Development Suggestion

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by nhemann, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. nhemann

    nhemann Member

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    Just finished burning a roll here at the ship yard and need a little advice on this one. It was grey and foggy here today - flat light and a grey scene would hardly do it justice as a description (I could have used color film and you'd barely notice. lol)

    There are, theoretically, some decent shots on the roll and I would like to not screw this up....how should I alter my developement times for this?

    Thanks
    Neil
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'm assuming you are shooting 35mm black and white film (not C41 black and white).

    If your shots recorded scenes with a low subject brightness range (SBR) and you exposed for good shadow and mid-tone detail, you will be able to use development variations to move the image up and down the film curve.

    To increase the apparent SBR, you can increase the development time. As a suggestion, try a 1.4 times increase - it will have an effect that is similar to the contrast increase you get from a one stop "push".

    Increasing the development time will increase the apparent graininess of the image, but the extent of that effect will depend on your developing regime.
     
  3. nhemann

    nhemann Member

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    Thank you Matt,
    I should have been a little more forthcoming in the details. It was a roll of 400TX shot at box speed and incident metered so the shots were f/4 @ 1/125s or the nearby equivalent.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    If you are looking to increase contrast, do what Matt suggests, increase development time. You can also increase agitation to help bring up highlites.
     
  5. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Or print on a higher grade.
     
  6. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Neil,

    If it were me, I'd increase your development time a bit. Try a 20% increase in your normal time....You'll want the negative to sit nicely on a normal paper grade. Changing to a higher contrast grade/filter when printing will probably work, but it will also enhance grain. You probably want the fog to have nice, smooth transitions. But I'm only guessing at this increase in development time, as I have no idea what the SBR of the scene was.
    Might be a good idea to conduct some film tests (EI and dev times) before you go out on a proper shoot. :smile:
     
  7. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Pushing as suggested may work for you, but it really depends on what else is your composition. Beautiful things can happen in the fog, even when metered generally, without special placement or expansion. This is where the Zone System shines. You would know how to develop your film.

    If you can recall, as I assume you didn't meter important elements of the scene, whether the general composition for your most important exposures, had "shipyard stuff" elements of contrasting dark (i.e., black paint, black trees, etc.) and light (i.e, white numbers, cables, chrome, etc.) within them – or in other words if large portions of your compositions included anything other than fog – you may be better off developing normally.

    You could view this as a learning experience and cut the roll in half, developing one part normally and pushing the other, in order to decide for yourself. And then share the results with us. :wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2011
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I think you have good advice all around.

    When I ran a calculator on my longest time to the "Normal" time, it came out 1.23 x so advice to do 20% more might give you a CI around 0.75 instead of a more normal 0.62

    And this would fit a 6 stop scene on Grade 2 where a normal development would require you to go up to Grade 3.

    It's all in the right direction for a gray day, and will give you more flexibility. You might still need Grade 3 or 4 to print depending on your actual scene and preferences. But at least you won't need Grade 5.
     
  9. nhemann

    nhemann Member

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    Thanks to you all for the excellent advice - I shall proceed accordingly. The weather is supposed to be about the same tomorrow so maybe I'll grab a quick digi-shot and some spot meter readings to post up and make this a learning experience all around.

    N
     
  10. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    muddy scene but good film to push with--yes..increase the deve time is right---I'd probably go more than 20% for old weathered objects in gloomy weather.

    when you go out with same weather to same place, measure the contrast range with reflected light meter to see how much of an expansion you will need....I"ve found that on weathered things, the whites are grey and the blacks are grey too.....like ships....so you may need more than 20% expansion...measure the blacks and the whites and see how many stops difference....this will tell you how many "n+???" to devto
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Normally in flat lighting without true blacks anywhere in the scene, you may actually wish to underexpose your film, simply because your midtones are already so high on the film curve, towards highhlights, and shadows could use less exposure to give any real impact in that scene.
    If you simply expose normally and then extend your development, you will have both given more exposure than you need, and possibly made that worse by developing longer. Beware of blocked up highlights that may be rendered unprintable. Just sayin'...