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  1. #51
    Blighty's Avatar
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    If you've got a soft negative (which it seems you have) it is sometimes easier to establish your G.5 exposure first. Determine the exposure which gives the required density in the shadows and then dial in increasing G.00 'til your highlights are where you want 'em.
    Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.

  2. #52
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blighty View Post
    If you've got a soft negative (which it seems you have) it is sometimes easier to establish your G.5 exposure first. Determine the exposure which gives the required density in the shadows and then dial in increasing G.00 'til your highlights are where you want 'em.
    So you're saying to flip the process? Hard exposure first?

  3. #53
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blighty View Post
    If you've got a soft negative (which it seems you have) it is sometimes easier to establish your G.5 exposure first. Determine the exposure which gives the required density in the shadows and then dial in increasing G.00 'til your highlights are where you want 'em.
    I would tend to disagree with this. Remember you are taking a white piece of paper and making it shades of gray to black, or thereabouts. Once you have set your dark's you cannot make them lighter, rather set your whites and darken them as needed. You cover white with black, you cannot cover black with white.

  4. #54
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Your Thoughts? 1st time trying split grade...

    Negatives that are soft in contrast usually don't benefit much from split grade printing. It's best to dive right in with a high contrast filter and leave the low contrast ones in the drawer.
    If necessary, you can use plain white light to 'black out' areas that you don't wish to reveal in your print.
    "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

  5. #55
    cliveh's Avatar
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    It is also worth remembering that loss of shadow detail in a print is more acceptable to the human eye than loss of highlight detail.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #56
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Thats a good point.
    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    It is also worth remembering that loss of shadow detail in a print is more acceptable to the human eye than loss of highlight detail.

  7. #57

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    Yes the explanation I gave was somewhat simplified for practical purposes. But in the end it is always about modulation of blue and green light hitting the paper. That is what the filters are doing, whether you use a single filter, or combine hard and soft filters in some exposure proportion to "build" the filtration of a single intermediate filter. As I said though this equivalence of course only applies in the absence of local manipulations during hard and soft exposures.

    The principles are the same for additive colour mixing with blue and green filters (Beseler Universal VC heads for example). It's just a different way of getting blue and green light to the paper.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rafal Lukawiecki View Post
    Michael, while I follow your statement, I wonder if you would agree that there is a more detailed explanation of how VC papers work? I would humbly observe that it seems, based on their characteristic curves, that the component emulsions are differently sensitised to the blue and green light and that it is their additive result that creates the actual, observed contrast. Further, modern VC papers, like Ilford (or like Polymax used to) seem to have three emulsions, with the third one being sensitive to both green and blue.

    Unfortunately, this can also lead to some odd behaviours at extreme low grades, such as 00. See Nicholas Lindan short paper: "The Workings of Variable Contrast Papers and Local Gamma". For that reason, split-grade technique can be a little easier to use with filters a little harder, such as 1 and 5, rather than 00 and 5. I believe that is what Bob Carnie practices. The effect will be the same, but the observed changes will seem more logical when using 1 rather than 00 for certain mid-tones.

  8. #58
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Your Thoughts? 1st time trying split grade...

    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    It is also worth remembering that loss of shadow detail in a print is more acceptable to the human eye than loss of highlight detail.
    Thanks for the reminder. I often obscure entire areas of a print in black, just because I feel the detail present in the negative doesn't add anything to the print.
    "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

  9. #59
    Blighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Osgood View Post
    I would tend to disagree with this. Remember you are taking a white piece of paper and making it shades of gray to black, or thereabouts. Once you have set your dark's you cannot make them lighter, rather set your whites and darken them as needed. You cover white with black, you cannot cover black with white.
    Hi Bruce. Yes, I admit it does sound counter-intuitive to determine your hard exposure first but here I am talking exclusively about soft negatives. Once you've set your dark tones you can make them lighter by altering the exposure, just as you would with highlight exposure. This is where experience and 'expertise' comes into play and it's no harder than doing the G.00 exposure first. If I were printing a normal/hard neg then undoubtedly determing the highlight exposure first makes sense. I could print with a hard filter - as Thomas Bertillson says - and I often do, but I sometimes find it easier to nail that deepest shadow with the G.5 filter first with the added advantage that it shows me exactly where to print in with the G.00 filter. Perhaps it's not orthodox but it works for me and what the hell, if it gives you the result you want, why not try it. Regards, B.
    Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.

  10. #60
    Blighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    So you're saying to flip the process? Hard exposure first?
    Yes, but it's a method that really only lends itself to printing with soft negatives. You could just print with a single hard filter, but this requires that you find the correct hard filter to print with (is it G.3, G.4 or G.5?) and adjust exposure accordingly for each different filter until you find that perfect match.
    Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.



 

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