Question abotut film processing
I am finally understanding the differnt way to develop BW film but here is my question. What do you want to say go N-1 on a very contrasty scene? Does it ahve to have 7 stops on tone or more? For N+1 is the scene is 3-4 I will add some time to the development but leave the ISO the same which turns out pretty good.
Now when they say N-1 I will overexpose the film a bit ISO 100 rated at 64 to suport the shadow and make sure the mids to not turn to mud when I pull the time back on processing but how much time is N-1? 50 less or 100% less than normal. For example say it is 10 minutes for normal processing would N-1 be 5 minutes?
If you've done film tests, you already have a pretty good idea of how much you need to change times. Take a look at your test results and see how much they vary.
If you haven't done film tests, it would be a good idea to try a few different times to see how it works. There is no hard and fast rule for this, but it sounds like you have the concept down already.
I have been trying new film so I guess experminting with tie is what I need to do. Any suggestions to a starting point. And when do you really wnat to go N-1 or N-2 for that matter. Paper should print 6 zones so when do you wnat to go N-1? How many stops does the scene have to contain before you do this? I realize that it is artistic expression but just looking for starting points as I am gettign to learn a new way to develop my film.
The best advice I can give you is to meter carefully, look at your notes from previous shots and similar contrast ranges, then decide how the print needs to be made. If your shadows are correctly placed and you know a critical portion of the print will be lifeless, add to your development times. Similarly, if shadows will be good and highlights are above what the film and paper can handle (from experience and careful metering), a reduction in development is needed.
Most of this is subjective. I live in the desert, so one would think that the scenes would be very contrasty. This is not necessarily so. For landscapes, I find myself using expanded development fairly frequently, because there is a rather narrow range of values when there is no sky in the image. The spines on a cactus don't really come alive without a little bump in processing to make them a bit lighter than they actually are. This is not the actual light one would see, but it seems to look better than a standard development would in the print.
The best advice I can give you is to start with about 20% as a point of departure, if you want to add or subtract brightness.This will be enough to see what is happening. If you take careful notes, time will show you the way. Without decent notes, it is more difficult to begin to understand this process. After a while, the notes are more trouble than they are worth. But for learning, notes make things easier to recall and understand after the print is made and studied for a while.
It is interesting to hear how many people will go back to a negative at a later date and make a finer print. It is only experience which allows this to happen.