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  1. #1
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Your Thoughts? 1st time trying split grade...

    Yesterday I starting printing this image. Its a good negative, perhaps slightly under exposed. I missed the focus on this one slightly, as the tuft of fur sticking out of the neck on the left is more in focus than the eyes. This is the very first roll that I put through the Yashica 635, and this was about the 4th photo I had taken on a roll of TMAX100 - 120. The exposure was around 1/60th at 5.6 if I remember correctly.

    I did my normal filter 2 exposure and came up with this. I think this is like 15 secs. Its muddy, gray, and just kinda blah.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And then I tried to do a split grade print using the method I found on youtube.
    http://youtu.be/5XgmJk2Fmpw
    Valerie suggested I read Les Mclean's article online, and so I did. I found it much less confusing than the youtube video.

    I used Les' method, and I ended up with this. This is a 'soft' exposure of 8 seconds with filter 0, and a hard exposure of 6 seconds with filter 5. It also has and extra 10 seconds of vignetting on the edges.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So far, this is what I've learned. There is a noticeable difference in the right (cats left) eye, the split grade version is opened up and not so 'dead'. The highlights on the legs are cleaner and not so muddy. The shadow on the back is opened WAY up, which is nice because the cat is actually orange and white. And the grain in the wood on the floor is not so flat.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'd like to know what you're opinion of my progress is, and also any suggestions that you think may make this print better?

    These are straight scans of my PRINTS at 96 dpi, not negative scans. I did absolutely NOTHING to them except convert them from .tiff to .jpg files.

  2. #2

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    Moniters are always a question, but I suggest you continue to shorten your soft time, until you feel that you are seeing a clear paper white somewhere. Keep your grade 5 exposure and by shortening the grade 0 you will increase contrast. It is well to go beyond what you might in the end, choose; particularily when starting out.
    "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

  3. #3
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    yeah. these scanned a little darker then they appear in person. I'll try shortening the soft time.

  4. #4

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    Unless you are burning and dodging during each of the soft and hard exposures, split grade printing is no different than using a single intermediate grade filter.

  5. #5
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    Ignore the contrast and experiment with exposure time.

    “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. #6
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Unless you are burning and dodging during each of the soft and hard exposures, split grade printing is no different than using a single intermediate grade filter.
    That's true. It does have one benefit though if you are using filters rather than a colour head in that you only need two of them. The disadvantage is the potential for movement whilst changing filters.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  7. #7

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    The original grade 2 print is quite dark. I would be making lighter test strips from that before I went to split grade.

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    With the exception of very contrasty negatives, I generally expect the "0" exposure to be less than the "5" exposure.

    Try lightening the "2" exposure until the highlights are right. You may or may not want to add "5" exposure to that.
    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

  9. #9
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    With the exception of very contrasty negatives, I generally expect the "0" exposure to be less than the "5" exposure.


    I'm about to head back into the dark room and try this very thing. I got a very informative PM that has me excited!

  10. #10

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    Less exposure and more contrast. Adjust the exposure first, then put the dark areas back to dark by increasing the contrast overall (with appropriate exposure compensation). Why do you think you need to use split-grade printing? It doesn't really look as though any area will benefit much, unless you lighten the print so much that you want to burn in 'hard' for some detail on the white fur. It isn't a contrasty neg.

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