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  1. #31
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    CPorter, I think your tag line says a lot about this.

    "I find it always necessary to stress that we cannot equate brilliance with contrast."
    ---AA (The Print)

    ".....in printing we are trying to breathe expressive life into the image,.....this raises intangible issues that do not yield to formulas or measurement."
    ---AA (The Print)
    I have tried moving just one direction and it does help in certain situations.

    Part of what I'm getting at here is that the brightness where a subject (say a face) looks best, it's placement on the paper curve, can change depending on the contrast and the scene.

    With a softer paper grade I find I can print mid tones and shadows darker in general. This is far from a rule though.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  2. #32
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I must say that this is a challenge, the direction isn't necessarily intuitive. It seems to me to be an art, not a science.
    This is where making big jumps provides you with some clarity.

  3. #33

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    There are some printers who prefer an approach with bigger moves - I think this is the kind of printing method sometimes referred to as "outflanking".

  4. #34

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    I never really trust that I've made a print of the "optimum" contrast and exposure until I make ones that I don't like at all extremes (too much/too little contrast and too much/too little exposure). Yes, it's sometimes a waste of a sheet of paper just to make sure I was right (I'm not gonna like this with more contrast, but let's try it anyway...), but sometimes it works out (hey... I kinda like this with really open shadows!).

    And, of course, there is an area of acceptability as well: a range of contrast and exposure that I find pleasing, leaning one way or the other depending on mood, what lighting I'm displaying under, etc. Kind of like tempo and dynamic variations in a musical performance: many valid interpretations possible.

    Anyway, I find I can save time by making rather large differences in the beginning of the refinement process, so I can get those extremes I don't like out of the way right away, or, conversely, not waste time refining a print in one way when I really like it another. I never jump less than a paper grade, sometimes I jump 2 (or make an analogous change with print developer/brand). The same with exposure. 20% is really not enough of a difference to get to an extreme quickly; I like to start with at least 40% more or less. (As you can gather, I prefer using percentages to f-stop timing or purely arithmetical changes).

    Once I've gone to far, it's fairly easy to estimate an intermediate point to start the real refining from.

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com

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