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I shot a seen accidently with 400 film at 100 asa; 2 stops overexposed. There wa s a range of 3.5 stops in the scene. The scene was dark with only a few highligh ts. Before I develop this sheet, what can I do to get the best neg considering t he circumstances? Thanks for all replies, chet
I would say underdevelop (n-1 or n-2) and you will probably get a decent neg. Your highlights are going to be what the development will affect. Development really won't do anything to your shadows but you'll probably have really nice detail in them and they can always be printed down. Good luck!
Sorry, I have to correct myself. Development will affect your shadows but they are generally fully developed in the first few minutes so use development time to control your highlights.
With the fairly flat scene you describe, you have actually exposed pretty close. You have plenty of exposure in the shadows, so there ought to be good detail. A normal development ought to bring up the highlights without blocking them. If y ou find you want the highlights a bit brighter, a contrastier paper grade should handle it with no problem. If you are really worried, you can cut the developme nt by a minute or so, to limit how heavy the highlights go, without compromising the shadows. Keep some notes, and you are already on the way to using the zone system.
You got lucky! When shooting scenes with a high brightness range, my standard technique (for roll film anyway) is to overexpose 2 stops and pull my development about 30%. This gives a nice flat negative with plenty of shadow detail and very printable highlights. If you want more contrast you can always get it in printing.
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