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  1. #11

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    When I look at your thumbnail, I don't think that the image was underexposed, overexposed, or underdeveloped. At least the shadow areas and the highlight areas don't indicate that to me.

    If anything, judging from the roof of the house, it may actually be a slight amount over developed.

    The problem that exists in this thumbnail is that you are dealing with a moderate to high overall contrast (roof to window openings) and a low local contrast (all of the midtones).

    The problem that exists is how do maximize the local contrast while living within the confines of acceptable overall contrast.

    There are several ways of accomplishing this during the printing. The first and easiest is to preflash the paper. Since the house roof is a relatively small part of the total image, this will probably be sufficient. When you preflash the paper, the highlights will compress downward allowing you to use higher contrast filtration or higher grade of paper to increase the local contrast. The net effect is a compression of the overall contrast to allow a higher contrast at printing to maximize the local contrast.

    Another way would be to unsharp mask the negative. The unsharp masking would compress the shadow details upwards and again allow higher contrast filtration or higher grade paper to increase local contrast. This would also work in this instance since the deep shadow areas are small in relation to the rest of the image. The net effect is the same as in preflashing the paper...that is compressing the overall contrast thereby allowing an increase in local contrast.

    The difference in the two methods is that they work on opposite ends of the tonal scale.

    There is no hard and fast rule about which tool to use and at what time. For instance preflashing paper is not always the proper course of action...nor is unsharp masking.

    But, I repeat, based upon the thumbnail, to suggest that you didn't expose or develop the film properly is not being correct in my opinion.

  2. #12

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    As for heating your chemicals and regulating the temperature, try putting your bottle of developer in a tray filled with warm water. Stir the contents every so often and check the temperature. If you let it sit for a while the temperature will come up to where you need it. I use warm water baths every time I develop film because I work out of my garage.

  3. #13

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    Basic rule of thumb...if you want contrastier negs, underexpose, over-develop. In particular, on an overcast day, you should develop for N+1 (which means generally 20-30% increase in dev for this).

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon furer
    Basic rule of thumb...if you want contrastier negs, underexpose, over-develop. In particular, on an overcast day, you should develop for N+1 (which means generally 20-30% increase in dev for this).
    My basic rule of thumb is: never underexpose. I can deal effectively with any other mistake later, but not underexposure. If there is insufficient support in the shadows, I'm flat out screwed the instant I trip the shutter and there's nothing I can do about it. Over or under development or overexposure are all dealt with in the printing. When in doubt, give it more light and not less.

    I agree with Donald that the key to the quality you seek in a print (whatever it may be) is in controlling local contrast. Sometimes it's in the middle, sometimes at either or both ends of the scale but it's the difference between a nice, or even excellent print and a jaw dropper.

    Your negative contains enough information so that you can produce a fine print from it. Concentrate on the printing.

  5. #15

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    Thank you all for your suggestions.
    I used a time/development chart with lines to determine my development time.
    The Ilford chart recommends 9:15 at 18C, so it looks like my development time of 9 min at 18C was around the correct time.

    This was a simple negative scan done with my flatbed scanner. I'm really low on paper and haven't tried printing. I don't even particularly like this shot, it was just a good example of the look of the batch.

    So it seems the answer is underexpose/overdevelop (although I do see the point c6h6o3 has made regarding this), colored filters, and good tactical printing.

    I will try them all, and see what I can get.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy
    Thank you all for your suggestions.
    I used a time/development chart with lines to determine my development time.
    The Ilford chart recommends 9:15 at 18C, so it looks like my development time of 9 min at 18C was around the correct time.

    This was a simple negative scan done with my flatbed scanner. I'm really low on paper and haven't tried printing. I don't even particularly like this shot, it was just a good example of the look of the batch.

    So it seems the answer is underexpose/overdevelop (although I do see the point c6h6o3 has made regarding this), colored filters, and good tactical printing.

    I will try them all, and see what I can get.
    I strongly second what Jim Shanesy (c6h6o3) said about underexposing and overdeveloping. That may be what some people will recommend but it is a sure recipe for empty shadows. I guess if that is what you want then you should do it.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    I strongly second what Jim Shanesy (c6h6o3) said about underexposing and overdeveloping. That may be what some people will recommend but it is a sure recipe for empty shadows. I guess if that is what you want then you should do it.
    Donald, can you explain to me "empty shadows"? I can understand what you're saying but can't visualise it.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy
    Donald, can you explain to me "empty shadows"? I can understand what you're saying but can't visualise it.
    Empty shadows are shadow with no discernable detail. This condition occurs when one underexposes film.

    Exposure is necessary for shadow exposure. Proper developement is required for proper negative density range which is required for proper contrast and highlight rendition.

    Hope that this helps.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Empty shadows are shadow with no discernable detail. This condition occurs when one underexposes film.

    Exposure is necessary for shadow exposure. Proper developement is required for proper negative density range which is required for proper contrast and highlight rendition.

    Hope that this helps.

    And thus the myth of "pushing", right?

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnashings
    And thus the myth of "pushing", right?
    Exactly. Perfection XR-1 was supposedly a true push developer, but I never used it. The one thing which does increase effective speed is semi-stand development. If I'm going to be developing that way I'll rate my TMax at 400 instead of 200, but that technique is only aesthetically viable for certain types of subject matter.

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