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  1. #31
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    But to just combine two filters, one on top of the other doesn't release any of the true potential of this fine darkroom printing tool.

    But it does. It did for me. It allowed me to see that this filter does this, and that filter does that, and decreasing time here and increasing it there adds contrast and clarity.

    For some of you, taking one process and splitting it into two may add unnecessary complications. However, it actually simplified it FOR ME.

    FOR ME. Thats what some of you don't seem to accept. Are there better ways of doing things, sure. Are there easier way of doing things, sure. But for the first time in a long time, this has opened some creative doors for me.

    So 4 seconds at 00, and 6 seconds at 5, produces the same image as 10 seconds on 3... you got there one way, I got there the other. You shoot a certain camera, and I shoot something else, but we both end up with an image.

    What all of you seem to forget is that we are all not as advanced as you. I am a kinesthetic learner, I have to put my hands on it and do it at least once before I understand it. Giving me a book and telling me to read is about as worthless as a car with no wheels. I ain't getting anywhere that way.

    What I asked was, "what do you suggest I could do better or different to improve my print." I didn't ask, "how can I completely change the process that I've just learned to understand because my fellow photographic geniuses think I'm complicating things." Someone suggested that I cut down the soft exposure, and whaddaya know, it worked and I understand it.

    I'm not discounting any of the advice thats been posted, its all good advice. But telling me that using two filters is the same as using one and I should be doing it a certain way isn't going to help me.

  2. #32
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    Matt, you got my post card. That was printed at 12 secs with a 1 filter. I started at 2 but the shadows were too dark.

    Is that image a good example where SG would be better suited?
    Christopher:

    It may very well be an example where split grade techniques would add controls that would benefit you.

    But those extra controls would be ones that allow you to use different contrast behaviours for different parts of the image.

    Something like doing a lighter print at grade 2, and then adding a burn at grade 1 in the highlighted areas only.

    That would give you better definition in the shadows.

    To repeat myself, if you are just adding a low contrast, overall exposure to a high contrast, overall exposure, you aren't getting anything different than a single, mid contrast exposure. So it would be a really good idea if you can get yourself directly to that single mid contrast exposure. Then add split contrast tools to customize further your result.

    If thinking about contrast grades in split grade terms helps you visualize how to proceed, and you find it difficult to think instead in terms of single, intermediate contrast terms, then feel free to continuing to use the technique. Most of us here just think that if you don't understand how both approaches work, then the extra complexity of split grade may end up tripping you up.
    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. #33
    eddie's Avatar
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    Christopher- the fact that different people, with a lot of experience, and the ability to make excellent prints, disagree on this just shows that there are many ways to get to the final result. Use whatever method works for you, and is the easiest for you to understand as you print/make adjustments. The last cat photo you posted was a huge improvement over the first. You're obviously moving in the right direction.

  4. #34

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    Christopher, well done so far.
    And yes it appears to be a bit of a Raw vs Jpeg argument (or maybe Betty or Veronica, Betty is simpler but Veronica's wealth has more potential; neither is a bad date)
    I have three enlargers; two are colour heads and are typically used with "combined filter" settings, but the blue/green enlarger that I have must be used as a split grade enlarger.
    The split grade technique involves changing the time only of each of the components based on what the highlights or what the shadows look like.
    The single filter approach more often leaves me wandering between changing contrast or changing exposure. I.e. do I want whiter whites by increasing grade or decreasing exposure?
    I realize that experience at reading a test print will eventually lead one to choose which path to take.
    but you have chosen a path and are doing very well, the third print is a great improvement.
    The split print technique may also offer a more direct path to understanding the nature of VC paper, as opposed to putting the magic filter in.
    The way individuals learn varies.
    While one exposure is simpler than two, understanding and getting to that setting may be easier with split grade.
    Michael's explanation is excellant, but the supposition that grade 2 is set parts green and blue may not be accurate, for example Multigrade instructions for grade 2 vary from 52Y/20M to 39Y/43M depending on make of enlarger.
    My own Zone vi has a grade 2 result at a 30B/70G setting but only with separate exposures. 7 seconds green and 3 seconds blue is not the same as 3 seconds green and blue and 7 seconds green.
    And papers yield different contrasts for same grades anyway.
    The way individuals learn varies. You seem to be channeling split printing well. If you wish to simplify later, you will do so with great understanding.
    Wow, as I was typing this you posted above.
    Well Done!
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  5. #35
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Your Thoughts? 1st time trying split grade...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    But it does. It did for me. It allowed me to see that this filter does this, and that filter does that, and decreasing time here and increasing it there adds contrast and clarity.

    For some of you, taking one process and splitting it into two may add unnecessary complications. However, it actually simplified it FOR ME.

    FOR ME. Thats what some of you don't seem to accept. Are there better ways of doing things, sure. Are there easier way of doing things, sure. But for the first time in a long time, this has opened some creative doors for me.

    So 4 seconds at 00, and 6 seconds at 5, produces the same image as 10 seconds on 3... you got there one way, I got there the other. You shoot a certain camera, and I shoot something else, but we both end up with an image.

    What all of you seem to forget is that we are all not as advanced as you. I am a kinesthetic learner, I have to put my hands on it and do it at least once before I understand it. Giving me a book and telling me to read is about as worthless as a car with no wheels. I ain't getting anywhere that way.

    What I asked was, "what do you suggest I could do better or different to improve my print." I didn't ask, "how can I completely change the process that I've just learned to understand because my fellow photographic geniuses think I'm complicating things." Someone suggested that I cut down the soft exposure, and whaddaya know, it worked and I understand it.

    I'm not discounting any of the advice thats been posted, its all good advice. But telling me that using two filters is the same as using one and I should be doing it a certain way isn't going to help me.
    Christopher,

    I'm applauding the fact that the way you've gone about it has helped you. Fantastic! I mean it.
    I'm not trying to diminish anything that you do.

    I just felt obligated to try to help you understand that there is much more to be had, and I admit to provoking a little bit, because I was hoping that it would stir a little bit of heated debate that wasn't easily forgotten.

    Please keep up the good work.
    "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. #36
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    I've learned more in the last two days than I have in the last two months! I'm very excited about where this print started and where it ended.

    Unfortunately, I'm out of effin paper!!!

  7. #37
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    I've learned more in the last two days than I have in the last two months! I'm very excited about where this print started and where it ended.

    Unfortunately, I'm out of effin paper!!!
    And that is another valuable lesson too
    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

  8. #38
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Yeah. My next purchase is TWO 100 sheet boxes of Ilford.

  9. #39
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    Unfortunately, I'm out of effin paper!!!
    Good! Ilford will thank you for your next order...
    "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

  10. #40
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    Are you trying to say that what I did basically averages out to grade 3 at 10secs?
    Almost. You can convert the duration of the two exposures, that is time in seconds through the blue (thard) and the green (tsoft) (or magenta and yellow) filters into the resulting, actual grade. You would need to calibrate the formula to your filters, but for the Ilford grades produced by Ilford 500H head which I use, with its original, dichroic filters, the formula is:

    Resulting Grade = 3 x Log10 (thard/tsoft) + 2

    For example, if your hard filtration exposure is 10 s, and the soft one is the same, at 10 s, the grade = 3 x Log10 (10/10) + 2 = 3 x 0 + 2 = grade 2, using Ilford ISO (R) grading. To calibrate the formula, if grade 2 happens to require uneven durations of hard and soft exposures, multiply thard (or tsoft) by a coefficient that will make their fraction equal to 1.

    Burning with different grades is a great tool. Split printing can help select intermediate grades for which you have no fixed filters or settings.

    Having said all of that, if the practice of split-grade printing makes it easier for you to print, or to learn how to arrive at the grade and the base exposure, use it. For some, they stick with it forever, creating wonderful prints. Others find it can lead to missing out on softer prints and yielding more contrast than needed. It's a tool.
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles



 

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