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Old 10-31-2014, 04:44 PM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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Default William Mortensen

For those interested in using Photoshop for more radical editing than to present the subject realistically, the work of William Mortensen in film days may be inspiring: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...the-Antichrist There are several links in that thread to examples of his photographs and books that are difficult to find. In keeping with the season, the thread emphasizes his more bizarre manipulations.

Ansel Adams and his followers sometimes used strong filters and darkroom techniques to enhance the reality of their subjects without transforming it in to something unrealistic. Mortensen could do this well, but also used his artistic ability to create surreal images. In the 1930s and 1940s Mortensen was probably more prominent than Adams, Weston, and their circle. His 1937 book, The Model, remains useful today. B&W film photographers may be enlightened by his books on that technique. The feud between Mortensen and the Adams faction enlivened some of the photo magazines of the time, and is even yet revived by their adherents.

On a related theme, the 1951 movie, The Tales of Hoffmann, is a fine example of what could be done without digital editing, and in color yet! Even the 1924 Douglas Fairbanks silent B&W thriller, The Thief of Bagdad, had some tricky special effects.

Last edited by Jim Jones; 10-31-2014 at 05:47 PM..
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Old 11-01-2014, 03:47 AM
davidb davidb is offline
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Very interesting work. I found quite a few more sample with a Google search. For the most part, on an individual work basis, I tend to either like it or not; not a whole lot of middle ground. I don't remember reading about him before but I think I have seen a couple of his pieces before. Thanks for the post.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:32 PM
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I may look up "The Model" at some point. It sounds like it would be interesting to look through.
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:40 AM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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The 262 page The Model was first published in 1937 and an apparently identical 2nd edition in 1948. The 160 page How To Pose The Model, extensively revised and written in collaboration with George Dunham, was published in 1956. A new version of the now 164 page How To Pose The Model with remarks by two who have researched Mortensen is available as a print-on-demand from several online booksellers for a wide range of prices. All of these are hardback. With some careful shopping you might find the original edition even cheaper. The resurgence of Mortensen has provoked a lot of information online. The thread in my first post has links to some informative research.

Last edited by Jim Jones; 11-02-2014 at 02:43 AM..
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