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Secret Cigarette

By Bajob3
This is a scan from a 120 negative. I shot it on a yashica 124 camera almost 30 years ago. All I did with the image was to tidy the dust spots off it and darken the coat slightly. Any comments would be appreciated.

Tags: Black and white Negative Scan



110_TURNER 16 16 1 United Kingdom
24 Dec 2021 9:06AM
Would that be a little more (something) if you could see the cuffs of the wearers clothing?
Bajob3 2
24 Dec 2021 10:13AM
I had never thought of that, thank you. I was trying to bring out the character in the hands and had never thought of the cuffs
sherlob Plus
17 3.3k 133 United Kingdom
24 Dec 2021 11:19AM
I agree about the cuffs - it's a good point. I like the image and it made me smile as I was using my late Dad's Yashica 124G only this morning. I remember him buying it and it was his pride and joy - and something he got some excellent results from too. I doubt I'll ever do it justice but the sentimental value in using it is priceless.
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2018 England
24 Dec 2021 1:18PM
Anyone scanning old negs is going to get my interest... I had a Yashicamat LM for a while: an earlier model, and I never really got on with it, although it convinced me that medium format allowed an extra kind of beauty, tonally. I now own a Pentax 67, and a Rolleicord Vb, which I like much better than the Yashicamat - the 124 may well have similar improvements on the LM.

It looks as if you've also done some sharpening, as this looks quite edgy... and for whatever reason, you've turned a square negative into a portrait-format post. I've done a mod cropping square and tighter, and using Levels to darken the midtones a little.

Really characterful hands, and well worth posting a second version in the main gallery - this is an image worth perfecting, and worth voting for.
pamelajean Plus
17 1.8k 2288 United Kingdom
24 Dec 2021 3:54PM
Hello again, Trevor.

The hands look disembodied, and I am therefore in agreement with the idea of having the sleeves or cuffs showing. The rest of the image can stay black Your title suggested the hands behind the person's back, and that works well, I could see that immediately.

Those nails are grubby and the hands look work-worn, like those of a manual labourer, which adds intrigue to the shot, but maybe your over-sharpening has accentuated those things a little too much?

Well done for looking outside of the box and presenting something different.

Bajob3 2
24 Dec 2021 5:51PM
Thank you all for the feedback. For some reason in Lightroom the jacket is a lot lighter and the cuffs are visible. I have increased the exposure on the donkey jacket but it isn't showing any different on the upload but will have another look at it. Its funny when I started scanning the negatives that was the one I couldn't wait to see as I remembered taking it.
pamelajean Plus
17 1.8k 2288 United Kingdom
25 Dec 2021 12:11PM
From your modification, I can see now that the jacket sleeves extend to the wrists and so there is nothing like a shirt that might be lighter and more the sort of effect we were looking for. The jacket is dark and you have lightened it a bit, so we'll have to be content with that. Thank you for taking the trouble to show that.
pablophotographer 11 2.2k 443
25 Dec 2021 3:44PM

I like it; it is a strong image of contrast between the black clothes and the dried hands of this person holding the ciggie.

I think I could see the sleeve ends of a jumper, a pullover, I can't see a shirt that needs cufflinks. God only knows what drinking too much egg nog does to those who consume it.

I reckon this could work with a horizontal 35mm frame. A classic framing of 3x2.

Merry Christmas.

mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
26 Dec 2021 12:52PM
Modification uploaded, just playing with format and placement. I think the comparison is interesting, a broader frame gives a more relaxed feel. Which may not be what you are seeking...
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
26 Dec 2021 10:43PM
I'm a bit lateto this one, and it's a very effective image.

my main concern is the oversharpened gritty look. While medium format imaes have idh sharpness and detail, dritty bright spot ighlights and edges are a digital phenomena so I suspect some over zealous contrast and sharpening.
Applying less sharpening looks better, and applying two sharpening adjustments at a lower level is better than one big adjustment. It would also be worth sharpening a duplicate layer and djuting opacity. The High Pass sharpening method is also worth a try. Both methods allow fine control.
It's also good to scan without any sharpening applied via the scanner software, again because you have finer control in editing software.

You may or may not be aware of or you may use those approaches, but I thought I'd mention them for anyone else looking in.

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