Another look: AKAI KAGEBOSHI

I think these still from the other Red Shadow, Akai Kageboshi, almost look better in B&W. The details of these astounding costumes are brought out better in higher contrast than they were in their decaying sepia-toned originals, which made up THE very first post ever on VN, back in June of 2009.

Y'know, almost a year ago I called this my favorite picture in my collection, and damn its still 100% true!

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Posted in Art and Advertising April 30, 2010 at 8:49 am.

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Another look: KAIKETSU KUROZUKIN

The cambara Lone Ranger looks pretty damn cool in B&W, too, like something off a Saturday matinee serial reel. Although the color originals of these images, first seen here in August of 2009, are absolutely stunning.

Kurotokagi has a great selection of Black Hood films from several decades – I recommend them all…

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Posted in Film and TV April 28, 2010 at 9:03 am.

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Another look: CASTLE OF OWLS

In looking at repurposing color images for B&W print ads, I tried to look for zones of photos that weren’t necessarily the original focus. Blowing up some of these areas produced a lot more grain, which when thrown into B&W makes these old Castle of Owls photos look even older. Love this detail above from the color original first seen here in September 2009.

As much as the print production artist in me loves the historical connection made by these mechanical pencil lines on the press photos, used by mural painters my guess, they are a real drag when you want to really see the image.

Flipped and tightened this one. Y'know, CASTLE OF OWLS would have made a damn good B&W movie.

I will never get tired of this image, in any form.

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Posted in Art and Advertising April 27, 2010 at 8:39 am.

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Another look: SENGOKU YARO

Couple weeks ago I was poking around with some B&W print ads using imagery from my Thai press kit collection – converting the decaying colors into more contrasty greyscale, exploring new crops, bringing out the grain and textures of the paper more, etc.

The results turn out to be a pretty interesting second look at some of the first stuff I ever did on VN, so I thought I’d share. This first batch is from Sengoku Yaro (Warring Clans), the color originals of which were featured back in June of 2009.

These particular exercises were in COMPOSITION.

The original full frame - a decent action shot, but lacks a real focus. You can, however...

...break this scene down in two different ways - one centering on actor Yuzo Kayama, the other...

...on the non-descript ninja he's about to dispatch. A whole different context.

The composition of this Yuriko Hoshi challenge pose is already great, but once again composition can hone in and change contexts.

This detail is actually a nifty little image on its own.

And this crop lets you see more of the hottie starlet, while still conveying the notion she's surrounded but defiant.

I also worked on some familiar images from Castle of Owls, Red Shadow and The Black Hood, all coming up over the course of the week.

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Posted in Art and Advertising April 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm.

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Unknown Hoods – Part 3

I have three antique sepia-toned photos from Japan featuring ninja and hooded heroes that neither I nor the sellers I liberated them from can identify. Anyone who helps me out will get a giant toad’s worth of gratitude from both me and the shinobifile community at large.

Here’s mystery photo #3:

Aren’t they just adorable…

This studio press pic actually has markings, unlike the previous two:

The seller translated this is “Shin Tokudaiji (actor) and Kizuru Takachio – movie name ‘Fu-un Hachiman-Ki’ 1953.” But I’d like a second opinion if anyone has a translation to offer…

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Posted in Film and TV March 13, 2010 at 9:50 am.

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Unknown Hoods – Part 2

I have three antique sepia-toned photos from Japan featuring ninja and hooded heroes that neither I nor the sellers I liberated them from can identify. Anyone who helps me out will get a giant toad’s worth of gratitude from both me and the shinobifile community at large.

Here’s mystery photo #2:

I have a feeling this is a silent-era showdown. Here’s details of the masked rivals:

Guessing this is the heel. The more eye make-up, the more evil… Below would then be the hero?

Could well be this is a posed theatrical promo instead of a movie still. Any info would be greatly appreciated amigos…

One more shot coming tomorrow.

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Posted in Film and TV March 12, 2010 at 9:40 am.

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Unknown Hoods – Part 1

I have three antique sepia-toned photos from Japan featuring ninja and hooded heroes that neither I nor the sellers I liberated them from can identify. Anyone who helps me out will get a giant toad’s worth of gratitude from both me and the shinobifile community at large.

Here’s mystery photo #1:

The seller identified this as being from a 1953 version of Castle of Owls, but that just doesn’t jibe. The Ryotaro Shiba novel Fukuro no Shiro wasn’t written until ’59, and I believe the 1963 classic was the first time it was adapted. Maybe I’m full of it though…

Here’s a close-up of the stars. Anyone? Anyone???

Two more pics coming in the next two days.

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Posted in Film and TV March 11, 2010 at 9:23 am.

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