Water-bath development: search for open shadows

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by fparnold, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    Hello,

    In AA's original "The Negative", there are several examples where he used Amidol + water bath to bring up the low-values in a negative, and control the overall contrast. I have also seen prints by E. Weston where the shadows are open, detailed, and 'glowing', whereas Brett's prints form Edwards' negatives have jet-black, and featureless shadows. AA goes on to say that the technique doesn't work well with modern (circa 70s) emulsions.

    The question is how does one get that effect with modern (FP4+/Tri-X/Delta) films? I'd like to avoid Pyro-based solutions because of the staining variable (i'm doing mainly 6x6cm for b&w these days, which has to be enlarged), but am open to suggestions.

    Thanks.
     
  2. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Try pre-development bleaching of your print. There is an article on unblinkingeye.com about the technique, but basically it amounts to using a much higher contrast paper than you would normally use to print a given negative, then bleaching it in a VERY dilute bleach prior to development. What it will do is act disproportionately on the shadowed areas of the print and increase the local contrast and basically leave the highlights alone. I've tried it, and it does work. It involves only one extra tray in your entire process.