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  1. #1
    nhemann's Avatar
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    Development Suggestion

    Just finished burning a roll here at the ship yard and need a little advice on this one. It was grey and foggy here today - flat light and a grey scene would hardly do it justice as a description (I could have used color film and you'd barely notice. lol)

    There are, theoretically, some decent shots on the roll and I would like to not screw this up....how should I alter my developement times for this?

    Thanks
    Neil
    "There is no such thing as objective reality in a photograph"

    My flickr and (gasp!) dpug photos - take a look if you like.

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you are shooting 35mm black and white film (not C41 black and white).

    If your shots recorded scenes with a low subject brightness range (SBR) and you exposed for good shadow and mid-tone detail, you will be able to use development variations to move the image up and down the film curve.

    To increase the apparent SBR, you can increase the development time. As a suggestion, try a 1.4 times increase - it will have an effect that is similar to the contrast increase you get from a one stop "push".

    Increasing the development time will increase the apparent graininess of the image, but the extent of that effect will depend on your developing regime.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3
    nhemann's Avatar
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    Thank you Matt,
    I should have been a little more forthcoming in the details. It was a roll of 400TX shot at box speed and incident metered so the shots were f/4 @ 1/125s or the nearby equivalent.
    "There is no such thing as objective reality in a photograph"

    My flickr and (gasp!) dpug photos - take a look if you like.

  4. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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    If you are looking to increase contrast, do what Matt suggests, increase development time. You can also increase agitation to help bring up highlites.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  5. #5

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    Or print on a higher grade.

  6. #6
    Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    There are, theoretically, some decent shots on the roll and I would like to not screw this up....how should I alter my developement times for this?
    Neil,

    If it were me, I'd increase your development time a bit. Try a 20% increase in your normal time....You'll want the negative to sit nicely on a normal paper grade. Changing to a higher contrast grade/filter when printing will probably work, but it will also enhance grain. You probably want the fog to have nice, smooth transitions. But I'm only guessing at this increase in development time, as I have no idea what the SBR of the scene was.
    Might be a good idea to conduct some film tests (EI and dev times) before you go out on a proper shoot.

  7. #7
    ROL
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    Pushing as suggested may work for you, but it really depends on what else is your composition. Beautiful things can happen in the fog, even when metered generally, without special placement or expansion. This is where the Zone System shines. You would know how to develop your film.

    If you can recall, as I assume you didn't meter important elements of the scene, whether the general composition for your most important exposures, had "shipyard stuff" elements of contrasting dark (i.e., black paint, black trees, etc.) and light (i.e, white numbers, cables, chrome, etc.) within them – or in other words if large portions of your compositions included anything other than fog – you may be better off developing normally.

    You could view this as a learning experience and cut the roll in half, developing one part normally and pushing the other, in order to decide for yourself. And then share the results with us.
    Last edited by ROL; 11-16-2011 at 07:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I think you have good advice all around.

    When I ran a calculator on my longest time to the "Normal" time, it came out 1.23 x so advice to do 20% more might give you a CI around 0.75 instead of a more normal 0.62

    And this would fit a 6 stop scene on Grade 2 where a normal development would require you to go up to Grade 3.

    It's all in the right direction for a gray day, and will give you more flexibility. You might still need Grade 3 or 4 to print depending on your actual scene and preferences. But at least you won't need Grade 5.

  9. #9
    nhemann's Avatar
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    Thanks to you all for the excellent advice - I shall proceed accordingly. The weather is supposed to be about the same tomorrow so maybe I'll grab a quick digi-shot and some spot meter readings to post up and make this a learning experience all around.

    N
    "There is no such thing as objective reality in a photograph"

    My flickr and (gasp!) dpug photos - take a look if you like.

  10. #10
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Normally in flat lighting without true blacks anywhere in the scene, you may actually wish to underexpose your film, simply because your midtones are already so high on the film curve, towards highhlights, and shadows could use less exposure to give any real impact in that scene.
    If you simply expose normally and then extend your development, you will have both given more exposure than you need, and possibly made that worse by developing longer. Beware of blocked up highlights that may be rendered unprintable. Just sayin'...
    "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



 

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