For those interested in split printing and who have the opportunity to take a workshop with Les Mclean, i would encourage you to do so.
Les, is not only a master printer, he is also a wonderful teacher and will make split printing very clear and easy to understand.
As I mentioned - the difference between a print made with split filtering and one made with single filter printing is quite small. Through the years I have become convinced that many people talk themselves into or convince themselves that a certain technique is well superior to another. When in reality it is only superior in certain cercumstances. The split technique is extremely usefull when dealing with "problem" negatives of extreme contrast, but only if you are looking for a certain type of print. Usually one that many might consider higher or harder in contrast than "normal". One look at individuals that use this technique usually demonstrates this.
There is no doubt that playing with various contrasts with the same negative is the best way to begin to understand what contrast is and how to read a negative. One assignmenet I give to students is to print a single negative on all grades of paper for the best print thay can get from each grade. And then compare each to the other and select the "best" print. Usually each selects a different contrast grade than the other. Interpertation is a personal matter after all.
I just spent the last week or so printing the same high contrast 4X5 negative using graded paper (Oriental grade 3), and Adox VC with Dupont filters using single contrast, split grade, split grade with the Emmermann Process and the Emmermann process alone, and the Emmermann process printed dark and reduced. I don't have access to a scanner so I am unable to show the results, but did not find (my personal taste) any significant difference between printing on grade 3 paper, single contrast with #7 filter, or split grade using #1 and #9 filters. I did see a difference with the split method and the Emmermann process, but the highlights were a little too gray for my taste, but when printed dark and reduced showed quite well and I felt it made a marginal better print than the print made on the grade paper, although my wife likes the grade 3 print. I plan to print a round of test prints over the next week to see if another print makes a difference and see if I can find a copy of a book with more information on split grade printing.
Have we gone a little off the rails on this topic. I thought we were mainly in agreement that the benefits of split grade printing on a straight forward negative were almost non-existent. I say almost because some would simple prefer to work that way. The benefit accrues when we wish to selectively burn or dodge at different grades. Then the system comes into it’s own, for example if we wanted to emphasise the darker greys in a selected area we would burn that area at Grade 5, which would leave the lighter tones unaffected.
As an after thought it also allows those using below lens filters to achieve intermediate grades.
Indeed, I just printed a neg that prints fine as a work print on a single Grade 2, but to get what I wanted in the (almost) final print I needed to split grade in order to dodge two areas at Grade 00 (light flower on dark background: dodging at Grade 2 would have left a halo around the flower) and to selectively increase the contrast in the sky by holding back 1/2 the Grade 00 exposure. Also, a dodge of a mid-tone at Grade 5 to avoid effecting a highlight.
Originally Posted by Dave Miller
This selective grade dodging and burning to reduce haloing and adjust local contrast is very powerful, especially where you have a light object on a dark ground or vice versa.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Texas Split Filtering & Development ala McLean
The picture just published in my personal gallery is a result of attendance to the Les McLean workshop in Ft. Worth Texas.
For those who attended or anyone else interested I am itemizing my procedure with my embellishments:
1) After I determined my base exposure was 7.5 sec + 2, 1/4 stops for each filter giving me a base exposure of 10.6 seconds, each.
2) The test/conformation print indicated the rawest wood was too dark without detail. The leaves at the top of the raw wood were without detail and needed a little deeper shadow.
3) I printed as follows:
Filter 0 (Y110 in my case) Full Neg, 10.6. Dodging raw wood 4 sec.
Burn leaf cluster 5 sec.
Filter 5 (M 170) Full Neg, 10.6. Burn raw wood 3 sec.
The Development was as follows:
1) Dektol 1 + 1, 25 seconds
2) Selectrol Soft 1 + 3, 1:30
3) Water Bath 1:00
5) Acid Stop Bath :30
6) Fix I (KRF soft) 2:00
8) Fix II (KRF soft) 2:00
10) Hypo Clear 4:00
11) Wash 20:00
12) Tone: KRST 4:00
13) Wash 20:00
14 Dry. 2 by air, 2 by Rotary machine.
The paper I used was Seagull VC-FB gloss.
Seems I got a problem uploading the image.
Well I can't get it to upload even when it says the upload was successful. I'll keep trying.
Originally Posted by Bruce (Camclicker)
I got the image up now. Not all that impressive on my monitor though.
Originally Posted by Bruce (Camclicker)