdrops yet. But, since I'm exhausting the available supply of B&W photo subjects, here it is as the Challenge 142 (the name used in It! The Terror from Beyond Space). I've given it a similar albeit slightly moderated processing similar to the other photos.



Actually this is a model that really looks especially nice in color.
 

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You guys have planted a seed in my tiny semi-fertile brain to do a classic model in B&W "silver screen" style one of theses days soon just for kicks. And to test my ability for same !!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I very much regret never having had the chance to properly photograph two of my favorite figure kits. I did the PL Phantom of the Opera and the Headless Horseman. The completed buildups were displayed at a local hobby shop and somebody actually bought them...which surprised me because I didn't think people really bought built up models. Unfortunately, those models date to my earliest days with digital cameras when I had about a quarter mega pixel camera (yeah...a 250K camera!) and I didn't take any conventional film photos (I always assumed they would be in my permanent possesion).

But I still have unbuilt versions of both those kits. Wisely, part of the deal was that I got a replacement kit for each built up sold.

Seeing all of this recent figure work is very inspiring. Figures almost dissappeared from this forum but we've had a spate of them in the last week and I'd really like to try my had at a figure again. I'm fast-tracking the completion of the Spindrift and I'm hoping to get that "out of the way" in the next week so that I can try something else. Getting back to a figure kit would be a much needed change of pace.

Madcap, I also have a huge collection of film cameras. the last to see regular use was a Nikon F3 but I have an old Mamiya Sekor in the mix with some Pentax screw mount lenses. However, I've pretty much switched to 100% digital now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here's a new variation on the theme. I shot a picture of the Wolfman using a dark backdrop. The dark backdrop isn't something that would be used very often but it does give a nice dramatic effect that is suitable for this kind of subject:

 

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Brent Gair said:
Here's a new variation on the theme. I shot a picture of the Wolfman using a dark backdrop. The dark backdrop isn't something that would be used very often but it does give a nice dramatic effect that is suitable for this kind of subject
Nice work, a full moon behind this particluar pic would really add something I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Oh, yes...that works very nicely!

My current photo software is quite low end so I'm limited in ability to manipulate images. I'm shopping around for something better. I thought about the moon idea but your version is better than what I could have done.
 
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