Splitgrade Printing Example

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Will S, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. Will S

    Will S Member

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    I just uploaded 3 images to show how I did a print last night. I was using techniques and information given to me by Les McClean at a workshop he did last summer. Not that I got it all right of course!

    Here is the negative: http://www.apug.org/gallery/data/500/arwen-hagrid-neg.jpg It was processed in pyrocat-hd @ 18 minutes semi-stand Trix exposed @320 in my Fuji Gs645
    Here is what I did:

    -First I calibrated my RHdesigns analyser Pro for Ilford Multigrade Fiber Warmtone.

    -After cropping/framing/focusing I then used the analyser's sensor to establish some densities in the neg. This suggested a grade 3 print for 39 seconds. I knew that I would need some dodging on the dog's head and some burn on Arwen's face, so I did another 20 seconds burn and 20 seconds of dodge. See:
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/data/500/arwen-hagrid-gr3.jpg

    -Then did a test print at grade 0 and determined it was about right (I used what the analyzer suggested - 33'
    -then did a test with that exposure and grade 5 The analyzer was a little soft I thought, so I increased it by 1/6th of an exposure
    -then did a test print for the fogger - 5 second increments This was mostly to bring out the detail on the girls shirt and in her hair
    -I still needed some detail on the girl's face and some burn in on the left bottom, so I added that

    final result here: http://www.apug.org/gallery/data/500/arwen-hagridfinal.jpg

    Please let me know if I should have done something a little different.

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    Will,

    what else do you think it needs? it looks fine to me in fact excellent

    lee\c
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    upon revisiting the print I might print the kid a bit darker especially in the clothing. The dog looks great.

    lee\c
     
  4. roy

    roy Member

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    I think that I would give the grade 0 a bit more exposure but, more importantly, how do you feel about it yourself ?
     
  5. rrankin

    rrankin Member

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    I agree that it is YOUR opinion that counts. Personally, I think the dog was black and isn't black enough, and the girl and clothing needs more exposure. But I would quickly add that seeing this on a screen may be much different than the print you hold in your hand.

    If you do try again, please post the results.

    Cheers,
    Richard
     
  6. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi There

    from my moniter I would suggest a burn on the girls body to bring up detail and I would increase my #5 exposure to make the pupil of her eye and the black dog darker or blacker .

    good work I think Les has helped you out here.

    how would your final compare to your old printing style???
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Hi Will. I was the one on the original photo who said he would be interested in the split grade print. I went back and forth between the two pics. In the split grade one the girl's hair has more detail but I presume that simple burning would have and did do that without split grade printing.

    Other than that the original gallery pic looks better in my opinion but I think this may be a scanning issue. The resolution looks poorer in the thread pic. It seems to have gained a graininess. Maybe I just prefer things softer.

    It could also be that my eye is missing other improvements from split grade printing and I simply need these pointing out.

    As you have used the neg can I be so bold as to highjack this thread to ask a question of you and others more experienced than I. I don't have a RH Designs analyser but get by with a Phillips. This uses a spot probe and the procedure is to take a reading from the darkest part of the neg still showing some texture. This establishes exposure. Then take a reading from the lightest part also showing some texture, giving another reading. The analyser is then self programmed to produce a suggested grade.

    My problem is in picking the darkest part of the neg showing texture consistently. Pick an area too dark and the result is a print too dark. Pick an area too light and the print is underexposed. The probe is very sensitive and any inconsistencies on my part results in say print A being close to the right exposure and print B being clearly wrong. Often it is difficult to see the darkest area just showing some texture.

    For what it is worth with my analyser I would have picked the area on the girl's head just to the left of her parting as being the darkest part just showing texture. Nowhere on the dog is dark enough.

    Views from everyone on my judgement would be much appreciated . Thanks

    Pentaxuser
     
  8. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Pentaxuser,

    The RH analyser isn't quite that strict. You can pick up to 6 spots, but you do need to get the blackest and the lightest to get the contrast right. If I meter a spot I think is zone 10/black without detail then I set the analyser so that it just blinks and you can adjust it from there with a test strip.

    I metered her hair right where you said, and a spot on the far right near the middle that was a bright spot on the floor. It got cropped out almost, but I was able to meter it.

    Everyone - thanks for the comments. I did straight scans on these without going through photoshop and USM, so that could explain the difference. There is a real difference in the prints between the split and the non-split, but it could be explained by burning in. What I notice are things like the detail on the glasses and the light bands in the shirt. Those did not come out at all with the first print I did.

    Also, the dog is what they call, I believe "specular highlight hell" I've never been able to get a good picture of him. He absorbs light like a sponge. What you do get is the glinty reflections off of his hair. This was the first b&w picture I've gotten of him where the negative was even halfway decent to print. Normally he is a black blob.

    I'll try it with some more contrast and more soft and see what happens, but I'm happy....

    Thanks Les!!

    Will
     
  9. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Just wondering what zone system is uses !0 to represent black? I personally like the image you posted in this thread the best, the ones in the gallery are much to light in one and the little girl face and body are over dodged in the other. The image itself is excellent, and well deserves the attention you are giving it. Good luck!......
    Charlie...........
     
  10. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Will, don't thank me, you had the vision, made the judgements and produced an excellent print. All I did was offer another way to make a print.

    I too have had some problems when photographing black dogs, my method of dealing with it is to make sure that I give enough exposure to record the detail into the deepest blacks and either reduce negative development or use a little more "white light" when I flash the print in the way that I demonstrated on the workshop. Sometimes it is necessary to use both these methods.
     
  11. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    speak of the devil!

    or should I say...

    look what the cat dragged in!

    :smile: :smile: :smile:
     
  12. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Thanks Les. I'll give that a try.

    best,

    Will