The really important thing is that you have to give enough exposure to the darkest thing of interest in the scene to make it register on the film (expose for the shadows). Development affects the shadows more or less the same regardless of extent (OK - extreme underdevelopment will underdevelop them too, but the shadows are more or less unaffected by the degree of development). The highlights are affected by development, however, and overdevelopment caused them to block up badly on older films. That's where the "develop for the highlights" came from. The situation is not so bad with modern films, but sticking to the adage still makes your printing easier. The zone system uses development to control contrast, which is a related but quite different thing. Since you can't avoid the "expose for the shadows" part and the zone system uses adjustments in development, confusion was bound to happen.
Good old rules of thumb did not happen by accident. There is no harm in testing them but the wisdom of "expose for the shadows" is firm - You just can't get them back if they are not there. I guess the whole thing reminds me of my kids who figure that if it is established knowledge, it must be wrong - lets do the opposite. Then in their thirties they say - oh, gee, I guess the old rules were kind of right after all. Usually rules of thumb are shortcuts that savvy people use to get to technical excellence quicker by understanding them better rather than wasting time refuting them.
My photos are always without all that distracting color ...
Umm, I must admit I couldn't cope with doing all the maths, but it sounds like a carefully crafted example of how reliance on good fortune can occasionally produce good negatives. Wouldn't it have all fallen apart for poor Sam if the instructor's shirt had been blue rather than white? Bill, of course, would have been fine.
My tests turned out exactly the same way.
Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?
I got lost trying to follow all Sam's screwups.
Meanwhile, Charlie shot XP2 at box speed and had it developed at Walmart.
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I just like ta tek em pichurs.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
I kind of like Bill
Sigh... Make sure you get enough light through to the film to record shadow detail. Develop for an appropriate amount of time to get decent highlights. That's all there's to it, really. Why should it not be true? It's what film developing is. And, as a bonus, you can tweak it to how you like it.
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
Well quite. If it's not recorded on the film, you're not going to recover it in the darkroom after all.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
The reductio ad absurdem of the opposing point of view is to just point the camera at the scene and then not open the shutter at all. While on the one hand I can offer a personal guarantee that you won't burn out your highlights, I would also suggest that it doesn't matter what you do in the darkroom, you ain't going to recover any shadow detail either...
Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...
I was cracking up while writing it. I don't want to offend anyone that relates to either one in the story, but in a way Sam in pure genius. He demonstrates Einstein's theory of relative motion! Seriously, he does!
I understand that only the "Zonies" are probably familiar enough to follow the story, but they may not believe the conclusions, whereas straight forward shooters may not be able to understand what Sam is doing. So I'll explain it all in the end, so that everyone can see the humor and serendipity
But on to the pictures...