buildings at night, film/developer/paper choice?

Discussion in 'Architecture' started by bogeyes, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    I fancy shooting some floodlit city scenes. I want to maintain good seperation in the highlights without ending up with muddy looking mid-tones, how can I achieve my goal? I will be venturing into my nearest town in the deepest depths of dull, wet, middle england shooting med-format, then locking myself in my darkroom to escape the endless soaps and quiz shows on TV. Any ex-models ( Helena Christensen types) who want to learn the craft would be most welcome in my darkroom. Hey! we can all dream can't we?
     
  2. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    You might consider using divided D-23 developer. I've used it a little for night shots and its compensating effect helps with the contrast.
    juan
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I think that exposure methods will play a far more important factor then the matter of film, developer, and paper.

    I am not sure how much contrast you will encounter. Normally artificially lit night scenes indicate high contrast. The other factor that plays into this is reciprocity. If you have exposures of a minute or more, then you will experience reciprocity effect and that will increase the already excessive contrast.

    If that is the case, and if you want to maintain highlight separation then I would look to preflashing film rather then primarily reducing development to control contrast.

    If exposures are in the reciprocity effect realm, then I would look to using a film such as Tmax 400 for it's favorable response in that respect. I like Pyrocat as my developer of choice and would see no reason to ammend that.

    JandC Polywarmtone (Forte) evidences a somewhat higher ES then other papers grade for grade. So that would probably be my choice of paper. If I wanted a somewhat cooler paper tone then I might consider using Amidol as my paper developer.
     
  4. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    The last time I shot buildings at night I used an Agfa isolette 6x6 camera, Ilford HP5+, aperture of f/16 and exposure times between 90 seconds and 2 minutes. I developed in Rodinal 1+25 using semi stand development, agitating ten seconds per minute for the first 8 minutes then standing for 8 minutes. Here are a some of the results:


    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/Minitar1/Agfa%20Isolette%20BW/Nightshots/NS1.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/Minitar1/Agfa%20Isolette%20BW/Nightshots/NS3.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/Minitar1/Agfa%20Isolette%20BW/Nightshots/NS15.jpg
     
  5. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Andy! Those are really nice! Thanks for the great info... ok... I know I didn't ask the question, but this is something I've been thinking about doing for a while, too & your info is by far & away the most complete I've seen! :smile: Thanks! :D
     
  6. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Bogeyes,

    T-Max 100 processed in Technidol (make 10 0z. of solution instead of the 8 0z. indicated on the package, and start at around 12 minutes in a rotary drum processor). The reciprocity characteristics of T-100 are excellent; exposures for subjects such as you describe will typically range from about 1 and 1/2 to 3 minutes at around f11 to f16. I think, based on extremely limited experience that Acros may work even better (somewhat shorter exposures), but it's generally available only in Quickloads, which cost dearly. Recently, I've tried several night exposures on T-100 in HC-110G with stand development (about 15-25 minutes as a starting point). I'll probably try a little more of this, since the HC-110 is considerably cheaper than Technidol.

    Konical
     
  7. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    No worries Jeanette, but I can't take all the credit, I bought a book from Amazon a while back, it has been indispensible in its explanation of the best techniques to use:

    Night Photography by Andrew Sanderson

    ISBN 1 902538 12 9

    £19.99 (not cheap but worth the money)

    He doesn't just use 35mm, he also uses mf and 4x5.
     
  8. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I really like the rainy road shot Andy, it really has some presence to it, brrr.
     
  9. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    That's a great book, isn't it?
    I just discovered he has another one on photography in and around the home. Has anyone seen it? I can get it for about $13 AUS.

     
  10. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    Andy, love the shot of the tennement building, the pillars look typical of those found in cotton mills. If you dont mind me asking, whats the history of the building and where is it?
     
  11. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    The building is part of the old garrison at Shoebury, it used to be married quarters. Because of it's resemblance to a Victorian Birdcage it was known as the 'Birdcage Quarters'. It was built around 1854 along with the rest of the garrison. The garrison was closed around 1984 and the Birdcage Quarters are now private flats.
    There are some wonderful old buildings around the garrison to photograph. Unfortunately those modern day legalised vandals, property developers, have recently bought the garrison from the MOD. They are now busy 'enhancing the living experience' by building hundreds of new homes and 'business developments' (in other words bloody ugly factory buildings) on any open space left in the garrison, including the old Gunners Park, which was ancient meadow and marsh. The area has been completely ruined (IMO).
    Property developers should all be taken out and shot.

    Here are a few quick neg scans of the garrison (please excuse the poor contrast quality, I'm crap at image manipulation!):

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/Minitar1/Olympus%20OM10%20BW/FP4%20Garrison%20Derelicts/s4.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/Minitar1/Olympus%20OM10%20BW/Delta100/test3.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/Minitar1/Olympus%20OM10%20BW/Delta100/test19.jpg

    ...and most disgusting of all, the developers have turned the beautiful old garrison Church into a marketing suite (complete with fibreglass cannon):

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/Minitar1/Olympus%20OM10%20BW/Delta100/test8.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/Minitar1/Misc%20Odds%20n%20Sods/g1.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2005
  12. k8do

    k8do Member

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    I noticed the shop with the banner over the porch advertising something for 6 pounds +... I haven't a clue as to what it is... We truly are separated by a common language...

    denny - USA
     
  13. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    Not all bad

    Andy, that looks a great place to shoot, if its going to be developed expect a fence and security in situ pretty soon. Not all developers are bad some do have taste. The shot attatched is of a barracks used by the black and tans in eire in the 1920s. As you can see it has made a fine house without losing too much of its character.
     

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  14. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    That shop is a pub, the banner is advertising the Carvery for £6.25. A carvery is like a serve yourself meat buffet. £6.25 for a meal which is the size of your choosing is pretty good!

    Bogeyes, the development is now two and a half years in, they truly have ruined the place!
     
  15. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Man, Andy - you sound like us folks here in Florida. I should go out at night and photograph the few remaining beach houses here - they're being torn down and replaced by condos, and the city can't understand why residents are complaining about the traffic problem.
    juan
     
  16. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I recently drove down to Amelia Island, Fl. I saw several beautiful views of the surrounding waterways.. until I noticed the Paper Factory. Yes, a paper factory. I mean, this was a picture perfect landscape completely ruined by a smog-churning paper factory. Sigh..
     
  17. Larry L

    Larry L Subscriber

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    Developing night shots (Very high contrast situations)

    Look for a excellent article in the Magazine "Photo Techniques" in approximately 1994-1996 time frame. From that article; which has hidden itself somewhere around my darkroom, I started developing TMax 100 in TMax developer at a dilution of 1:9 (1:4 in normal dilution) at 75F for 9 minutes.

    I recall this article discussing a lot of divided developer combinations, etc. but the main emphasis was that a very weak developer will exhaust itself at dense areas of the negative very fast and therefore will not build excessive density. Therefore, along with this method is a warning to not overly agitate - I agitate for 5 seconds every minute. This technique has worked on 120 Tri-X roll film as well. Can hold details in deep shadows and texture of stone light by flood lights at the same time!

    Only thing left to work on is the exposure time - I'm going about 1 minute at F/8 with 100 ASA film in areas such as well lit walks, etc.

    Good Luck.

    Larry
     
  18. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    Fuji Acros is the best film for night photography I have tried, +1/2 stop on any exposure over 120secs.

    Acros with a pyrocat is a good combo.