What did I do wrong? and how can I do it again?!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bibowj, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. bibowj

    bibowj Member

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    ok, odd title I know but hear me out.


    So, Ive been experimenting with Tri x a lot these days in 6x7, just trying to find out what I like (developing my own obviously). I had just got a new to me Pentax 67 and took it on a sunset hike a few days ago with a roll pre-loaded and took some shots to test it for light leaks. When I brought the roll home ,and developed it I discovered it had a tone to it that I wouldnt normally get from tri x and I REALLY liked it.... so I set out all weekend to try to figure out what it was that did it. Was it my process, or just the lighting at the moment...or a combo of many things. I ran 5-6 rolls this weekend and could re create it (so far). Now, I think I know what it was but Im not sure since I dont know THAT much about how chemicals effect film... anyways, heres the details on what I did:

    - Tri x shot in 120, exposed normally (ie not over or under)...spot metered.
    - Orange filter on lens (exposure comp'ed)
    - developed in Rodinal at correct temp... BUT I did it at 5 min vice 7 (1:25)...I misread the massive dev app and developed it as if it was Tmax ...so two minutes under.
    - Normal agitation, normal chemicals for fixing etc. No post work done.


    The photos that came out have a very.. thick grey tone, nice darks and great mids but not a ton of highlights, so its not all that crunchy and grainy (which i dont mind ..but not in this case). The other rolls I 'tested' this weekend came out normal Tri X way.. grainy and contrasty (I changed the development concentration and but didnt do the reduced time yet. I kept it at 7 min for 1:25 and 11 or something for 1:50).

    So, Id love to explore this more and get it down that I can repeat. Can anyone shine a light on what I did wrong right? Is it the lack of development time that caused it to expose correct but the highlights not to burn in?


    Thanks everyone!
     

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  2. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    essentially you've lowered the contrast via underdevelopment. A similiar effect could be achieved in printing via flashing and use of a bit more Y and less M in your filtration, whether split grade or otherwise.
     
  3. scheimfluger_77

    scheimfluger_77 Subscriber

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    That sounds about right, and boy is that a luscious photo.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It is a combination of:
    a) the character/contrast of the light in the scene;
    b) the (correct) exposure; and
    c) the shorter development time, and the lower contrast that results.

    If there had been less contrast in the light, your low contrast development wouldn't have worked well at all.

    Within reason, development can always be adjusted to suit the light and subject, but it cannot be adjusted to improve a poor scene.
     
  5. gzinsel

    gzinsel Member

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    I agree with the others, in their assessment. its like, taking a photograph on a cloudy, overcast day. the real issue here is compression of tones. The cloud cover is sometimes like a big soft box. or subtracting time so your highlights do not build up quickly( on your neg) . On sunny days, no matter how much you subtract( within reason) there is always highlight areas . maybe those photos were not taken during the day with clouds? sometimes over exposure with alot of subtraction of dev. times does the trick too. or at least normal exposure.
     
  6. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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  7. timor

    timor Member

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    Change your developer. Try Xtol or try divided D76 or Stoeckler. You may try HC110 with water or borax afterbath. It requires some trials, but it will extend dynamic range of the negative in higher contrast situations. Or, if you have already Rodinal go for higher dilutions, even stand development.