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Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Aggie, May 12, 2003.
if this is a halation effect, no development can reverse it. The film is locally exposed due to stray light thru the film base. How does this bleeding look like? "Bleeding" is usually an effect where highlights are "washed out" in one certain direction. If that happens in any direction, it is most probably a halation effect. You may do the following:
- Try another film. E.g. T-Max is a good performer in this case. Avoid film with clear base
- Use a larger film format. The effect of halation is absolute depending on the amount of light. I.e. for a certain amount of light, the circle of halation is e.g. 1mm. This has less effect on the print the larger the negative is (i.e. the lower the mag-ratio is).
d-23 straight for 5 or 6 minutes and 2% solution of Kodalk (this is balanced alkali... 20 Mule Team will work also as it is borax) for 4 or 5 minutes. Give an extra stop worth of exposure to support the shadow area and hope. If I read your post correctly you are talking about that seen you posted that was washed out in the outside part of the scene. Is that correct? Someone mentioned using a larger format and that will help. Also, if you don't have the ability to mix d-23 use Microdol-x and Kodalk.
I started this message as a reply to Ole in the rotary development thread but it is clearly more appropriate here.
In my opinion halation and infectious development are related phenomena in the type of situation described earlier by Aggie.
Halation is light scattering either through the emulsion, or off the base of the film or glass support and back into the emulsion. However, the immediate result of halation is a latent image that is only made visible by the action of a reducer during develoment. For that reason it is correct to veiw these two actions as related since type of develoment can either decrease or increase the effects of halation. So the bottom line is the type of development can actually increase or decrease the effects of halation by limiting the extent of infectious development.
There is some literature which shows that Pyroc developers, which harden the gelatin more than other developers, and thereby establih a barrier to the migratin of silver halides, are more effective than non-hardening developers in redcuing the effects of halation through infectious development. Gordon Hutchings says something about this the his Book of Pyro.
I don't understand why Aggie's friend recommended againt the use of a Pyro developer in the type of situation extreme highlight/shadow situation she described since most of the literature, including Hutchings, suggests that staining/hardening developers actually work better than traditional developers in this type of situation.
Aggie, your problem is very common with settings that have a great contrast range and testing has not been done for this type of situations. When you take this kind of pictures if the develpement is not right on. As you experienced the highlights get grossly overdeveloped and infectious development occurs.
There is nothing outside of testing that will help you for this. I am guessing you needed something like N-3 or so to render the window correctly. So next time you might want to try lowering your EI to half or even 2/3 less and dvelop for 40% less time. IOW, if you use an EI of 400, lower it to 200 or 120 and develop for 40% less. What this does is record the shadows and gives less time for the developer to act on the highlights.
The best way I have seen this done is by the BTZS method. Dick Arentz in his book has many prints made of negatives with extreme contrast range and this is the method he uses. I have been succesful in a couple of situations similar to yours using this method. OTOH, I kind of like the "halo" effect......good luck, hope this helps.
I was kind of hoping Les McLean would show up here... He has some beautiful examples in his book. He even shows the same negative (well - three different frames with the same exposure) developed in three different developers. No difference in the "spillover" from what I can see!
The factors contributing to this are:
3: Hydroquinone acceleration.
3 is related to infectious development in that both are caused by the reaction products of hydroquinone being more active than HQ itself, but that's as far as the similarity goes. Infectious development would lead to totally featureless, blacked-out highlights; which is not what's happening here (got a scan, Aggie?).
Since the spillover is seen with all developers, not only those containing hydroquinone, I assume this is a minor factor.
Halation and flare are more difficult to control by chemistry...
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (OleTj @ May 12 2003, 05:51 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> I was kind of hoping Les McLean would show up here... He has some beautiful examples in his book. He even shows the same negative (well - three different frames with the same exposure) developed in three different developers. No difference in the "spillover" from what I can see!
The examples that Ole refers too are;
Compensating development, where a normal developer is very much diluted and development extended. Bruce Barnbaum uses this for many of his interior or slot canyon photographs. In the example in the book I didn't feel that it was too successful.
Pyro development, better than compensating but still not my ideal answer to the problem.
Tetenal Neofin Duku, a genuine soft working film developer which achieved what I set out to do, that is, produce a very soft negative both to deal with high contrast and to help me make the soft delicate print I visualised.
To be fair in answering the problem that Aggie has presented us, I think that the examples Ole referred too are somewhat different although I would still be tempeted to use the soft working developer and compare the results with Pyro development and I believe that the soft developer would produce a better result. I am not knocking Pyro but for me the jury is still out on the benefits of using it exclusively. I intend to spend some time working with it now that my house move is behind me, but at the moment I reserve judgement.
Aggie particularly said in her post that she wanted to solve the problem using film development only and not in printing. Can you tell us why Aggie? Perhaps you only wish to make digital images from the negative and don't have the luxury of making a traditional silver print. I think there are situations in traditional silver photography where problems are solved by using a combination of techniques and this is one. I don't believe there is a developer available or even invented that will deal with the problem of flare that Aggie has described and had to deal with when exposing the film. Consequently we have to use a developer that we believe in but also plan how we will sort the problem when we make the print. This is all part of the previsualisation process. We all have our favourite developers that we trust and know and that should be the starting point and then go on to try different solutions suggested by other photographers only when we cannot achieve the result we wish using ur own favourite methods. One of the great strengths of a forum such as this is that we have a group photographers who willingly share experience and ideas and we are almost certain to eventually arrive at the answer.
My solution to the problem would be to use the soft working developer to help minimise the flare, at the same time recognising that the problem is only part solved. In the darkroom I would make the print on VC paper and when I'd produced the contrast and tonality I wish in the remainder of the print I would burn in the window using a number 5 filter and then post flash it as described in the book, page 135 Entrance Antelope Canyon, and page 137 Slate Quarry. Both negatives display the intense light that Aggie describes.
A soft working developer may help reducing the halation effect, but will it yield a better negative? Judging this by the window light will probably distract from the essential.
I have an example of this where I was trying to capture the insides of my father-in-laws wool shed. My 1st attempt was unprintable. I went back and took some more at a better time and light conditions. I think that's your answer! Go back real early in the morning or late at night, give it enough exposure for the interior and develop a lot less than normal. Print with every trick you can pull out of your sleeve...
One way of supporting shadow exposure and not have the highlights be so severely affected is to do a double exposure of the film. The first exposure would be done through a diffusion material (such as opaque acrylic panel) at a zone III exposure. This would be determined by metering through the diffusion material. This would then be followed by the second exposure that would be indicated by the scene brightness.
The effects of this can best be described by the effects of the following example:
1. Assign a numerical value of 1 to Zone I, assign a numerical value of 2 to Zone II, assign a numerical value of 4 to Zone III, assign a value of 8 to Zone IV...since each zone of luminance is a doubling of light value, the numerical value of Zone VIII would be 128.
2. The Zone III pre-exposure would effectively raise Zone I luminance in the second exposure to a Zone III 1/3 negative density, it would raise a Zone II luminance in the second exposure to a Zone III 2/3 negative density, it would raise a Zone III luminance in the second exposure to a Zone IV negative density, and it would have a minimal addition to a Zone VIII second exposure (4 units of light added to a 128 Zone VIII value). This may take the scene out of the reciprocity consideration (for long exposure, depending on the film)...additionally it would allow the highlight values to be kept within manageable negative density.
3. Lets assume that we have a scene which has a brightness ratio of 15 zones. By exposing the first exposure at a Zone III pre-exposure and followed by placing the deepest shadows in the second exposure at a Zone IV placement (effective Zone IV 1/3 considering the pre-exposure), we will have contracted the actual density as recorded on the film to 10 2/3 Zones. While this is still not optimum, it is certainly much more manageable at the printing stage.
3. Additional to the halation consideration that others have mentioned, the other aspect is one of lens flare. It is vitally important to have the lens absolutely clean and multicoated. Any haze or film on any of the glass surfaces will cause the light to scatter (especially in the example addressed). The place that it will scatter is to the emulsion of the film.
OK, based on all of the preceeding comments I propose the following actions as the most likely to solve Aggie's problem with this particular lighting condition.
1. Expose the film so that you can develop for less time. This will tame the highlights.
2. Use a multi-coated lens. Can make a big differnce in this type of lighting.
3. Use an efficient lens hood, even with a multi-coated lens.
4. Use a two-solution developer (D23, Diaxactol, etc.) to develop the film. And BTW, I have a Pyrocatechin based formula that is used in two solutions that works a lot like Diaxactol. If anbody is interested contact me directly by email.
I firmly believe this condition is a phenomena of staining developers. I have gone back through my negative files and compared a number of still life negatives of a magnolia taken against a black background in carefully controlled lighting conditions. I have negatives developed in PMK Pyro and XTOL and careful comparison scanning into photoshop shows for the film developed in PMK has a distinct "halo" around the edge of the magnolia. This effect is not present on the XTOL developed negative. It reminds me of the effect you when a subject that has high IR reflectance using Kodak HIE.
The PMK version can be found at http://home.pacbell.net/mkirwan/still_life.htm
It has plenty of highlight detail and the highlight bleed is not noticeable in the print but it is there!
My recommendation for taking pictures under extreme conditions would be to use a highly compensating developer, maybe even the water bath method but that effectively doubles your development time. I am a fan of diluted D-23 followed by an afterbath in either Borax or Kodalk. Cheap and effective and allows you to expose for the shadows and effectively develop for the highlights.
The reson I referred to the woodlands scene is that they show the highlights spilling out into the rebate. This shows that the light does NOT travel any of the "ordinary" ways, but must somehow spread inside the emulsion layer. The spillage is also very similar in all three examples, showing that the developer has very little effect on this.
Developing less would have an effect, but then the negative would be thinner overall which may not be wanted.
I believe I have some old 35mm negatives showing the same flare/halation problem - only worse because of the smaller negative. I'm pretty certain one of them is on Ilford XP1, a chromogenic film.
The main effect that ifferent developers will have on this henomenon is in the placement of the shoulder. A developer/film combination putting the highlights well into the shoulder will show the effect more clearly than one where the highlights are in the straightline-section. It would be interesting to know how the old Super-XX behaved in this respect, as I seem to recall that it has been characterized as "all toe". A film that is "all shoulder", such as XP2, will give denser flare areas.
I agree with Ole, seems the chromogenic films are more prone to this effect. I have plenty of them.
The thing about opinions is that everybody has one. In my opinion the type of bleed over from the highlights to the shadow we have been disucssing is in no way way a phenomna of staining develoeprs, as Bob K suggests.
However, if his opinion is indeed true it would be quite a revelation and I am certain that a well-documented study that could conclusively prove that staining develoers are more prone to bleed-over in this type of situation than traditional developers could easilsy get published in one of the national magazines. Some simple paramemters are the following.
1. The scene needs to be one that juxtaposes extreme areas of lighting, and it would be good to also have some fine detail present, such as tree limbs and leaves.
2. Both negatives (same film type of course) need to show the exact same scene, be exposed at the same exposure and within seconds of each other with the same lens and hood set-up. The position of the camera must no change between exposures, and the light must remain consistent.
3. The negatives must be developed to the same density range, and this DR should be the effective exposure scale (ES) for the process (or type of paper) being used. This could be determined by reading the densities with a densitometer, making sure that the correct color mode that is used for the stained negatvie is approriate for the process.
4. The result would have to be clealry visible on a print.
5. And since development artefacts are not uncommon the result would have to be confirmed with at least two or three additioinal separate tests.
Sandy, I absolutely agree.
The only correlation with developer I can imagine is that a highly compensating developer - regardless of staining - could possibly make it more visible. The reasoning behind this is that more of the flare would be in the shoulder area of the exposure/density graph, so the flare would have higher density compared to the shadow areas.
A scientific study of this would be very interesting...