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  1. #31
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    For me it is harder to control tone on higher grades of paper.
    I find this as well. If you print at higher grades, say 4 to 5 burning in tends to just make the blacks blacker. The way I work is if I find a negative needs to be printed at grade 4 to 5 I'll burn in areas with a much lower grade filter. Every negative calls for different amounts of filtrations obviously. This is a variation of split grade printing.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dismayed View Post

    I think it depends on how you approach printing. I was taught to expose my photo paper for the highlights, and to adjust contrast from there.
    I agree.

    I'm not at all saying it's wrong, but I'll sure say that I don't understand this approach........setting the printing exposure from the other direction, from the shadow or mid-tone end. When you consider that more exposure darkens the highlights and less exposure lightens them, it then becomes the key to the printing the highlights, it's the only real control, in conjuction with dodging, that one has over the final highlight density on the paper. The mid-tone and shadow densities on the paper can be controlled by other means once the highlight printing exposure is arrived at such as filtration or paper grade and choice of developer. Seems backwards and not effecient, but not necessarily incorrect either I guess.

  3. #33
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I mostly shoot in overcast light and a situation I frequently come across is when I have a shot including some white overcast sky (that later I will want to burn down in the print to show a feeling of overcast). Say I have a white house in the foreground. The white house ideally should be on zone VII, but at this exposure the sky falls on VIII or VIII 1/2. So what I do is place the highlight of the house on zone VI and let the sky fall on zone VII or VII 1/2 at most, and this thinner negative allows easier burning in in the darkroom. It is also easy using split grade printing to dodge out the foreground so that the house is printed up to zone VII. This would be an example of where a scene has normal (N) contrast, but low local contrast. Would anyone handle this scene differently?

  4. #34
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    > Would anyone handle this scene differently?
    Yes, me.
    Usually I start with a test strip of the assumed paper gradation, mostly 2. The steps af a difference of 1/3 stop rounded to complete seconds with the help of a metronome.
    After developing I am looking for the minimum time of maximum black. This is the starting time for my next strips. Let's assume that time is 16 seconds.
    After that I am looking for a strip which shows the house and the sky like I wish to have them. Normally this is another strip and not the one which has the minimum time for maximum black. For each step to shorter times I have to take a paper gradation half a grade harder (for Foma paper: 15% more magenta). Example: If house and sky are right at 13 seconds, this is 1/3 stop lighter and requires paper gradation 2.5. There is no need to change the exposition time if you change the contrast not more than one grade: Minimum time of maximum black changes only slowly with filtering. So I end with 16 seconds and gradation 2.5.

    If the difference in gradation is not too large (which requires a second test strip) I usually make a test print. This print looks quite fair in the most situations and is the starting point for fine tuning of highlights, dodging and burning.
    ---
    Uwe Pilz

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