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Thread: how to achieve this tonality

  1. #1

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    how to achieve this tonality

    Can you help me please? I'm trying to make 6x9 contact prints that have kind of this look:
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    (photographer Zjeżdżałka)
    or
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    (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!

  2. #2
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: how to achieve this tonality

    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 for those with modern lenses. With those you still shoot 'on the toe'. More if your search isn't successful.

  3. #3
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: how to achieve this tonality

    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?
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  4. #4
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: how to achieve this tonality

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    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.

  5. #5

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    Re: how to achieve this tonality

    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

  6. #6
    Tim Sandstrom
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    Re: how to achieve this tonality

    "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

  7. #7
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: how to achieve this tonality

    I like the Avatar, Jac!
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  8. #8

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    Re: how to achieve this tonality

    Quote Originally Posted by radek View Post
    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-co...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/peterd...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

  9. #9

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    Re: how to achieve this tonality

    shoot when it's foggy or overcast

  10. #10
    multi format
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    Re: how to achieve this tonality

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTang View Post
    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!

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