Film Photography Vintage Portrait for wall display

Photographed on 4x5 film in my studio.  Hand processed.  Scanned as a 104 megapixel image.

Photographed on 4x5 film in my studio.  Hand processed.  Scanned as a 104 megapixel image.

Why enlarge your photographs to large sizes?  Come into my office and compare a small print like a 4x6 inch print or even an 8x10 to a more substantive image that is 16x20 or larger.

The larger print will almost always appear more impressive and have a commanding visual and graphic quality.  Also a small print looks almost ridiculously small on a typical wall of a nice home or the lobby of a professional building.

When you go to an art gallery or museum do you see a wall with hundreds of snapshot images or a few impressive, large images?

And why do I often emphasize black and white, instead of color?  Black and white is CLASSIC ART photography. It has existed much longer than color photography. It shows the shapes of objects and light (the heart of photography) much better than color usually does.  Most of the photography images in museums, galleries, etc are black and white.

There is a history of black and white photography.  Many artists, including Ansel Adams, Irving Penn (now on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton and more, had the option to shoot color film. For most subjects they choose black and white film. And those black and white images made them famous and are the photographs we remember. Also many fine art photographers today still choose to use film. 

The pleasure of viewing large format portraits is often cited by major collectors of photographs. Seeing beautiful images, displayed at an appropriate size.  Seeing original artwork, beautifully printed and framed, cannot be equaled by the fleeting images you see on a TV set or in a magazine and especially the tiny images on your phone.

Years ago a few people had paintings commissioned, often to mark their success and influence. The new trend is to commission fine art photography, since it is more modern and shows a better likeness of the individual.  Of course a great photographer will make an image that is very flattering, makes a statement of success and is elegant, yet maintains the classic values of a painting.

I like the word, elegance.  It sums up so many things. Graceful, classic, taste, sophistication, refinement, luxury, allure, glamour and more. Much as sophisticated people purchase fine cars and luxury products, from Gucci, Rolex and other brands, you should consider a large fine art portrait to display at your home.

Fine portraits for wall display, have much in common with luxury brands. Only a few photographers, in the country, offer large format film photography for portrait customers. The work is mostly handmade and carefully crafted.  Years of experience is required to gain the skill needed to produce this level of quality. And a level of taste and sophistication is needed. Very few photographers have the talent for accept this challenge.  

To give an analogy, some women can sew, but few can design, find the perfect material, sew, and then create a gown that you will love at a red carpet event. And that will be the perfect fit for the subject and enhance the person's beauty, as well.

So, when the time comes for you to commission a photographer for your portrait, please call Allan Castle to consult on the image you want created. To receive great quality, requires an expert who will provide the needed time, materials, expertise and service you deserve.


I've attached a separate shot to show the incredible quality possible with large format film photography.  This image is a small section of a print that would be about 4 x 5 FEET. This photograph could be enlarged to almost any size and still maintain sharpness and beautiful tones.  

Compare this to the full image at the top of this article. At a normal viewing distance of several feet you don't see the grain (natural texture) of the film, just the beautiful tonality and sharpness.

Section of a 4 x 5 FEET print.  Notice the incredible sharpness.

Section of a 4 x 5 FEET print.  Notice the incredible sharpness.