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Thread: Petroglyphs

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,205

    Petroglyphs

    I have an assignment to photograph some this weekend, the prints are for a conference room. B&W.

    They are pecked out of the patina on typical basalt outcroppings. The difference between the light figures and the dark rock patina isn't (when measured) quite so much as you'd think looking at them. The basalt patina is very dark brown, in some cases I think it has a little muddy red in it, but it is subtle. The pecked out parts are just a lighter brown.

    So filter suggestions to bring out the light figures and make them stand out? Blue filter? Green filter? If you just boost contrast when printing the other parts of the rock get too granular in appearance for me.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Chapel Hill NC
    Posts
    295

    Re: Petroglyphs

    Kevin,
    The difference is 2/3 of a stop, so no not much difference. No filter is going to give you that much of a difference. Are you using film or digital? If film you could PM me for some tech pan. Other strategies are a long exposure to get increased contrast, increasing development, and higher contrast paper. I have used all of these.

    You could also try contacting Don Kirby with this question.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Les
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    727

    Re: Petroglyphs

    Not sure where you are going to take those images, but V. of Fire is quite accessible for this (not perfect)....near Canyonlands is another option. You could easily improvise the lighting....a bright flashlight or video light (on batt) on the stick....and you can record it w/digital to see how many seconds is enough. That will also give you a clue where the light should pointed for the best effect.

    Les

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    3,848

    Re: Petroglyphs

    Definitely work out an exposure that allows long development for higher contrast.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Norwalk Ca.
    Posts
    654

    Re: Petroglyphs

    Just thinking about lith printing and solarization , Bob Carney has made some beautiful prints using these and other techniques.

  6. #6
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,115

    Re: Petroglyphs

    Have you studied John Wimberley's work on this? He designed a film developer, WD2H+, just for high contrast with FP4+ for use imaging petroglyphs. It gives up to N+4 development with good control.

    Tech Pan is another route, but that film has been gone for a couple decades, so unless you have a freezer full.... I'm using Ilford Ortho Plus now for my high contrast needs. It's very interesting film (although there seems to be a national shortage of it now), but I don't yet have its high contrast characteristics dialed in yet. Best of luck, EW

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    on the banks of the Potomac
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    2,238

    Re: Petroglyphs

    Are the petroglyphs incised into the rock? If so, raking light would help.

  8. #8
    lab black
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    97

    Re: Petroglyphs

    P.M. sent
    "We work in the dark, we do what we can, we give what we have."
    Henry James

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    49

    Re: Petroglyphs

    I've had pretty good results shooting in color, scanning the transparencies, and fine-tuning the scans in photoshop with conversion to B&W. Some photoshop skills would be helpful.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
    Posts
    3,317

    Re: Petroglyphs

    2nd John Wimberley. Very nice.

    You may not have the time to experiment. But 'twere me, I might try popping the whites by selenium toning a negative with about a 1 to 5 (Se to H2O) solution.

    I read that John Sexton Se tones his negatives. So, I gave it a try with a negative taken in a very low contrast, concrete room that had white "streaks" in the deteriorating walls. I couldn't get the whites to stand out like I wanted.

    It worked beautifully.

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