View Full Version : N- Development

26-Jan-2014, 10:34

I have been trying to retain detail in the highlights, while properly exposing shadow areas. Trying the old tech where you expose for the "S" and dev for the "H". Here is my application of whatever i learned, Still no detail in the highlight area of the pot.

I metered the back wall, which is very dark grey. The meter reading was 2 and the highlight which was the right side of the pot where the evening sun was hitting was 11 on the meter. So a five stop difference. I visualised the back wall as zone IV and pot highlight side zone VII. I over exposed by two stops, so that i get enough exposure and the developed by N-2 (four mins at 20 deg, film was Ilford fp4, 125). Hoping N-2 would bring the highlight portion from zone IX back to VII but I guess it is still at IX no detail. Any thoughts? Btw this is after some curve adjustments.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2841/12155591633_417e4be3d3.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/february71/12155591633/)
Evening sun (http://www.flickr.com/photos/february71/12155591633/) by february71 (http://www.flickr.com/people/february71/), on Flickr


26-Jan-2014, 11:04

I suggest you try a developer that works well in high dilutions... Rodinal at 1:100 or Pyrocat diluted 1:1:200 works very well on compaction development. For example, I personally use Pyrocat 1:1:200 on a Jobo...I use 18 minutes @70 degrees...and get full shadows....and the highlights remain translucent.

When you take a standard developer like D76 and simply cut back time...you lose speed and the range is kind of muddy...and you likely will have uneveness issues as well. On the long highly dilute developments, the shadows keep strengthen, but the highlights quickly exhaust.





Jim Noel
26-Jan-2014, 11:22
HC 110 at higher dilution levels also does a good job of compaction. Look at Ray McSavaney's images inside the US Royal tire factory. He used 1 oz of syrup in 128 oz of water with very slow agitation in a tray.

26-Jan-2014, 11:28
Raffay -
You certainly grasped the idea of Zone system manipulation, but I am a little confused by your description, and your math. First off, it you mentioned metering the right side of the pot, but your highlight is clearly on the left. And, if your numbers imply EV values, then you have a 9 stop difference between EV 2 and EV 11.
If your goal was to maintain highlight and shadow detail, I think you've achieved that goal. In fact, maybe you overdid the contraction because, to my eye, your print looks a little flat (which would be impressive for a 10 stop scene). On my monitor, I do see some detail in the left side of the pot, and the "very dark grey" wall looks to be about Zone IV. In my opinion, and without the benefit of seeing an actual print, I think you could have let the wall drop a little in value and maybe even raised the side of the pot, and you'd end up with a more dynamic print.
Finally, Don Kirby taught me that it is sometimes better to allow more global contrast in a negative so as to maintain local contrast, especially when you have one confined area that could be relatively easily burned in. What I understood him to mean was that you develop for more contrast, then correct the one or two blown out highlights in the printing stage. In this case, that might have meant more normal exposure and development of your negative, then burning in the side of the pot in the printing.
Good luck in your quest.