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Author Topic: Mark Tucker style and selective focus  (Read 8422 times)
mgguzman
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« on: April 08, 2006, 11:01:37 AM »
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Dear friends,

I have been looking around to see how best I can replicate the selective focus of medium and large format cameras with a dSLR (e.g. Nikon or Canon cameras)

The style I love and would like to be able to use is better described by the images of Mark Tucker (www.marktucker.com). The selective focus in both landscape-scenery and portrait is what I would very much love to do.

To this day I use photoshop of very wide open lenses but this works to some extend and I would very much prefer to have more extended capabilities to do this in camera even for distant objects, with selective focus in any part of the frame ...

Lensbaby is a possible alternative but I would very much like to achieve higher quality in the area of focus.

I found that Zoerk manufacturers a tilt lens that can be adapted to 35 mm cameras, including digital (www.zoerk.com, see also http://www.zoerk.com/pages/p_mfs.htm).

The questions I have are:

1.- Is it possible to achieve the selective focus that Mark Tucker gets with a dSLR?
2.- Is the zoerk system a solution?
3.- If the zoerk system works what is the lens that will work better with the tilt adapter (should I use the enlarger lenses, medium format lenses?)
4.- Any other option besides the zoerk system?

Is a medium format capable to achieve this selective focus without using specialized lenses? (I have never used a medium format camera). I would love to have a medium format camera back and camera system but at today's prices I can't afford one ... when they drop below $5000 I probably will consider one ...

Thanks for your feedback. It is highly appreciated.

Miguel
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2006, 11:46:50 AM »
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Mr Tucker achieves his look by jimmy-rigging a loupe to his MF camera that can be adjusted with some rails (all held together with liquid nails).

That Zork lens looks like it could do a similar effect as could a much more affordable Lens Baby.
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dcmiller
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2006, 04:08:50 PM »
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Canon TSE lenses
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2006, 11:16:00 PM »
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Mark uses a lot of different gear, and is a Photoshop wizard to boot. I imagine he's done it a lot of different ways.

My favorite is the plungercam, but I think he's retired that.

He uses the H1 and P25 combo now, as well as a 1Ds Mk II. I don't think he's been able to bring himself to superglue anything to either of those cameras.  

The best way to accomplish that look on a DSLR is to use a lens with tilt capability. In the Canon world, that would mean a 24mm, 45mm, or 90mm TSE lens.

Now if only we could get Mark to come join this forum! I've missed him since his departure from RG.

Sheldon
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bwpuk
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2006, 05:08:49 AM »
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Apart from all the gear what hasn't been mentioned is his eye, heart, mind and a fair amount of genius !  That shines through his pictures more than the equipment he uses. In my humble opinion.
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James Godman
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2006, 06:56:07 PM »
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Hello everyone-

Its very interesting that there seems to be so much interest in Mark Tucker's images.  They are beautiful!  I have even tried to use some similar techniques in a few of my photos, but they're not nearly as nice as  Mark's!  What I was trying to achieve in my own attempts, was to create a photograph that has some sort of natural beauty, something akin to what film brings;  a randomness that is hard to describe and even harder to duplicate.  

The layered textures also seem to help with this natural feel, as well as doing various blur layers and adding grain.

But his life experiences and sensibilities are inevitably what make his images work.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2006, 02:04:04 AM »
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You can approach a similar style using the lens blur filter in Photoshop. The basic steps are:

1/ Add a layer mask.
2/ In the layer mask paint in the areas you want to be in and out of focus, using a grey gradient to give a progressively more out of focus area.
3/ Apply the lens blur filter using the layer mask to set the depth. Adjust the settings to get the desired effect.

The controls on the lens blur filter can be a bit hit/miss and so an iterative process may be required to get something acceptable that doesn't look too overcooked.

David Hockney also has images using a similar style.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
free1000
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2006, 10:37:31 AM »
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I use TS-E lenses mostly with Canon.

However you can use the Ultima 35 which is not cheap, but allows movements with all sorts of lenses. I have one and it works well for focal lengths of 35mm and up.

Or there is a Horseman view camera which mounts 35dslr's as well.

All of these work, but the full view camera is most flexible and most expensive.

For selective focus, the TS-E's tilt has the side effect of changing the perspective a lot, this is irritating, more akin to rear plane tilt with a view camera. With a view camera no problem, you can tilt the front standard and change focal plane more controllably.

Lens baby is fun for a day, then all the pictures  just look like lensbabies. Horrible OOF quality.

With a view cam and a bit of sticky tape you can pretty much attach any light modifying device to the front standard. But watch out, the techniques quickly look a bit mannered.
 
The OOF quality of the image is everything to me. Thats why I think the 90 TS-E has the edge and comes closest to what I get with a view cam with selective focus.

Lens blur with photoshop can work, sort of, but to me it just looks like an effect.  I want to make photographs, not push pixels around. Its a subtle difference, but its a real difference.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2006, 10:40:54 AM by free1000 » Logged

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