I finally got around to filing out my negative carrier. I picked up two additional, so that if I mess one up I still have a good one to make 'clean' prints with. I decided to use it on the images below because I thought it fit the feel of photo. I think I need to file it some more though because I'm not getting the black borders enough. Maybe I need to file the top silver part back as well. Anyway, I decided to try split grade printing again. Since there was such an uproar about the last time I tried, and y'all stressed that it was useful on high contrast negatives, I decided to try this image. It was an image I took on TriX-400 using my old manual Nikon FM and a 50mm series E. I printed this for the last postcard exchange and threw a filter 1 on it for however many seconds and got a hazy, low contrast image. I enjoyed it, but I did get a few comments that said it lacked punch. So I decided to see if I could give it the punch it needed. For comparison, this is a straight scan of the postcard that I sent out. They were all printed the same way. MusicPC005w by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr For starters today, I produced this image using filter 00 at 6 seconds, then filter 5 at 8 seconds. It's a little darker than I liked, but I had detail in the shadows like the musicians ear, and the architecture behind his right elbow. This are all at f8 on the enlarger. Music1002w by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr I thought the above image was ok, and didn't want to go on wasting paper, so I decided to try another negative. I produced this image using filter 00 at 4 secs, and filter 5 at 8 secs. I noticed that there was a little more detail in the texture of his hat, and I also noticed a little more detail in the architecture in the background. The building wasn't so 'blah' and the white on the patio ledge stood out a little more. Music3004w by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr So then I thought "These two images were taken just seconds apart, and if it looks this good at 4 seconds, I wonder what the last print would look like at 2 seconds and 8 seconds. So thats what I did. I went back and reloaded the original negative and flashed it for 2 seconds with filter 00, and then 8 seconds with filter 5. I noticed that the shadows in the background are much more opened up, but they aren't "blah" like they are in the post card. I've got paper white in there, nice blacks, and gray variations in between. Music2003w by ChristopherCoy, on Flickr I need to continue on this one some more because I am missing some detail in his hand that is strumming the guitar, which you can see in the post card image, so I think that I could probably use some burning there. I could probably dodge his ear just a little bit, and I think that I would also like to see the bottom burned just a tad more (around his knees). I'm sure that I would like a vignette a little bit as well. I'd like to hear your thoughts, suggestions, or opinions on how I can continue to improve this image. Please, I'm begging you though, don't turn this into another split-grade vs straight printing argument.