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  1. #31

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    Well if you have a static sceane and time you should meter zone1 and the highlights - so know that you are going to have a problem.

    Moving baby to open shade with shade background is simplest, shooting people in harsh sunlight difficult.

    eg monster reflectors on wheels a la Hollywood cowboy movies

    I never bothered with Barrys instructions just used D23 and a post Borax bath if you reduce time in bath A you will reduce density in high lights. Bath B has most effect in shadows to midtones, and not that much. D23 by itself is a good option for high contrast.

    One of the densitometer types could validate the effect with modern films not found any published details.

    I eventually went to rodinal stand 1+100 with a post borax bath cause of skin problems.

  2. #32
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    and the situation is even more nebulous when it comes to two-solution Metol-sulfite-alkali development. I've seen virtually no good data, testing, or even sound theory for what most people say.
    Sorry Michael, nothing personal meant but I personally have never found densitometer readings, characteristic curves, photographs of Macbeth tests, etc very stimulating - good images is another thing altogether because I look at good photographs with great relish. Of course the developer that you use and gives you the results that you want is the 'best' developer and we are very lucky with our medium in that there are so many combinations out their to suit every taste. As to theory, well Ansel Adams was pretty shaky in many areas quite often getting things quite wrong but, whether you personally like his work or not, the technical prowess and technique cannot be argued with.

    However, to suggest that there has been no good testing of Two-Bath developers in general and Barry Thornton's in particular is a misnomer. True there may not have been much in the way of scientific lab-based tests but there are hundreds of thousands of real world practical tests (I prefer to call them successful images that the photographer has chosen to print) that demonstrate that BTTW works exceptionally well for the people who want the results that it gives. In my case it has, for many many years, consistently delivered negatives that suit my image making. It has also been a winner was many of the people I have taught. Not always, of course, because each student has different ideas about what they want. If you want images that look like Daido Moriyama or Anders Petersen the BTTW is not going to get you very far and this is but one of many examples of needing to choose the correct developer for the results that you want to achieve.

    I think the key point here is that the OP was asking for advice on how to improve results using BTTW developer. In the main what the OP got was advice not to use this developer which then inevitably leads everyone else to speak up for their own preferred developer. What would be really great is if photographers with experience of BTTW developer could contribute with their own experiences with a clear explanation of how they use it, why the continue to use it or, if after really working a lot with it, they chose to work with a different developer.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBrowning View Post
    This thread was not to discuss the merits of homebrew vs commercial developers.
    Perhaps not but there seems to be more questions being posted for non-commercial developers. For those photos that are very important which group of developers do you use?
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Perhaps not but there seems to be more questions being posted for non-commercial developers. For those photos that are very important which group of developers do you use?
    So you hijack my thread to voice your opinion?

    To answer your question I use the developer that best suits my needs which 9 out of 10 times is BTTB. I have few exceptions to that but that's not the point.

    Now my turn. Why does it bother you so much when someone wants to do something other than what you think is right?
    Last edited by MrBrowning; 06-19-2014 at 08:14 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Thought better for my wording.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBrowning View Post
    So you hijack my thread to voice your opinion?
    Well really it's not your thread. Everyone who posts to a thread becomes part of it. Each thread takes on a life of its own and the OP has little or no control over it. This is as it should be. The more comments that are posted the better chance of a positive outcome. My concern is as it always has been to encourage people to do their very best in the craft of photography. You may be comfortable with BTTB but others may not. This developer is not as well documented as one would wish.

    BTW one post out of 32 is hardly high-jacking a thread. But I will refrain from further comment.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 06-19-2014 at 09:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Well really it's not your thread. Everyone who posts to a thread becomes part of it. Each thread takes on a life of its own and the OP has little or no control over it. This is as it should be. The more comments that are posted the better chance of a positive outcome. My concern is as it always has been to encourage people to do their very best in the craft of photography. You may be comfortable with BTTB but others may not. This developer is not as well documented as one would wish.

    BTW one post out of 32 is hardly high-jacking a thread. But I will refrain from further comment.
    I'll concede that the word highjack was a bad choice. I should have used derail.

    The quantity of comments does not guarantee a positive thread. It's the quality of comments that makes a thread positive.

    The whole reason for the thread (and my previous one on this developer) is because it's not a well documented developer so the only way to get more information is to ask. It comes across, at least to me, that you feel this developer is not worth someones time and therefore should never be used. In no way does this help with the questions I posed.

    Please feel free to continue to comment if you can help me better understand the developer. I do not want a "pissing match"over whether or not it's a good or bad developer. I would like to learn from people who have more experience with it than I do.
    "The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering." - Bruce Lee

    "It is better to travel well than to arrive." - Buddha

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBrowning View Post
    It comes across, at least to me, that you feel this developer is not worth someones time and therefore should never be used.
    No, but it's use is more problematic, at least, for me. I prefer to spend as little time in the darkroom as possible. I therefore try to standardize on one or two developers that are well documented in their behavior. I encourage people to do the same taking the advice of Ansel Adams to heart.

    I applaud your endeavor to collect information and sincerely wish you success. This is what is needed. Jerry
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 06-19-2014 at 10:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

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  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBrowning View Post
    I'll concede that the word highjack was a bad choice. I should have used derail.

    The quantity of comments does not guarantee a positive thread. It's the quality of comments that makes a thread positive.

    The whole reason for the thread (and my previous one on this developer) is because it's not a well documented developer so the only way to get more information is to ask. It comes across, at least to me, that you feel this developer is not worth someones time and therefore should never be used. In no way does this help with the questions I posed.

    Please feel free to continue to comment if you can help me better understand the developer. I do not want a "pissing match"over whether or not it's a good or bad developer. I would like to learn from people who have more experience with it than I do.
    Information is going to be difficult.
    Not many people use it, my use was with D25 - because I had a stock bottle.
    It has more variables, two independent times instead of one.
    The effect of the borax bath may be film dependent, I did not see a large (any) dependency, between the films I tried.
    Barry needed to document it better.
    You need a half dozen H&D curves for each film you use.
    But
    If you have a set up shoot avoid high dynamic range. Know where North is plan the shoot time, use reflectors.

    Edit see
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1...ner-grain.html

  9. #39
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    MrBrowning,

    I'm a densitometer type, D-76 1:1 and like the simplicity of one bath and the only decision I have to make is how long in it... I won't impose that on a Barry Thornton Two Bath thread...

    But is the bright background compositionally important? Maybe it "just doesn't matter" and you can print it paper white. Another choice is to make the child in shade actually appear pictorially as if he is in the shade. And just do a little dodging so he's not impossible to make out from the shadow.

  10. #40
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    You may be comfortable with BTTB but others may not.
    I think this is the gist of this thread that is being missed. The OP stated that he was happy using BTTB developer but wanted to understand other people's experience with it.

    This developer is not as well documented as one would wish.
    What further documentation is needed? There are a large amount of successful images out there where the photographer has used a two-bath developer. Technical investigation has it's place and, without all of the hard work by technicians at Kodak, Ilford, etc, we would all still be working with films rated at 12 ASA. However, I would suggest that, for photographers actually working out in the field, it is their real world experiences with any given film/developer combination that is far more important.

    No, but it's use is more problematic, at least, for me. I prefer to spend as little time in the darkroom as possible. I therefore try to standardize on one or two developers that are well documented in their behavior.
    I love to spend time in the darkroom printing but have always found film development something of a boring, if rather essential, chore. That is why I have settled on one developer that gives me the results that suit my needs. Through using a single camera/film/developer combination I have my own documentation of the behavior and characteristics of BTTB developer. That, of course is not much help to others, so I think it would be helpful if I explain what I like about this developer:
    • I am not keen on visible grain and this developer delivers fine grain.
    • I like my images to look sharp (I generally go for lots of depth of field) and the acutance of this developer suits my work.
    • When processed in a repeatable and consistent, manner it gives a predictable result that you can rely on.
    • It allows me to achieve a tonality that I like very much (for example many years ago, when I used to do large format landscape work using FP4 and Tri-X in HC110 Dilution B, I found that I almost always needed to use a Minus Blue filter to render the skies how I wanted them and, with BTTB developer I no longer need to use any filters. The skies fall just perfectly on the grey that I like).
    • For me I can meter the darkest area that I want on Zone III and then do not have to worry about the highlights burning out (hence my surprise that the OP had this problem).


    Not many people use it
    May be the case but I personally know quite a lot of people who use it happily. Thankfully, as you can mix it easily yourself, how many people use it is not as important as with commercially made developers that require enough people to buy it for it to remain on the market.

    Barry needed to document it better.
    In what way? He made the formula available for free for people to try themselves and published many examples of the results that he achieved with it. Given that Thornton (along with many other photographers writing about technique) quite often justified things with not necessarily the correct theoretical basis, I think the popularity of his courses, books and formulae were actually down to people using what he suggested and found that it worked.

    You need a half dozen H&D curves for each film you use.
    Why?

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

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