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  1. #141

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    Point taken. No hard feelings I hope!

  2. #142
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Point taken. No hard feelings I hope!
    None at all. It's all good.
    "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

  3. #143
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Ok , I am going back quite a bit here so bear with me.

    I got turned on to Pyro by Gordon Hutchings early 90's, at that time I had a small shop in Toronto printing for commercial photographers , before photoshop so there was big budgets and lots of film, I was using a lot of graded paper at the time and experimenting with split printing.

    I do not believe everything I read or hear, so when people were boasting of the benifits of pyro I was curious.

    so I did a lot of testing, and I mean a lot, included were some pretty good fine art photographers who were working only in BW.
    We secured tons of films and did basically the one light source or high lighting range situation with different films and developers, we underexposed, normal exposed, overexposed with different times , under normal and push.
    Then we made prints to 20 x24 to look at the results.

    I followed Gordon Hutchings notes to a tee, and included this new to me developer into the mix.

    In every case where strong lighting conditions were the source, myself and each photographer picked the pyro negs.. that were overexposed and drop developed as per Hutchings notes.
    In every case the highlights were better defined and so too were the shadows.
    This was with graded paper and all efforts were made to match the overall print.

    Later came split printing which is not part of this thread, but it too opened more doors.

    I think that each and everyone watching this thread should do this test, and see what their eyes are telling them, Pyro or Pyrocat vs Xtol or D76- same scene and pump up the lighting contrast.
    Put the negatives and make prints, try to match and see which one works for you.

    Michael I only can say that in every situation where there is strong lighting I recommend a staining/tannin/hardening developer with overexposure and under dev.
    I am printing a show right now , 8x10 tri x in Pyro, indoor with window light only no flash and extreme long exposures to get the image.
    I am absolutely certain that if we used D76 , the prints would not have the range that I am pulling out of them.
    When you are at the extremes and trying to make a full tone print, there is a point of no return, blacks block up , highlights bloom and flare and go soft no matter how hard you try to burn in.

    Remember the days of 7 to 8 stop burn ins on graded paper to bring in detail?
    People resorting to hot water and finger development, muddy highlights.
    Highlights not coming in no matter wtf you did.

    When I brought Pyro into our workflow and split printing on VC paper those days are gone.
    Probably dosen't answer you well but I am believing my eyes , rather than scientific proof or what is written, remember I did not immediately believe what Hutchings had to say.
    Fred Picker wrote a lot about printing, I have all his notes, and books, his best advice was to test for yourself and see the results.





    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    No no. I mean silver does not migrate. That's only one effect. There are still other things that enhance accutance and value discrimination in the tanned negative, like less halation and irradiation, and a lower probability of infectious development. I'm just suggesting people not go nuts thinking a stained negative will show massively different highlights than a well exposed/processed negative using a non-staining developer. I'd also add if exposure is heavy with Pyro/Cat, which several people on this thread have said they prefer, the enhancements pretty much go out the window. Sandy King has written alot about this stuff in other forums etc. For what it's worth I've done alot of my own experiments.

    I'm curious though about your flared-out D76 comment. Why does it have to be so? I agree there can be *slightly* more "bloom" around such objects with a sulfite developer than a staining developer, but the value differences and detail can be just as good, albeit harder to print in some cases. Can you explain?

  4. #144
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    So you are saying the bare bulb in a room effect , one flared out* D76* , one crystal clear*Pyro* is a placebo effect and not real.

    I think I need an asprin, I have sold all this development based on this percieved effect.
    That effect is shown clearly in Hans Windisch's 1938 book
    "Die Neu Foto Schule" (also published in English as The New Photo School) where he recommends what is now known as the Windisch surface developer. In fact's an older formula which he doesn't claim as his own.

    The principle is that a tanning developer hardens the emulsion proportionately to development so in areas of extreme exposure there's more hardening and less penetration of the developer,. This was very important with older thicker emulsions prior to the 60's some of which had poor antihalation backing and that halation was worse in the emulsion closest to the support.

    Modern emulsions will exhibit a less marked effect and will vary depending on the emulsion & staining developer used.

    Ian

  5. #145
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Thinking out loud here:

    Perhaps using a film such as TMax 400 (TMY-2) presents an advantage with extreme contrast scenes. It records a very large brightness range in linear fashion, (I think 14 stops), which is more than most, if not all, other films. Would that make a difference in the necessity of using a developer to help contracting such extreme contrast, while getting less of the blooming effect? Or is this purely a developer related phenomenon?
    "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

  6. #146

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    Ok , I am going back quite a bit here so bear with me.

    I got turned on to Pyro by Gordon Hutchings early 90's, at that time I had a small shop in Toronto printing for commercial photographers , before photoshop so there was big budgets and lots of film, I was using a lot of graded paper at the time and experimenting with split printing.

    I do not believe everything I read or hear, so when people were boasting of the benifits of pyro I was curious.

    so I did a lot of testing, and I mean a lot, included were some pretty good fine art photographers who were working only in BW.
    We secured tons of films and did basically the one light source or high lighting range situation with different films and developers, we underexposed, normal exposed, overexposed with different times , under normal and push.
    Then we made prints to 20 x24 to look at the results.

    I followed Gordon Hutchings notes to a tee, and included this new to me developer into the mix.

    In every case where strong lighting conditions were the source, myself and each photographer picked the pyro negs.. that were overexposed and drop developed as per Hutchings notes.
    In every case the highlights were better defined and so too were the shadows.
    This was with graded paper and all efforts were made to match the overall print.

    Later came split printing which is not part of this thread, but it too opened more doors.

    I think that each and everyone watching this thread should do this test, and see what their eyes are telling them, Pyro or Pyrocat vs Xtol or D76- same scene and pump up the lighting contrast.
    Put the negatives and make prints, try to match and see which one works for you.

    Michael I only can say that in every situation where there is strong lighting I recommend a staining/tannin/hardening developer with overexposure and under dev.
    I am printing a show right now , 8x10 tri x in Pyro, indoor with window light only no flash and extreme long exposures to get the image.
    I am absolutely certain that if we used D76 , the prints would not have the range that I am pulling out of them.
    When you are at the extremes and trying to make a full tone print, there is a point of no return, blacks block up , highlights bloom and flare and go soft no matter how hard you try to burn in.

    Remember the days of 7 to 8 stop burn ins on graded paper to bring in detail?
    People resorting to hot water and finger development, muddy highlights.
    Highlights not coming in no matter wtf you did.

    When I brought Pyro into our workflow and split printing on VC paper those days are gone.
    Probably dosen't answer you well but I am believing my eyes , rather than scientific proof or what is written, remember I did not immediately believe what Hutchings had to say.
    Fred Picker wrote a lot about printing, I have all his notes, and books, his best advice was to test for yourself and see the results.
    Bob, agreed each person really needs to try it for him/herself. I strongly believe in individual testing since I don't believe most of what I read either.

    For what it's worth, I did alot of testing similar to what you describe before I embarked upon serious work with night scenes, indoor etc under extreme contrast conditions. I used VC paper only though. I was curious to see if I could make things work without staining developers because I was going to be using mostly 35mm for this stuff and needed finer grain. Sexton's work with extreme contrast lighting was my inspiration, since I had honestly never (and still haven't) seen anything better, and he was using plain old TMAX RS, diluted, with reduced agitation.

    After alot of experiments I found that although it was sometimes a bit easier to bring in subtle high value detail with the stained negatives (depending on the scene), with some extra work I was able to get results as good with non-stained negatives, with careful exposure and development (I currently use diluted Perceptol). I agree though D76 in particular would not be my first choice for this work - although it can produce very sharp, low contrast results with some compensating effects at 1+3. Now I'm not going to delude myself into thinking diluted Perceptol is as sharp as Pyro. It is not, but it is reasonably sharp, and much finer grained than the staining alternatives.

    Here is an example print. Note this is a crap quality scan as I have no idea what I'm doing. But there is alot of depth to the low values, including fine mesh in the transom above the door, while at the same time there is detail, and value differences even within the lightbulb itself, although it may not show well here. The starring around the lightbulb was unavoidable due to the small aperture. This is by no means an easy print to make, but I was able to get as good a result as with Pyro (I made PMK and Windisch Comp. negatives of the same scene), exactly as envisioned. I've done the same tests with other negatives that were made under even more extreme contrast and got the same results.

    Anyhow, interesting discussion. I enjoy taking about this stuff even though we all know in the end technique and skill make the print, as Thomas rightly points out.

    PS if you click on this thumbnail it enlarges a little distorted and screwed up so it seems you have to then click again to view it properly - ie open it in a new window.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Apartment doorway.jpg  
    Last edited by Michael R 1974; 08-02-2011 at 11:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #147
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Thinking out loud here:

    Perhaps using a film such as TMax 400 (TMY-2) presents an advantage with extreme contrast scenes. It records a very large brightness range in linear fashion, (I think 14 stops), which is more than most, if not all, other films. Would that make a difference in the necessity of using a developer to help contracting such extreme contrast, while getting less of the blooming effect? Or is this purely a developer related phenomenon?

    I don't use TMax films any longer, but I've found that the highlights withDelat 100 & 400, and also HP5, in Pyrocat HD in cases of extreme highlight contrast have been easier to print with better detail and less prone to what I guess you calling blooming - light scatter/halation.

    Ian

  8. #148
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    That room situation is exactly the range I am talking about and encourage a lot of workers to get detail in the bulb and shadows.
    If you have both with technique then all you have to do is work on your vision.

    BTW most of my work is with print solarization so the original neg is not as critical as would with night scenes or extreme lighting.
    I am now thinking to fog the neg(solarize) then fog the print (solarize) at 30 x40 size to see what effect I can get.

  9. #149

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    Hey wait a minute are you saying my vision needs work?

    By the way my experience is similar to Ian's above. There's a proposed explanation for this in Anchell/Troop regarding the size of the grain surface and relative to its depth. Apparently Kodak's T-grains are flatter and larger relative to Ilford's Delta grains, which are a little smaller in surface area and thicker. This apparently explains why retention of fine highlight detail and tonality is slightly easier with Delta. In my experience it is splitting hairs though and I use mostly TMAX. Who knows if the explanation is correct, to what degree it makes a difference. After all Anchell also feels the flat grain films are materially inferior in tonality to "traditional" emulsions, and I don't buy this based on the print evidence I've seen.

  10. #150
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    I don't use TMax films any longer, but I've found that the highlights withDelat 100 & 400, and also HP5, in Pyrocat HD in cases of extreme highlight contrast have been easier to print with better detail and less prone to what I guess you calling blooming - light scatter/halation.

    Ian
    So Ian, is this because of the curve shouldering, allowing the image to fit the paper curve better?
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin



 

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