John Sexton Processing Question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ParkerSmithPhoto, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    ANy of the APUG veterans of John Sexton workshops: I was listening to an interview with him and he stated that he "does no push processing." I take that to mean he does no expansion development a la The Zone System. He said he just makes sure that he gets rich shadow detail and then works with either selenium intensification and/or paper grades.

    Did I get that right? That would greatly simplify field work. Just mark your minus development and process everything else normal.
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    No. John uses both contraction and expansion development to control his negatives, but he uses them within the zone system framework - ie to control overall and/or local contrast, not to push film speed. Like many practitioners he usually wants good shadow detail (which he can retain or print down as desired in the fine print) which means you don't "push" your film. The classic zone system is intended to give enough exposure to yield good detail and contrast in whatever you decide are your important shadow values, and development is adjusted to control the highlights. Pushing film is essentially the opposite - ie underexposing and overdeveloping in an attempt to compensate for underexposure. It should be regarded in most cases as an emergency measure and is usually only marginally successful anyway. It is certainly not the way to get the highest quality negatives, which is what John is after. Hope this helps. By the way you might want to consider taking one of John's workshops. They are excellent.
     
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  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Or a way to make hand held exposures at dimly-lit venues...nice grainy concert shots, especially...:cool:
     
  4. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I haven't seen John's concert shots...:D
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    You must have missed his book, it came out in the late 1970's, This is Loud Light...He claimed his light was loudest because his zone system went up to XI.
     
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  6. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    Why not just make Zone X the highest?

    This one goes to Zone XI.... :laugh:
     
  7. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    You are correct, sir! Listening again, he was talking about how he doesn't Plus develop roll film to avoid grain and the interviewer then asks if he tested it for pushing, which he says no, but it might be good for photojournalists.

    I'm definitely looking at the workshops. Thanks!
     
  8. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Martin