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radek
6-Jul-2017, 13:11
Can you help me please? I'm trying to make 6x9 contact prints that have kind of this look:
166950

166951
(photographer Zjeżdżałka)
or
166952
(photographer Bogdan Konopka)
I didn't manage to achieve it so far :( My prints are either flat or too contrasty and I would like to start again trying to develop the appropriate negative. Do you have any suggestions for film (preferably Kodak) and development to start with?
Thank you very much!

Jac@stafford.net
6-Jul-2017, 14:06
There are several approaches, this is one. Search for 'exposing on the toe'. It is about controlled underexposing to the left side of an exposure response curve - for films that have such. I don't know how to translate that to digital terms. Also, there are the largely disregarded Tiffen brand UItra Contrast filters (https://tiffen.com/contrast-filters/) for those with modern lenses. With those you still shoot 'on the toe'. More if your search isn't successful.

Peter De Smidt
6-Jul-2017, 14:39
Have you tried using your normal film exposure and development and printing the image down, i.e. giving more exposure, to the print, perhaps using a softish grade of paper or VC filter?

Jac@stafford.net
6-Jul-2017, 14:54
Have you tried using your normal film exposure and development and printing the image down, i.e. giving more exposure, to the print, perhaps using a softish grade of paper or VC filter?

Good ideas, however note the low resolution, light cast into shadows which contribute to the effect. My simple opinion, Peter.

radek
6-Jul-2017, 15:22
Thank you for your responses :) I tried to print the image down but then I loose shadow details or when I use softer grade I loose microcontrast and get muddy highlights. I saw an exhibition of one of the phtotographers I 'cited' here and his images are full of dark and mid- tones and yet they glow.
Jac@stafford.net I'll check on the Internet your advice of 'printing on the toe' because I don't exactly know what it means :o

dasBlute
6-Jul-2017, 15:26
"My prints are either flat or too contrasty"

Sounds like you already have a negative with enough information, i.e.
enough detail in the shadows and highlights that are not too dense.
Maybe you need to be more subtle in your printing technique. Keep printing.
I'll bet Bogdan has printed a long time to achieve that look :)

In general. I find the exposure time to get the highlights and upper mids right, then use contrast to set the darks.
Sometimes I resort to split-filtered methods if some areas need additional contrast adjustment.

Thanks for sharing his work, it is quite beautiful,

-Tim

Peter De Smidt
6-Jul-2017, 15:28
I like the Avatar, Jac!

Pere Casals
6-Jul-2017, 15:35
I'm trying to make 6x9 contact prints that have kind of this look:


Hello Ragek,

Konopka is Polish, but I feel some French style in these images. (just my personal feel)

What basicly I see in this images is shadow compression, so shades are conserving detail but taking an smaller share of available dynamic range on the print, so we also have a midtone expansion.

Beyond giving a recipe, I'd recommend you to read Beyond The Zone System book, first half of the book explains how scene light levels are translated to density levels in the print. This is the key to understand how one has to expose, develop and print to get a particular result.

To compress your shadows you have two possibilities, one is placing your shadows in the toe of the negative, the other is to place the shadows in the shoulder of the print. This is exposing to place that areas in the non linear zone of the curves, both in the negative case and/or the print. Then you also have to select the right film development grade, the paper grade, and the right paper exposure.

A way to get the right print cooking is to seek paper exposure for the scene lights, and then to increase contrast (with the contrast filters) until you have your shadows dense enough, while correcting a bit exposure if needed.

https://www.ilfordphoto.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Contrast-control-for-Ilford-Multigrade.pdf

There are other helping techniques. One is to add a toe cutter to film developer, like Benzotriazole. You can also use Xtol+Rodinal mix,this is one of the few mixes of developers I consider. Here you have a Flickr group about it https://www.flickr.com/groups/819042@N23/

A good photographer that uses that mix it is Mr Peter de Graaf :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterdegraaff/27507083203/in/dateposted/

This is made by adding some concentrated rodinal (1.25ml per 4x5 sheet) to 1:3 diluted xtol, and developing for the 1:3 diluted Xtol time. Mr De Graaf told me (as I asked) : "Adding a little Rodinal to Xtol seems to improve contrast and give deeper blacks. It is worthwhile experimenting."


I'd also suggest first you try to get that look by editing curves in photoshop, so you'll get an idea of how you have to work the print in the darkroom, or to process the negative.


Regards,
Pere

DrTang
7-Jul-2017, 06:56
shoot when it's foggy or overcast

jnanian
7-Jul-2017, 10:14
shoot when it's foggy or overcast

i think so too,
over expose and a little extra time in the developer
and then split filter with 00+5

have fun!

javierternero
7-Jul-2017, 10:43
It seems to me that he starts with a contrasty negative and printed using a diffuser enlarger. Then the prints gets also some kind of toning, (selenium?)
Beautiful prints.

Doremus Scudder
7-Jul-2017, 10:56
The look is a combination of soft lighting, full exposure and rather full development. Using a film with a long toe, like 320TriX will help.

Doremus

Ulophot
8-Jul-2017, 07:57
Above, Jac noted the low resolution and "light cast into shadows." This suggests the use of diffusion in the englarging process, which spreads the areas of higher light intensity (i.e., the thinnest areas of the negative, shadows) into the adjacent areas. This can be accomplished in various ways. 35mm master photojournalist w. Eugene Smith used a piece of matte-black-sprayed aluminum window screen or a piece of nylon women's stocking stretched over a small round frame, held under the lens for some part of the exposure. In his case, he was using it primarily to take the edge off 1950-'60's Tri-X grain, but it it was also coherent with his larger vision. One can also use a sheet of tracing paper directly over the print surface to create a stronger affect. In all cases, the diffusion must be kept in motion while in use.

bob carnie
8-Jul-2017, 08:23
This is a method I use for Blacks

In the split print I will use lower grade to set the tones, and with the 5 filter I will use a pictrol or black nylon for some or all of the exposure.

radek
8-Jul-2017, 08:56
I do appreciate your help! Thank you very much :) It seems there are many ways to get what I want. I was suggested to shoot on the toe, but I cannot find any informative articles on the Internet on this subject- can somebody briefly explain me what it means? Someone also suggested overexposure and full development- aren't they both contradictory suggestions? BTW I saw an interview with Konopka and he said his negatives are rather underexposed. With contact printing- the examples in my link are contact prints- it is impossible to diffuse the light through any screens under the enlarging lens. Maybe I should use special lens (vintage one?) on my camera to obtain similar effect? So many questions... Once again, thanks for your help, and I'll be grateful for furher ideas :)

Pere Casals
8-Jul-2017, 10:36
I do appreciate your help! Thank you very much :) It seems there are many ways to get what I want. I was suggested to shoot on the toe, but I cannot find any informative articles on the Internet on this subject- can somebody briefly explain me what it means? Someone also suggested overexposure and full development- aren't they both contradictory suggestions? BTW I saw an interview with Konopka and he said his negatives are rather underexposed. With contact printing- the examples in my link are contact prints- it is impossible to diffuse the light through any screens under the enlarging lens. Maybe I should use special lens (vintage one?) on my camera to obtain similar effect? So many questions... Once again, thanks for your help, and I'll be grateful for furher ideas :)

With normal development (time that shows film datasheet with D-76), by ISO speed definition, areas that are 3.3 stops underexposed are in the toe.

Just take a SLR like Nikon F80 using a 50mm prime, use spot meter mode. What is underexposed 3 stops is in the toe:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=166063&d=1497314127


At left of Point (4) you have the toe, for an scene point to be in the point 4 is has to he underexposed exactly 3.3 stops (if normal "developer", usually D-76 is taken as the reference).


Particular film toe length, your metering, developing and shutter accuracy may make a difference, so here you have a suggestion:

With an SLR ( F80... ) use same film than you are to use with LF camera. Make test shots of a significative test escene, and make a bracketing:select shadow interesting areas and underexpose these areas (see it with F80 spot meter) -1.5, -2, -2.5, -3 and -3.5, for example, then you'll have an start point. For different film/process you may need to adjust the underexposure level of shadow areas.

From that I recommend you a deep reading of Beyond The Zone System book (for example) to learn how to master practical sensitometry.


Regards


Note that a 50mm DSLR prime has mostly the same light loss than a LF lens, also consider bellows extension exposure compensation to compare SLR to LF exposure.

Note that from point (5) to point (4) you have 10x less light, so 3.3 stops. Point 5 is the right exposure point for a conventional photometer, this is it would read +/-0 in the F80 spot photometer, the right exposure...

Jac@stafford.net
8-Jul-2017, 11:22
I do recall one LF photographer who over-exposed and over-developed for a similar effect. That's shooting on the top right slope. I'm not brave enough to try it.

And I'm missing POP paper! Haven't seen any for decades.

esearing
20-Jul-2017, 04:26
Flash the paper to "dull" the highlights and use split grade to control the shadows.