Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 71,901   Posts: 1,584,439   Online: 882
      
Page 5 of 11 FirstFirst 1234567891011 LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 101
  1. #41
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    14,560
    Images
    300
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    I don't think it's necessary to "learning how to print" either. What does learning to print have to do with it? I don't consider the print finished until it's tone and personally tone all my prints. YMMV but if someone isn't satisfied with the d-max of a paper they otherwise like, dilute selenium toner is worth a try. There's really nothing to learn, just try it and see if you like the results.
    To each their own. I disagree with you. It's my opinion that if you are a beginner, which the OP is, and if you're not happy with how your prints turn out, then selenium toning isn't going to save you. It makes a pretty small difference compared to learning proper technique, I.e. 'learning how to print', and if you don't learn how to print, no toning in the world is going to help you.
    Toning, to me, is a fine tune adjustment that you apply once you've learned to achieve good tonality in the print, something the OP has admitted not being capable of yet.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #42

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    833
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    To each their own. I disagree with you. It's my opinion that if you are a beginner, which the OP is, and if you're not happy with how your prints turn out, then selenium toning isn't going to save you. It makes a pretty small difference compared to learning proper technique, I.e. 'learning how to print', and if you don't learn how to print, no toning in the world is going to help you.
    Toning, to me, is a fine tune adjustment that you apply once you've learned to achieve good tonality in the print, something the OP has admitted not being capable of yet.
    100% with you.

  3. #43
    Jenni's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    89
    I do like the way the toned images look, but it's a step I am not ready for. Not saying I won't be one day, but just not right now. Very happy for the suggestion though!

  4. #44
    MattKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    12,944
    Images
    60
    Jenni:

    Try playing with some toning.

    It is wonderful to experiment with, and you may find that the results you get from your explorations will help you with your re-discovery.

    It is not going to necessarily help with your re-learning printing skills, but it might.

    And the fun is worth it!

    On the subject of contrast, it may be that you are aiming your testing at the wrong tone.

    Try adjusting your exposure to get what you want in your mid-tones and lighter tones, and then adjust your contrast to get the contrast you want.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #45
    Roger Cole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Suburbs of Atlanta, GA USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,211
    I agree that the results from toning, at least dilute selenium on neutral papers like I am suggesting, are pretty subtle. But if someone isn't happy with the blacks on their prints, practice and becoming even a master printer isn't going to increase the d-max. For that you need a different paper, different paper surface, different print developer, or some toning. That's all I'm saying.

    My suggestion is to try a different paper. I agree one shouldn't just jump around (I settled on two papers, one neutral and one warm) too much but every paper isn't going to suit every taste.

    I don't really understand the concept of not being "ready" for toning, because in this case there's just simply nothing to it. Buy the KRST (or whatever brand) mix with appropriate amount of water, rinse print and immerse in toner, agitate gently for the time, remove and into water bath and rinse and hypo clear and wash normally. The only variables are dilution and time/temperature and it's not like that takes a lot of experimentation or expertise to find what you like.

    But if someone doesn't want to do it, that's cool. But just practicing your printing won't make your blacks blacker.

  6. #46
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    14,560
    Images
    300
    I think you guys are recommending something that is completely irrelevant.

    You don't get good at printing unless you can fix the problem. The problem is flat and dull looking prints. To fix it, you need to learn BASICS like contrast in the negative, and identifying how to make a good work print.

    To tone the print or to try a different paper would be to cure the symptoms without actually fixing the problem. I KNOW that this paper is capable of GREAT tonality and rich blacks, because it was all I used for a couple of years.

    Do NOT fix the symptoms. Fix the problem by learning the very basics. Let's focus on basics when someone is trying to learn the very basics. Dmax isn't even a word yet.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #47
    Roger Cole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Suburbs of Atlanta, GA USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,211
    It doesn't take much to figure out what "d-max" means. It should be easy to infer "density - maximum" thus "maximum black."

    OTOH, I'll take your word for the paper.

    It is of course possible that the blacks aren't black enough because the print is simply flat and needs more contrast to push the shadows blacker and the highlights whiter. Could be the negatives are too flat and could be the print just needs to be made with a higher contrast VC filter.

    Jenni, this is a variable contrast paper. You do have variable contrast filters, don't you? What filter did you use to print the prints you are unhappy with? Could you scan one and post the image? Also, and excuse me if you mentioned this, but what print developer are you using? And how long are you developing your prints? In my experience most fiber based papers benefit from a longer-than-usually-recommended development time. I develop my RC prints for two minutes and FB for at least three.

  8. #48
    Jenni's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    89
    I can not scan anything right now because my prints are in the darkroom ( I left them there yesterday) I also wrote all over them so I really don't want to scan them and upload them. Let me try to explain the issue to you so you better understand.
    1st the subject has medium brown hair and is a beige skin, So her face should not be paper white and her hair not black in a print.
    2nd I exposed using a light meter at box speed of iso 200.
    3rd, I developed the film in D76 developer, for 6.5 min, agitating for the first 30 seconds then once every 30 seconds, stop, fix, wash, photo flo, when looking at the negatives (4x5) in a light box I can see detail in her hair and even her skin looks good, the negative is fairly thin in her hair and pretty dense on her face. But I still have detail in the hair.
    4th I did a strip test to determine the correct exposure for a contact print and found that to get detail in the hair and to keep her hair from going totally black and blocked out, I needed 10 seconds on her hair and 25 seconds on her face.
    5th I suck at burning---I'll practice
    6th I tried a #5 filter to bring out the contrast in her hair at 10 seconds, then a #0 filter for 15 seconds to try and bring the tones in her skin down to normal. This gave the best results without actually burning. I still feel her face is to bright.

    So I thought maybe I agitated the negatives to much during development? Her hair when I meter it is a zone II and her face I placed in Zone VI, Printed on paper I"m getting her hair in Zone I and her face in zone IX even X.

    The FB paper that I am using has very soft tones that are pretty but because it's matte I suppose it's kind of milky, it's not crispy black and crispy white. like the RC paper I also have. I do like the FB paper, but to me the shadows block up very easily. I don't like that.

    I hope this clears things up a bit. It's not that I want true black in my image, the only true black in the image is her eye lashes and they are printing up perfectly fine. It's that I don't want her hair to be a solid mass of shadow and her face to be paper white. With the split grade filtering I was able to get something close to what I want but it's still not exactly what I wanted.

    I hope this helps

  9. #49
    Jenni's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    89
    Yes it is VC paper and yes I have 3 sets of filters, (I'm using a friends darkroom and he has redundant tools.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Jenni, this is a variable contrast paper. You do have variable contrast filters, don't you? What filter did you use to print the prints you are unhappy with? Could you scan one and post the image? Also, and excuse me if you mentioned this, but what print developer are you using? And how long are you developing your prints? In my experience most fiber based papers benefit from a longer-than-usually-recommended development time. I develop my RC prints for two minutes and FB for at least three.

  10. #50
    Roger Cole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Suburbs of Atlanta, GA USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,211
    It sounds like you have overdeveloped the negative resulting in too much contrast on the negative. I looked up the development info for this film (EDU Ultra aka Foma 200, right?) and it says 5-6 minutes in undiluted (which I presume is what you used) D76. So you gave it the upper range of that. Having too much contrast in the negative doesn't preclude detail in both highlights and shadows. The thing is, and this was part of the very basis of creating the zone system, even old films could record a much wider range of brightness than papers, so a method was created to try to match what you get on the negative with what the paper can handle (not counting dodging and burning, local bleaching etc.) Most people find that the Foma films are best developed for 15-20% less than the instructions, and exposed a bit more generously, but Thomas uses more of it than I do and I've only used the 400.

    So if your negative is a bit too contrasty, it sounds like you are trying to compensate for that by printing with a print contrast that preserves detail in both highlights and shadows - you've expanded the negative and compensating by compressing the print. This may get you detail in both highlights and shadows but it also reduces something that is sometimes called "local contrast" or "mid tone separation" or some such term. Changing the contrast doesn't only affect how dark the shadows print and how light the highlights print, it also affects how much difference prints between very closely spaced tones. Say you have a fairly smooth skin tone with a very slight shadow on one side so, in zone terms, it varies from Zone VI (where you placed the face) to VI-1/4. More contrast in the print will expand this to show, say, low zone VI to low zone VII. It will make this light shadow more apparent but it will also make the deeper shadows darker and the highlights brighter, possibly to where they don't show detail (without dodging the shadows and/or burning the highlights.) The result of all this is you lose separation between closely spaced tones when you try to compensate for a contrasty negative by printing on a flat paper. On the other hand, the overdevelopment also expands the "local contrast" some but not as much as printing on a soft paper contracts it because the film development disproportionately affects the highlights - the brighter the highlight, the more extending development increases it.

    I must point out this is just conjecture based on what you're saying about your development time and how the shadows and highlights look when you print for the best overall tonality you can get.

    My suggestion, if you have a chance to shoot a test, is to reduce your development time by about 15% and try again, maybe with just a couple of shots - since you're using sheet film that's pretty easy. That would give you close enough to 5 minutes instead of the 6 you first used. Gentle agitation every 30 seconds should be fine, though agitation certainly affects contrast. If reducing the development time helps the problem but doesn't fix it, you need to reduce it some more. Most people don't like to go below 5 minutes or so in a regular inversion tank (tank you manually turn upside down to agitate) and I agree with this if you fill the tank after loading the film. In that case, if you need to reduce the time more, you can dilute D76 1+1 with water. I prefer this anyway - it will give you slightly worse grain with slightly more sharpness, and in 4x5 you'll never notice the difference. It will also give you a longer development time so you can reduce it more without risking uneven development.

    In the meantime, if I'm correct about the negatives you've already shot, they can probably be printed fine, but will require dodging and/or burning (or contrast masking and that's an advanced technique.)

    The other interesting thing here though is that you like the tones on the RC paper better. Is it RC glossy? I too dislike the look of RC glossy as too shiny and "plasticy" but it can often produce some of the darkest blacks around. I prefer pearl/semi-matte/whatever a manufacturer calls it in RC paper. The relevant question here is this: can you produce a print from these negatives on your RC paper that you like in terms of tonality (leaving aside things like whether the surface is too shiny and how it feels like plastic.)

    EDIT: Somehow I read 6 minutes but you said 6.5. That just adds to my suspicion the negatives are over developed and contrasty and you're getting muddy prints because you're compensating by using a too-soft filter to try to contain the highlights. For a printing test, try printing test prints to get the midtones looking right and let the highlights and shadows do what they may. The print may not look good but if you can get those midtones looking good that will tell you something about the problem. I'd still try going to a 5 minute developing time. That's a bit more than 20% less than your 6.5 and is also at the lower end of the manufacturer's spec.

    It also occurred to me you said you were agitating every 30 seconds but this is 4x5. What method or kind of tank are you using for your film development?
    Last edited by Roger Cole; 09-13-2012 at 05:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.



 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin