Question for Jorge?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by mark, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. mark

    mark Member

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    When you metered this hall way
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=3758&password=&sort=1&cat=last1&page=1

    Where did you place the meter to get the shadow detail?

    When metering really dark hallways I struggle with where to put the meter reading. I know everyone says meter where you want detail but when I do folks say it is too dark and they don't see enough detail. I can barely see anything right at camera left on your shot. Is there more in the print?

    I would have metered right there, Camera left, and placed the exposure on the least amount of detail shadow. Just under zone three.
     
  2. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    If you are using large or even medium format and you think your shadows are too dark, give them more exposure. [Same with 35mm except you worry about grain.] Don't place something at under III if you want it to have detail. There might be some detail there with some films, but generally you aren't getting good separation or detail or local contrast until you get well above III. I know that I don't worry much about what is under III. I place my IVs in most scenes and let everything else fall where it may. In some unusually dark scenes, I check the IIIs and IIs, but not much.
     
  3. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I use the BTZS, so the metering is done with an incident meter. Theorethically this averages the light in the dark zone and if you have done the testing you get the correct exposure for the dark tones.
    When I was using the ZS I found that placing the shadows with detail on zone III always resulted in underexposed negatives, I usually placed my dark zones with detail in zone IV and this seemed to work.
    The print has detail on the left side, you can clearly see the wall and the rock, but it goes to dark with no detail in the lower left and right hand corners.

    I would suggest you place your shadows in zone IV, it worked for me, it might work for you.
     
  4. mark

    mark Member

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    thanks
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Mark--in that very tough neg you sent out in the print exchange (a dark hallway with a bright light coming through glass doors at the end), which I didn't get to print yet, if you were to meter for the shadows and place them on Zone III or IV, the highlight area would have been even more excessively dense at the development time you used. You probably would need to cut development time, give extra exposure, and perhaps adjust the development formula (as I recall it was BPF 200 in Pyrocat HD) or use stand development to keep the highlights in easily printable range.

    Whether you chose to place the shadows on zone III or IV depends in part on your film and other factors, like your personal EI for that film. If the film has a short toe, you might get good separation with the shadows on Zone III. If the film has a long toe, you might place the shadows on Zone IV, or alternately, you might decide that your Zone I density should be higher than 0.1 or in other words that you are going to reduce your working EI to lift the shadows off the toe. Placing the shadows on Zone IV, establishing Zone I density higher than 0.1 (and adjusting Zone VIII density by the same amount), or reducing your working EI are three different ways of thinking about the same thing--you're giving more exposure to move the whole range of densities up the curve.
     
  6. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    David makes a very good point, the exposure for this negative was done at an EI of 112 in tmx 400 and development was 3 minutes. So you have to take into account how much more you have expose if you plan to do N- development.

    This is why I like the BTZS much better, it just gives you all the info you need without any guessing.
     
  7. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    I second that! No more fumbling or thinking....spend all your time composing!
     
  8. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    There's no probably to it. The shadows on the left are effectively at Zone 0 and the highlights in the glass door panes are blown. Still, it might be possible to make a good print from it. I'll do my damnedest and send it back to you, David. I'm also going to send Mark a couple of my negatives which are virtually perfect (Zones III-1/2 to VIII with tone everywere) so he can get a better idea of what to shoot for. Their scale is perfectly matched to grade 2 Azo. One is done in Pyrocat HD and prints effortlessly.

    Mark - don't be afraid to put the darkest shadows on Zone IV. I know it seems like overkill, but the most glowing prints (on Azo, anyway - I can't comment on alternative processes) come from those negatives where "expose more, develop less" is the watchword.
     
  9. mark

    mark Member

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    Just to clear things up I was not talking about that neg. I have another one that I printed, and a photo friend wanted to see more detail in the shadows. It was a very dark hall. I mean I could not see the outline of my camera. But, I understand what he means, I think. I walked down the hall with my meter and took an average from where I thought shadow detail would be most important. I guess I thought a really dark hallway should be made to look like a really dark hallway.

    As for the neg you guys have (now I am feeling bad about sending it out) I honestly did not think the highlights were blown. I can still see the black bars that are covering the door window. Sorry. If you all want, I have other negs that are better. I can ship one out and to replace it.
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Mark,

    Another method of handling these high scene brightness ratio (high contrast) situations is through proportional exposure as opposed to reduction in development.

    Reduction in development will always lead to a compression of highlight values. Proportional exposure will maintain highlight tonal separation. I have a couple of images posted in the technical gallery that show the results obtainable with this process. This will work in situations where one would have SBRs of 11 or N-4.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No need to apologize, Mark. You'll learn something from it, and I'll certainly learn something from it. I think that challenging negs are interesting for a negative exchange, since they'll force us to try different solutions.

    If it were my own neg, I'd probably try local intensification on the neg to bring up the detail that's there in the shadows and then water bath development on the print to minimize contrast as well as some burning for the highlights. Since it's not my neg, I won't do anything that will permanently change the neg like local intensification, but I may try a contrast mask, which is not a technique I've used very much.
     
  12. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Does BTZS require access to a densitometer?
     
  13. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    The only problem I see with this is that you are the only one who knows what you are talking about. I have been waiting for this article since you first posted this newfangled proportional exposure method and have yet to know what the heck it is.....so get off your butt and publish it already!!! :smile:
     
  14. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Yep, that is the one draw back it has, you need to have one or access to one to be able to make accurate testing.
     
  15. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The article has been submitted. Waiting to hear if they will pick it up.
     
  16. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Mark, recently I've been experimenting again with azo printing and have finally made a discovery which to me is earth shaking (ok guys, it is to me at least). I'd been trying to print negatives which are "out of range" for the paper with mixed results, and it finally clicked. This may be another way of looking at exposure and development for you, as it was for me. My negatives had too much contrast and I didn't use amidol as a developer, so water bath development didn't work.

    I had negatives which were too contrasty for the paper I had, just a poor match for the scale of the paper. I got good highlights, but black shadows. If I printed for the shadows, the highlights were just not there at all, not enough exposure. What I started doing was to print with more exposure to first get highlights in place. This would give me the black shadows without detail. Obviously, something was not working. What I ended up doing was to give MORE exposure of the paper and reduced development. It lets the highlights firm up, but reduced development stops the shadows from blocking up and turning to tar.

    In effect, I was using the same trick you would use for too much contrast in a scene when using film. You know there will be no shadow values without sufficient exposure (same thing on the azo, the highlights must burn in enough for detail, remember its backwards for paper), so you give the film plenty of exposure to make sure there is something on the film except empty space. In doing this, the highlights are now way too far up the scale for a decent print (too much density to print through), but they are affected by development (same as the shadow values on azo paper), so you reduce development just enough to retain textures on the high end.

    While I know this may not be news to most of the people here, it is doing the same thing with paper that you do with film. If there is too much contrast in a scene (paper or film), more exposure is given to register those details which are on the threshold, at the edge of exposure below which there is nothing there. Once this is done, you now have too much exposure for a "normal" development time. The other side of the coin is a reduction in development, which will stop those highlights from becoming too thick to print through (or in the case of paper, blocked shadows which are too fully developed).

    I hope this helps a bit. It sounds like you are getting a feel for the contrast range, now a bit of tinkering is in order. Try giving more exposure and less development and bracket a bit. Keep notes.
     
  17. mark

    mark Member

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    News to me. Thanks
     
  18. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    Noseoil,

    Would'nt pre-flashing the paper have helped in your situation?

    Wonderful thread, BTW. Thanks all.
     
  19. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Shesh, haven't tried this on azo at this point. Perhaps this would be easier in the long run than juggling exposure and development. Do I have this wrong? (Don, Jorge?) In any event, the exposure / development trick certainly works well with azo.
     
  20. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Well, IMO I rather have all the information in the negative than trying to "fix it" in the DR. That is a PS approach.... :smile:

    I say go for the exposure/development juggling until you get it right and are confident your negatives will print as you want them to.
     
  21. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Another way I juggle exposure/development with Azo and Ansco 130 is to use a sort of "stand development" with the print. I agitate for 30-seconds, then let the print float, face down, on top of the developer for a minute.

    This seems to work well for some of my high contrast photos of the swamps here in Florida. I have not tried this with any clear, open sky, so I don't know what the method might do in that case.
    juan