Regarding the honest print thing - I get your point, noacronym, but how far you go with that is subjective. I could say that the print is not in color, which certainly the scene was. Is all black and white photography dishonest, or just abstract? This is murky ground (and has been as long as photography has been around), and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I had to chime in after Blighty's comment. Maybe this discussion belongs in the Ethics and Philosophy forum.
Originally Posted by marciofs
Thanks for sharing your test strip. I'm thinking about advice from a book "Looten's on Photographic Enlarging and Print Quality" and seeing that you have the darks well represented with the most exposure times... up to the sky represented with the least times.
Maybe flip it around - so that you can see what happens in the skies when you give them extremely long exposure times. Not that it would be what you would finally give them at print time. But to show you what potential drama might exist in the sky at print times you might not normally choose. He gave an example where the test strip showed decent "straight" print at 20 seconds but with skies at 80 seconds the clouds became more dramatic.
Your print, I like with blank sky. The advice from Lootens is generic - for next time you find a tough negative and you don't know what the sky shows - maybe you will find one where the sky needs to be made dramatic in the print... His generic advice is to make test prints that show far more and far less exposure than you think you will ever give. So you will know what is too far in each direction.
A black & white image is a partial recording of the subject, just as a drawing is, as opposed to a painting.
Originally Posted by George Collier
Originally Posted by Bill Burk
I actually tried to expose the sky for longer and as I had realised before, there is no information. But at least it is not pure white to the point to annoy contrasting with the dark areas. And I dodge the dark areas so it can show more contrast.
I think I can make it even better but I am happy to know how to. I prefer spend papers printing some others photos.
I would try two things in combination:
1) Flash the paper
2) Do a split-contrast print
Burning in, is really hard when you have a lot of branches and stuff like that, flashing and 00-filter should get you a long way salvaging the highlights as much as possible, maybe even in combination with a dodge on the darker parts, as you'll probably need quite long exposure-time with the 00-filter to salvage the highlights.
Have you tried split contrast print yet? I would do that before flashing.
Flashing to control contrast really only makes sense if it is localized. If you flash the entire sheet you achieve virtually nothing versus lowering the paper grade.