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Thread: Taking a class and now totally baffled

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Suwanee, GA
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    581

    Re: Taking a class and now totally baffled

    Nigel's explanation is correct - it takes more time to extend the contrast from N+1 to N+2, but for initial ball park testing you can used fixed periods. You must also factor in dilute developer exhaustion for long periods of time and your agitation scheme comes into play with highlight tones. When I did my tests of Pyrocat and EMA dilution I eventually arrived at development time ranges not fixed times. N 21-23 , N+ 24-25 N+1 26-30. You can always decide to do a little expansion or a lot of expansion as you gain experience, then your decisions in the field at time of exposure become more relevant.

    Things to ask yourself:
    Is your subject brightness range or EV range 2 or 3 or 5 or 8 stops - what would you do differently
    Where do you place your darkest tones and where do the highlights then fall - Why
    Will it be necessary to expand contrast for middle tones and yet try to maintain highlights
    Are you processing a single 4x5 sheet vs a Roll (8x10 equivalent, 4 4x5 sheets) and does the amount of developer in your tank need to be the same for both?
    Agitation - less / more when to use which
    Temperature - are 20+ minute times too long for your patience level? Maybe 72 vs 68 is better for you but what does that do to your developer (some like it hot)
    What contrast do you even like in a negative - your tastes will change and it may depend on whether you wet print or scan.
    Does the film you chose match your vision - would FP4+work better than Delta/Tmax edginess. 100 vs 400 speed and why?
    Then you can consider the tonal separation using filters, lens flare properties due to coated not coated, fstop selection , light fall off on wider lenses, and so much more.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    10

    Re: Taking a class and now totally baffled

    Thanks for the explanation, Nigel Smith. Much appreciated.

    esearing, I understand what you're saying.

    I'm giving myself two years to feel like I'm ready to do the series I envision and am comfortable with not knowing if two years is even enough time. I'm a longform sort of person. In photography, process matters---the how and why of it, for me, anyway, so your example questions are good ones to consider. I especially liked the one about patience, as in, do I have enough to manage 20+ minutes. Ironic considering I'm working in 4x5 specifically because I get to slow down and consider what I'm doing and why, and feel my feelings and all that.

    I am not by nature a patient person, as in, instant gratification isn't fast enough. And yet I work in longform as a novelist and motion picture, and have been quite smitten with 4x5 film photography. Weird.

  3. #23
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Marietta Ga. East Cobb.
    Posts
    601

    Re: Taking a class and now totally baffled

    A very old technique in portraiture to darken skin tones, used mainly for masculine portraits is the use of a green filter. This may accentuate scarring a bit too much so a light green may be a good fit if you can find it.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    10

    Re: Taking a class and now totally baffled

    Thanks, Gary Beasley. Filters are on the list for a variety of experimentation and I'll keep this one in mind.

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