BTW, Tom Bertilsson: nice photograph!
BTW, Tom Bertilsson: nice photograph!
[QUOTE=c6h6o3;1215934]I expose the hell out of 'em.
Same for me too. For any developer but especially Pyro.
Flight canceled :-(
I too used Pyrocat while exposing FP4+ at 64 and Tri-X at 200. Super negatives to print.
If you do extreme minimal agitation, you can expose at a higher exposure index, like box speed, because the longer developing time will bring back some of that shadow detail.
But Steve is right. Go take some pictures! :) That's what I'll do, I think.
Whatever it is, if you have problems getting negs to print easily you need to look no further than "Expose the hell out of them". Jim, you know as well as anyone that exposure and development are forever linked together, when one is wrong than the other has to be forsaken in favor of the first error, hence when one is wrong so is the other.
Personally speaking, changing to a pyro based developer and VC paper caused a fundamental change in exposure and development for me, naturally this didn't come about in one or two adjustments, it took many ill advised exposure and development choices before the puzzle became clear.
When you get to our stage Jim revelations don't come around that often. Back in the mid 90's switching to PMK was a revelation. Another revelation came in the form a phrase by a photog we both know and whose wife's work is much in line with our sensibilities.
The phrase "you must anchor your low values" opened my eyes to why so many of my negs were difficult to print. Prior to that conversation in Pennsylvania I used to meter and place my important shadows on Z4 with film rated @ 1/2 box speed. Since then and with more consistent ease of printing I have rated film @ a tick under box speed and first find a Z2 tonality and then determine the relationship between that Z2 tonality and what I perceive to be important shadow values. So long as those values are within 2 zones of one another I have found my exposure value.
Lastly, if you like the look you get from Reduced Agitation negatives you will best achieve that look by exposing accurately and developing to a lower contrast index and allowing the VC paper to do what it does best, lay down the most difficult part of the final print....mid tone micro contrast
Steve, great point on anchoring the shadows and thinner negs.
For me though it also applies to non-pyro developers. Shadows and highlights come easily w/ understanding exposure and dev, but it took me years to discover how to begin to control midtones to put them where I wanted, and my first epiphany in that search was beginning to work w/ thinner negatives and, as you put it, anchoring the blacks.
It's enlightening, if given the opportunity, to see what other photographers consider they're favorite negatives to print and resulting prints. Actually might be interesting thread.
@Steve: With TMax, which has a very long straight line portion to its characteristic curve and almost no shoulder, all exposure does is slide the density range up or down that straight line portion. My epiphany was in realizing that no matter where I put that image's density range on the curve, the paper I print on can't hold anywhere near the density range that the film can. What development does is lengthen or shorten that density range. In my experience, two separate parameters. Yes, you can expose a negative so much that you lose control in development and vice versa, but we're never that extreme.
But now you've got me reexamining my working methods, because almost all of my negatives of late will only print at about Grade 2-1/2 (G3 Azo with water bath). I will try backing off on exposure a little and expanding development a little to see if I can't come closer to a Grade 2 standard.
BTW, the last time I visited the photographer you mentioned I saw some of his new work and it was jaw dropping. I'd never seen finer prints. I asked him what his new secret was, because something had definitely changed and he said "thinner negatives". He was forced to slide the density range of his negatives down the curve and expand development a little because his film is so fogged. (Base fog around density .5). While his density range is the same as it has always been, the overall density is lower.
The print you like so much of mine was exposed with only three zones of tonality registering on the meter. Exposed lowest reading on Z 3 and let the the SS do the rest. Those negs were the first I'd ever developed that way, I exposed JC 200 @ 200, a 1:175 ratio of Pyrocat HD, an educated guess that worked perfectly and I went with a 60 minute total time in solution with one agitation cycle @ 30 M.
BTW, the photog you mention, he actually saw those negs in person and to put it mildly was dumbstruck, you know the quote of his in the View Camera article.
You don't suppose, nah, couldn't be, you think he made an adjustment after seeing my negs and prints?
Next Friday, first Friday in Louisville, will miss ya, but will have one / two in your honor.