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Thread: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

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    Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    What's the consensus on developing bracketed shots, one at .5, one at the meter reading and one at 4 X of the light meter reading. Is there a preference or advantage, for developing them all together in one run, or doing them individually?

    I maybe can see one argument for doing them individually, that would be to make adjustments after the first one (light meter reading version) based on the initial result. However given they are exposed at different times is this missing the point of bracketing in the first place.


    Colin

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    Re: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    Doing a film test + developing calibration, and learning to meter well is the next step beyond....

    Start doing your homework, because that's where you want to go...

    One shot, one sheet is in your future...

    Steve K

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    Re: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    Your dilutions and development practices will be different for batch processing than for single sheet processing. So you kind of have to make up your mind which you want to do.

    Bracketing assumes you have standardized your development for multiple sheets and are looking for the EI you want to expose at based on the way you meter. You can still decided to increase/decrease exposure for a scene based on the subject brightness range and where you wish to place your shadows and highlights.

    I now prefer to meter all scenes roughly the same way, make a decision about which zones are used, then adjust development for single sheets.
    When unsure of expansion/contraction for a particular shot, I may make two copies at same exposure and then adjust development as needed for second sheet.
    The mountain waters of North Georgia call out to me, I visit and leave only tripod holes behind. The Appalachian Trail is my treadmill and gym.
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    Re: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin D View Post
    Is there a preference or advantage, for developing them all together in one run, or doing them individually?
    You may develop sheets consecutively if you have a doubt on what will result.

    For example if you could not meter well the scene because light was changing quickly, night photography, having to use faulty shutter, expired film. And of course you can do it for learning the effect.

    While with rolls a photographer may make a bracketing if having a doubt, IMHO serious LF photographers tend to make 2 exposures with same settings of the same scene, to have a backup. Ansel Adams complained that he only could take a shot of the Moonrise (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonri...ez,_New_Mexico) because light changed...

    So IMHO it's common that LF photographers want a (near crazy) amount of control in their process.

    Nothing wrong in making a sequential development to see if the next sheet has to be developed less to preserve highlights, or to agitate less. This is also a very good way to learn, but I also think that a you should practice with film calibration to feel the limits of the medium and to learn to obtain the exact negative you want with confidence.

    I would recommend a reading of "Beyond the Zone Systerm" and "Darkroom Cookbook" (very cheap, used), these books have helped me a lot to learn.

  5. #5
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin D View Post
    What's the consensus on developing bracketed shots, one at .5, one at the meter reading and one at 4 X of the light meter reading.
    Small format thinking. If you're coming to LF from smaller formats, it's quasi-normal to try to apply your old workflow to your new format. But... LF doesn't really work that way.

    The LF way is to learn what you need to know about exposure and development so that you never need expose more than one sheet to get what you want. You can't "spray and pray" in LF. In LF you have to think. This is one of the reasons people come to LF, and I think it's probably why so many stay with LF. It's surely not because LF is more convenient!

    So take the time to think about what you're trying to accomplish, make exactly one exposure to accomplish that goal, bring it back to the darkroom and process it. Evaluate it on the light table and decide whether you accomplished your goal or not. If not, figure out what you did wrong, learn from it, and apply that knowledge on the next exposure. Rinse and repeat until it's second nature.

    Works for me. YMMV of course.

    Bruce Watson

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    Re: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    I don't bracket in the way you would with roll film but my sop is to take two sheets per photo and adjust accordingly after processing one, if it needed it. If the photograph is particularly important or unrepeatable, I will more often than not, shoot two more but over expose by one stop, as I would rather be over than under.
    notch codes ? where we're going, we don't need notch codes.

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    Re: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    I definitely develop separately.

    I will pull alternate sheets from a Grafmatic when I go to develop, because similar shots are next to each other.

    That gives me a chance to fix any problem with the first shots I develop.

  8. #8
    Les
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    Re: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    I'd do them individually, so long you give the same dev time. The second time (if you're doing two) you may have to adjust for slow/er shutter or if you decide to change the ISO's vs what's printed on the film box or any other variable. It should be down the hill once you determine where the "standard" is....and then you can deviate.

    Les

  9. #9

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    Re: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    Just to be clear, I don't bracket now, but was reading a book that suggested it. Not likely to do it for the reasons most of you mention. LF is a different process and because I do strictly studio work I can control what happens.


    Colin

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    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Developing Bracketed Shots Then Developing Together or Individually

    On long photographic trips I often bracketed 35mm. Film was a small part of the travel cost. Also, there was no way to predict the image characteristics that the future might demand. Developing 80 rolls of film was no more tiresome than some long drives in the Great American West.

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