You can try the Emmermann Process. You expose paper that has been soaked in developer twice, between the exposures the shadow details will develop and act as a mast for the shadows while the second exposure prints for the highlights. Not all paper will work, some I have worked with will solarize, fiber works best as it will soak up more developer and the developer needs to fresh. I use either grade 3 or 4 paper, soak it for 1 to 2 minutes, place it on a sheet of glass that I have placed under the enlarger centered for the crop, turn of the safelight, I give between 1/2 and 1/3 of the normal exposure for the 1st exposure and then let the 1st exposure develop for 1 minute, do not move the paper, 2nd exposure for 1 1/2 the normal exposure, remove the print and develop for 1 to 2 minutes in a tray of fresh developer.
Excuse me for bumping a six year old thread that I encountered when searching for the Emmermann process, .... that I did slightly differently.
When I did it decades ago, I would arrange for a long exposure, like 90 seconds (not sure, but in the range of one to two minutes). Then I'd soak the sheet of paper, put it under the enlarger, expose it, and then I'm not sure if I developed it more or put it right into the stop bath.
So, just a single exposure. As the shadows develop, they auto-mask themselves and prevent further exposure in those areas.
It made for some amazing results with super-contrasty and very contrasty negatives that didn't print well even on the lowest grade of paper.
Yes, David Vestal does mention the technique in his old seminal 'on photography'. He attributed it to a prof he had, Lloyd Varden.
my real name, imagine that.
Thanks for waking up this thread! I happen to have just run up against a similar problem, and some of the suggestions, including the Emmermann process, are ones I didn't know about. Unfortunately I don't have an easy way to use that process since I'm contact printing; I'd need to have a thin transparent layer under the negative for its own protection, or something like that.
In addition to the "one side of the face in shadow" issue, mine has the problem that the harsh lighting made the subject's skin look really bad; it looks fine in reality, but somehow the light caught her cheek just right to show off every tiny skin irregularity to highly unflattering effect. Soft-working developer?
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
For high-contrast negs to be contact printed, I've been using Moersch Separol Soft at the higher dilution.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
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