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  1. #1
    digiconvert's Avatar
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    Selenium as intensifier-With thanks to Donald Miller

    A month or so ago I posted an image of a graveyard scene to the gallery *see http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...00&ppuser=8780 if you are interested but it's not essential to the discussion). Among the feedback was a comment from Donald regarding the lack of local contrast in the print and a suggestion to print at a harder grade. However the problem was identified as a low contrast neg. At Donald's suggestion I gave the neg 5 minutes in selenium toner (1-4) and then reprinted at a one grade harder. The images are attached, the left one being the original and the right after Se treatment.
    I have cropped the latter print on the enlarger (another comment was that the scene was too 'busy') and have scanned the same portion from the original for comparison.
    I feel that there is a difference between the two and that the second does have more 'presence' but welcome your comments.
    Again many thanks for Doanld for his advice - the consultancy fee is in the ether
    I will shortly post the new version to the gallery.
    Cheers CJB
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails original.jpg   se-cross.jpg  
    Hmm- Wonder if she'd notice if I bought that :)

  2. #2

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    Thanks for posting this example. I think that allowing others to see the results of these steps is important to their choices.

    I do like the results of the steps that you have taken.
    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

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The intensified neg will probably make a better print ultimately, but I think both prints are just too dark.

    Selenium intensification of the neg pushes up the highlights, but if you expose the print so that the highlights are the same as they were with the unintensified neg, and then on top of that print at a higher grade, the effect will be to push the shadows down, and they'll block up, as they seem to be doing here (if the scan is a good representation of the print).

    I'd say start by printing at the original grade, expose for a little more luminosity in the highlights--judging from the dry print, so you're not tricked by drydown--and then adjust the paper grade if you aren't getting enough shadow density.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    CGross
    Quote Originally Posted by digiconvert View Post
    Among the feedback was a comment from Donald regarding the lack of local contrast in the print and a suggestion to print at a harder grade.
    What was the original grade of paper and what was the harder grade?

    I have a similar situation I believe with some really old negatives I happened to run across doing some closet clean out.

    After 20 years of being away from the darkroom, I feel like I am starting all over again!!

  5. #5
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    The intensified neg will probably make a better print ultimately, but I think both prints are just too dark.
    I agree. Perhaps it is just the scan, but the result is still too muddy. Judging by the original scan, there seems to be plenty of information in the neg. It might have been better printed differently to begin with and may have made a fine print without the toning. Not being disrespectful of your printing, but the original as well as several in your gallery seem to be kind of flat in the middle and fall-off in the corners. Is there a chance your enlarger's condenser is set incorrectly? It looks as if they are printing hot in the middle. If not, perhaps kicking up a grade, lightening the print a bit and burning the corners to balance the print will help?

    B

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by billschwab View Post
    I agree. Perhaps it is just the scan, but the result is still too muddy. Judging by the original scan, there seems to be plenty of information in the neg. It might have been better printed differently to begin with and may have made a fine print without the toning. Not being disrespectful of your printing, but the original as well as several in your gallery seem to be kind of flat in the middle and fall-off in the corners. Is there a chance your enlarger's condenser is set incorrectly? It looks as if they are printing hot in the middle. If not, perhaps kicking up a grade, lightening the print a bit and burning the corners to balance the print will help?

    B
    Me too. I would in this print, flash the paper or fog for tone in the sky and print the remainder lighter. This will ensure greater luminosity throughout as well as tone in the sky, worsened by merely printing with lesser exposure.

  7. #7
    digiconvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowymtphotos View Post
    What was the original grade of paper and what was the harder grade?

    I have a similar situation I believe with some really old negatives I happened to run across doing some closet clean out.

    After 20 years of being away from the darkroom, I feel like I am starting all over again!!
    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
    Hmm- Wonder if she'd notice if I bought that :)

  8. #8

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    Getting a print that exhibits presence is a matter of attaining optimal local contrast. Printing is a dance to develop local contrast while not exceeding the overall contrast characteristics of the printing materials.

    If one can print at higher overall contrast, then local contrast will benefit. If we need to reduce overall contrast, then local contrast will diminish.
    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. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I agree with Msr.s Goldfarb, Schwab and company. The second print is blocked up in both the shadows and the highlights. Too contrasty. I'd start over with a normal Grade 2 print, and work from there. I used to favor really contrasty prints, but then I learned better when I realized how much time I was spending burning in blown-out highlights. I'm not saying to go down this road yet, because it is a very expensive road to go down right now with the Dollar<->UK Pound exchange rate being what it is, but think about getting a StopClock Pro timer from RH Designs, with the Analyzer. The analyzer is a mini densitometer and will help you determine proper paper grade to use when printing because it can show you the range of tones on your negative.

  10. #10
    digiconvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    I'm not saying to go down this road yet, because it is a very expensive road to go down right now with the Dollar<->UK Pound exchange rate being what it is, but think about getting a StopClock Pro timer from RH Designs, with the Analyzer.
    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)
    Hmm- Wonder if she'd notice if I bought that :)

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