Thursday, December 24, 2009

Overmodeled Skull from Paupua New Guinea

More from the basement of the St. Louis Art Museum - a human skulled with the tissue boiled off, then the facial features added back with clay, burnt lime and oil from tree bark.  The eyes are cowrie shells and the hair is human.  I am intrigued by the subject, but the technically accurate colors and uninspired lighting don't suit my impression.
Technical:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-85mm f2.8-f4, ISO 800, 85mm @ f/4.0 @ 1/20s, handheld.  RAW file processed in Lightroom 2.6.  Color corrected using the Xrite Color Checker Passport to 2650K and +9 Tint.

The color of the red clay presented some emotional distance for me, so opened the picture in Nik Silver Efex Pro to see in a monochrome conversion would add drama.  None of the stock custom styles gave me the look I was after, which was to imitate the look of a picture made in 1925 using a Leica I and the venerable push Kodak NC 35mm motion picture film.  Silver Efex Pro lets you set the grain and spectral characteristics, so I was able to simulate the ortho-chromatic sensitivity and match grain to pictures in Leica history books.

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