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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> My Transparency Shot Explained
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07/05/2002 09:40:09 PM · #1
I have quite a few comments asking me how I did my transparency shot, Through the Looking Glass (I know there are two with that title, but mine is the double portrait). Apparently several people submitted it for DQ because they thought I had to have used PS. I have verified the pic with Drew so he gave me permission to post this :o)

The picture utilizes a large mirror that has much of the back scratched off. I set it up so that my niece's reflection is showing on the front of the mirror, and I am sitting behind the mirror. I understand that the transparency isn't completely obvious, but without having a semi-transparent mirror the shot would be virtually impossible (without PS). The topic said to use transparency, but it didn't say that you had to be completely obvious with it ;oP

I used matching sheets for the backdrop on both sides (blue was the only color I had two of).
Therefore, the "effect" on her portrait is where the back is scratched off and showing my backdrop through the mirror, and the "effect" on my portrait is where the back wasn't scratched off and reflecting back her backdrop.
I hope that isn't too confusing and clears up the questions. I have a feeling that quite a few people gave me low scores because they thought I had cheated or didn't understand how transparency was used. That's why I wanted to go ahead and post this even though voting isn't over.
Thanks for the comments! Maybe some of you will try this and be able to do a better job than I did. Balancing the scratches so that enough of the back image shows through without having too much "effect" on the reflected image is tough.
07/05/2002 10:21:23 PM · #2
Perhaps I'm just naive, but the idea that you cheated never crossed my mind. Do people do that here? I gave it a nine. Wonderful shot.
07/05/2002 10:51:39 PM · #3
I gave you a low score at first, but then I decided to submit it for DQ, and judge it on the merit that it was legal, and let the site admin's take care of the legality issue.

I am glad you made this post, very interesting photo, was it a double exposure?
07/06/2002 07:45:42 AM · #4
I did not submit your photo for DQ but I admit I did doubt it's validity. Since you have explained in detail how this was done, I must say I am very impressed. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job than you did. Have you considered using this technique for professional portraits?
07/06/2002 09:16:30 AM · #5
Thanks for the explanation...I had already given you a 10 so I can't raise you any higher for having a totally KICK-ASS idea!!! This is the kind of stuff I try to think of and you did a magnificant job...

I thought you had used a shear piece of cloth. You can buy this very shear and semi-shiny material that has very faint etchings woven into it. But its 15.99 a yard.

Then I thought you hard lit the child and soft lit the woman. This is how I have seen a shot like this done EXACTLY with this effect.

Your idea to get this effect and meet the challenge is awesome..I will proceed to catalogue this idea for future theft :-)
07/06/2002 09:54:34 AM · #6
I have quite a few comments asking me how I did my transparency shot, <<Through the Looking Glass (I know there are two with that title, but mine is the double portrait). Apparently several people submitted it for DQ because they thought I had to have used PS. >>

I had given this entry a 10 before I saw this post and knew it was yours. I will always assume "legal" unless someone tells me differently. Now, knowing it was yours, it doesn't surprise me. Having seen some of your other work elsewhere, I know that you are creative and produce excellent photographs. But this one is outstanding. Great job.

07/06/2002 05:27:49 PM · #7
Zeissman, It's a single exposure at .3 sec and f 2.5 with remote.

I think the part that threw people off was that the scratches appear on both portraits. If you had used a screen between the two then you would only have the "effect" on the person in the back.

I'll try to take a pic of the mirror and post it soon if anyone's interested. I plan on scratching more off and trying again eventually.

Unfortunately, many people don't read the forums so I guess they'll never be enlightened :o)
07/06/2002 05:49:48 PM · #8
I got it now, one in front of the mirror and one behind. The "two portraits" idea through me, but I think I understand. Lovely black dress by the way.
07/06/2002 09:41:14 PM · #9
Never had a dought, when I was a kid I did something similar with an old mirror that had naturaly lost some of it''s silvering. My vote stays unchanged. BTW an excelent photograph.

* This message has been edited by the author on 7/6/2002 9:42:35 PM.
07/08/2002 08:04:05 PM · #10
I have a few other pics taken with the same set up as well as a couple of shots with only the mirror at www.pbase.com/indigo997/mirror

The shots of the mirror were taken from the back to show how much of the backing (dark brown) was scratched off and how much of the reflective layer (lighter brown) was STILL left. I plan on scratching more off eventually.
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