Help with printing to really bring out the 'Silvers' in an image

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Nicole, May 6, 2005.

  1. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    How would you print this image to really bring out the 'silvers' in it, to really make it 'pop'?

    What paper would you use?
    What chemicals would you use?

    Thank you very much for your input!
    Kind regards, Nicole
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2007
  2. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I think it has more to do with development in the fim stage than the printing stage in this image. Is this c41 B&W? tim
     
  3. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    I should print this type of negative on Fomatone MG, RC or classic (Baryt - 131) and to make it more warmtone with Amaloco AM1001 paper developer.

    To control if you do not like to much warmtone: AM6006.

    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  4. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    Nicole,

    Printing is a personal thing, and I can only tell you what I would do, not what you will do.

    I don't know what you mean by the 'silvers'. Some prints look very silvery. To do this, print on a cold tone paper such as Ilford Multi. I know what it means to make a print 'pop', but for me, I don't like portraits to pop or be too exaggerated. I don't like 'the hand of god' in my prints. I think the image looks fairly good as it appears here on my monitor. I would print it on my favorite paper, Bergger VC CB, which has warm tones and cold highlighs. I would burn down the background a bit to make the face separate from the background tones more. I would burn down the light tones in the shirt so they don't compete with the facial tones. I would burn down the collar bone a touch and maybe some of the glow under the neck. To avoid the 'hand of god look', I would do this by placing a piece of acetate over the neg and using pencils, turn the burns into a dodge on her face. This will allow you to get very close with your controls and be consistant with the dodge/burn.

    YMMV, good luck, and maybe this helps.

    -LG
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I think that the thing that makes a silver print appear silvery and the quality that makes it "pop" are two distinctly different things.

    The quality that makes a print appear silvery are the tonal scale above 18% gray. This tonal scale must have a counterpoint to give a visual indication and that counterpoint occurs through the values 2-3 stops below 18% gray.

    Now to make a print really "pop" requires contrast...and by that I don't mean overall contrast. I mean local contrast. So the way that I would print this would be to expand the local contrast while at the same time controlling the overall contrast.

    The paper and developer used may have some bearing on this...but those will be personal preferences rather then technical considerations.
     
  6. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Hi LG, two questions: what do you mean by the "hand of god" look. Do you mean haloing caused by dodging? Also, acetate over the negative and using pencils. This sounds fascinating. Can you either expand on this or provide a reference to a description of the technique? Thanks!
     
  7. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I'd try split printing with preference on filter #0 to bring the skin tones just a bit
    then use #5 to get the blacks

    I'd use AGFA MC111 or Ilford Warmtone... dunno how selenium would look like though
     
  8. blackmelas

    blackmelas Subscriber

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    I think I'd zero in on the image tone and toning, following Fotohuis suggestion for warming things up. Below are a couple of very different photos from the APUG galleries where I've admired the way skin can glow in silver given the right tone. I've also admired recently some of Steve MacLeod's work in his Master Printers Workbook (I think that's the right title) where he's using Thiocarbamide alone or coupled with Selenium in portraits or fashion shots.


    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=4890&sort=2&cat=500&page=1 by Andre R. de Avillez
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=6695&sort=2&cat=500&page=1 by David Bebbington

    Best regards,
    James
     
  9. Surly

    Surly Member

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    Nicole,
    I would strongly agree with LG. The shirt in the lower left is a bit hot. Our eyes are naturally drawn to light spots and it's distracting. I would personally print it on AGFA multicontrast classic FB. IMO it physically has a lot of silver in it. I'd also use 55-D as a developer, but it is not commercially available, you'd have to mix it. You did not say what format the neg is. If this is 35mm the acetate dodge will be tricky.
    Very nice portrait BTW.
     
  10. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Nicole,
    From my point of view, the manipulation needs to be done on the periphery. The background needs bringing down quite a bit as does the shirt and (IMO) some small lightening round the adams apple area but not so much as to compete with the face. To me, the face is bob on and should be left alone. Try Forte warmtone in Neutol WA. Regards, BLIGHTY
     
  11. Seele

    Seele Member

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    Nicole,

    Being a "straight print" kind of a man I would try to tweak it using a paper and developer combination:

    For my money I would go for a baryta paper (Kentmere Fineprint is my flavour of the week) and to my eyes, MCM Winchester Original might be the way to go, after developing to finality give it a warm water soak for say four minutes with no agitation, then a round of gold-toning, or the slightest touch of selenium.

    By the way, the background highlights shows distracting bokeh characteristics, I am not sure if I would want to dye them out but then I don't suffer from things like that! :D
     
  12. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Hi Nicole,

    I need to ask what film you're using. IMO, the quality of the neg is the most important part. If you have a good neg, the rest is much easier. It's hard to judge the technical quality of a photo here on my computer screen, but I like the composition.

    I'm a fan of traditional emulsions, Tri-X, APX 100, etc., and I am NOT a fan of T-grain films. I've never had good results from the T-grains and I've souped them in everything from Ethol 90 to D-23. The T-grains certainly have fine grain, but as I tell my students, if you were to hang one of your photos at an exhibit, grain you see from 6 inches away, tonality, lighting and composition scream at you from across the room.

    I used t-grained film because it is finer grain, but I went back to trad films because T-grains just don't have the punch, the snap.

    I've seen some nice work done with T-grain films, but always wonder how the image would look if done on a trad film.

    That's what works for me and it may not work for you. Just my $.02
     
  13. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Nicole:

    Well, this one looks just right to me. I didn't even notice that the shirt in the lower left corner was a bit hot. The kid's face just drew me right in. What a ham! Looking at it a bit closer, you might want to burn the background on the right side a bit, but not much more than an extra 1/3 stop exposure.
     
  14. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I was playing with your scan over the weekend, and I think a straight print in a warmtone paper would look fine.
    I'd try to print using a #1.5 or 2 filter, and print to match the skin tonality of the girl. Then dodge/burn the corners
     
  15. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    Nicole, don't listen to those guys, they're just trying to patronise you :smile:...

    If there's a neg that you cannot print in a satisfactory way, there is only one solution to the problem: Leave it aside for a few months (years, maybe) and then try once more (your way, not another guy's way) to print it. You'll see that the distance in time will have given you the chance to look at the prints you'll do in a different way, permitting you to "see" things more clearly and understand better what is needed for you to do with your neg.