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  1. #11
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digiconvert View Post
    So glad I use GBP not Euros then . I have considered an RH device, but I was thinking about a s/h zonemaster for starters as I have a reasonable timer already.

    Is it me or does the camera start to become the means to the end (i.e producing negs to print), it sometimes feels like it and I am a TOTAL beginner - as you have seen
    Thans for your commments ; CJB (UK)
    I do think the camera is a 'means to an end'! It is the device that allows us to capture what we 'see'. It's whole function is to provide you with the ability to do that! Only after you have captured some moment in time does the real work begin... extrapolating what you saw into something that you can share with others. This is indeed where the real work starts!

    I am in agreement with the suggestion that you consider an RH Designs StopClock Pro... however, I will also add that you money might better be spent by taking one of Les McLean's darkroom workshops. I do not know where you are in relation to where he offers these, but please... if you want to learn to print darned near any negative, take that workshop! (And he does not even pay me to say this!) It changed my life in the darkroom, and I highly recommend it!
    Jeanette
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    Isaiah 25:1

  2. #12
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Yes- the camera should be to you only what it is - a light-tight box with a selective aperture that enables you to control by inclusion or exclusion what you want to record. A good camera will enable you to record this with sufficiently accurate exposure control that the middle product (the negative) will produce a finished print that reproduces what you wanted to capture with fidelity and without requiring an excessive effort on your part.

    It is just a means to an end - like a screwdriver or a power saw. A power saw is not better than a screwdriver, unless you are trying to cut wood with it. As long as the tool you're using is appropriate to the task, the tool should be a seamless part of the process, and not a stumbling block or an exercise in frustration.

  3. #13
    RAP
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    I would look at your notes, exposure, film development time film etc. Then return to the exact location, time, conditions, if you can, and see how you can improve on it.

    Check your zone placements. Maybe place your low values at zone iii, and give a n+1 or n+2 development, depending on the desired contrast range.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by digiconvert View Post
    I went from grade 3 to grade 4. I was last in a darkroom 25 years ago but never really got the hang of it, the results I found make me cringe !

    One day I hope to approach mediocrity
    In shich case all I will add is this. Practice makes perfect (well, better). If you are prepared to experiment a lot (Use RC paper for this for the quicker results) having a good play around and trying lots of new ideas or techniques will mean quick progress. There is no substitute for practical experience and a feel for the materials....just like knowing how selenium toner affects your prints so you can print softer and add a bit of density to the darker tones with selenium, leaving highlights unaffected. You'll get there. Just allow the obsessive compulsive streak that leaves me stuck in the darkroom for most of a day get a grip of you too!

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAP View Post
    I would look at your notes, exposure, film development time film etc. Then return to the exact location, time, conditions, if you can, and see how you can improve on it.

    Check your zone placements. Maybe place your low values at zone iii, and give a n+1 or n+2 development, depending on the desired contrast range.
    I personally disagree with the above. If reshooting I would simply bracket exposure and go back to the darkroom and see how exposure affects the values in the prints...maybe then shoot a parallel roll and change development times to see ho that affects your prints and what you can and cannot do with them.

    This is nice and simple stuff but you will begin to see the relationship between the exposure your camera or meter indicates, the information on your negs and what you can get in the print as well as what happens to the neg and the print when you give more or less exposure ( and once you are happy with this, when you change development. With modern VC materials there is less of a requirement to undertake formal N+/- processing, epecially if you are not sure of your 'normal' so to speak. If shooting rolls of film and shooting many different scenes on one roll (i.e not using multiple detachable backs) it is impractical.

  6. #16
    RAP
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    Reshooting a scene is a good way to learn what went wrong the first time. Keeping careful notes of exposure, filters, etc will build experience in the student and seasoned pro.

    It is a very practicle way of learing.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  7. #17
    Matthew Gorringe's Avatar
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    I want to try using selenium to improve negative where I cannot go back and shoot the scene.

    It's a night scene that I can just print acceptibly using Gallerie grade 3 and Dektol. My concern is that being an urban night scene I've already got good density in the street lights and want to bump up my mid to low tones to help compensate for insufficient exposure. There is some visible density in all the places I need it it's just down near the toe and lacking in contast.

    What is likely to happen to the highlights, is the films response to selenium likely to be equivalent to extra development in increasing contrast most in high tones or will there be any compensating effect?

    Thanks, Matt.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattg View Post
    I want to try using selenium to improve negative where I cannot go back and shoot the scene.

    It's a night scene that I can just print acceptibly using Gallerie grade 3 and Dektol. My concern is that being an urban night scene I've already got good density in the street lights and want to bump up my mid to low tones to help compensate for insufficient exposure. There is some visible density in all the places I need it it's just down near the toe and lacking in contast.

    What is likely to happen to the highlights, is the films response to selenium likely to be equivalent to extra development in increasing contrast most in high tones or will there be any compensating effect?

    Thanks, Matt.
    Selenium intensification is proportional to silver density. In your application it would serve to increase the negative density range above what it already is. If I were printing this, I would look to masking the negative (if you are dealing with large format). The effects of masking the negative would be to collapse the density range of the negative by the amount of the peak density of the mask. In this application, I would use an unsharp mask.

    An unsharp mask is made by contact printing the camera negative with an unexposed sheet of film (base to base with a fixed but undeveloped sheet of film between the bases to provide space) The mask is a low density and low contrast positive of the camera negative and acts by increasing shadow density while adding no density to highlight regions (above FB+fog).

    In application the mask and the unsharp mask are printed together. The net effect is a sharper and lower density range negative as it presents itself to the printing paper.

    In the future when you shoot high contrast scenes likle this it might save a lot of printing hassles to pre-expose the film to non-image bearing light prior to the primary exposure. The pre-exposure will serve to raise the shadow value densities relative to highlight densities.
    Last edited by Donald Miller; 11-03-2006 at 09:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  9. #19
    Matthew Gorringe's Avatar
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    Thanks Donald,
    I haven't used a prexposure for night scenes before and most of the time I haven't needed them. Usually I just give as much exposure as possible and find that as long as I keep using normal development times and fairly dilute developers things work out very well.

    Unfortunately I just didn't give this one the exposure it needed.

    How good does the registration of the unsharp mask need to be with the neg? I'm using roll film 6x9.

    I've got a spare neg that's almost the same so I'll do a test with selenium and see what happens before doing anything with the real neg.

    Thanks, Matt.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattg View Post
    Thanks Donald,
    I haven't used a prexposure for night scenes before and most of the time I haven't needed them. Usually I just give as much exposure as possible and find that as long as I keep using normal development times and fairly dilute developers things work out very well.

    Unfortunately I just didn't give this one the exposure it needed.

    How good does the registration of the unsharp mask need to be with the neg? I'm using roll film 6x9.

    I've got a spare neg that's almost the same so I'll do a test with selenium and see what happens before doing anything with the real neg.

    Thanks, Matt.

    The registration of the unsharp mask and the camera negative does need to be fairly close but that can be accomplished by aligning them on a light table. Once aligned the two can be kept in regisitration by taping them together along one edge with something like lithographers tape.

    I think that you will find that selenium intensification will probably not help you and may well hinder what you are attempting to accomplish. Good luck to you.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

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