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  1. #1

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    Split Grade Printing resources on the web?

    Can anyone point me at some split grade printing resources on the web. I've had a scout around and found Les McLeans article and a some stuff by Chris Woodhouse, but most of it is extracts from from full texts or buried in long forum threads.
    I'm familiar with the basic technique but is there a site somewhere which pulls it all together including burning and doging using split grade techniques?

  2. #2
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I would point you back toward Les' work. He is a master of split grade printing. I learned a lot about it from his article, more from his book, and the rest from a day in the darkroom with him.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  3. #3
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    Rob,
    I consider the chapters in Les's and Chris's books the definitive tomes on the process. I have both books and they are my consistent references. But, quite frankly, the split grade process is so simple that you just need to do it. You will gain experience with your equipment, chemicals and process.

    I personally find split grade printing using RH Designs wonderful f-stop timers the most artistically intuitive printing process that I have practiced in nearly 40 years. Visualization and realization without the technical fog. I no longer worry about grades, filters, brand differences or lot changes with my papers.

    Cheers,
    Geary
    But your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war.
    Now Jesus don't like killin' no matter what the reason's for, and your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more. – John Prine

  4. #4

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    I was taught split grade printing years ago but didn't pay much attention to it as I was quite happy with the standard Y+M techniques. Also the way I was shown was not at g00 and g5 and it used the crosshatch method which as someone pointed out in what I have read, doesn't tell you much about the whole image as the correct patch could end up anywhere on the image. So I have ignored it. I just thought I maight try the G00 and G5 method and see how it turns out for me so I started searching for info. There is basic info but I'm surprised there is not anything in more depth on the web. But as you say, its not going to be that difficult.

  5. #5
    Toffle's Avatar
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    I got my first info from Les' articles and the APUG archives here: http://www.apug.org/forums/9996-post7.html

    ... and from Pete LePage's very basic article here: http://www.nocommonground.com/photo/split.aspx

    These are the two pages at the front of my notebook, right after my f-stop printing table.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  6. #6
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    Toffle, that post by Les was really helpful -- it reminded me what I did wrong when split printing; I was paying too much attention to the first exposure [00 grade], when all I needed was some highlight separation.

    Cheers for that!

    -Sino.
    Close your eyes to see. This will take a while.

  7. #7
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    To reinforce Sino's point, one of the strongest points that Les makes is to select the first strip from the soft grade filter test that shows detail in the highlights. If you choose too long an exposure your highlights will not be bright. The midtones and shadows get "filled in" with the hard exposure. And Rob, your point about the crosshatch method is correct. I usually use a half sheet for each test, making sure that the important highlights and shadows are included in the respective test strips.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

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    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  8. #8
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    There are some schools of thought that advocate split printing at G2 and G5 rather than G0 and G5. the reason being that G0 can muddy the highlights in some images. I've not tried this to back that up, but have used the G0 and G5 successfully.

    Does the cross hatch method involve a set of strips at G0 going from say right to left, and then G5 from top to bottom on the same sheet rather than a seperate sheet for each grade?
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

  9. #9

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    Well nothing is set in stone and as Les says, a harder negative works better in split grade printing. That will help to negate muddy highlights from using G0. But you can always use any combination of grades if you like.
    One of the reasons I want to try this is that I'm just setting up a condenser head on my Modular 70 and that means using Ilford filters. Split grade means I won't have to worry about intermediate grades or calibrating different filtration setting for different papers.

  10. #10

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    Yes the crosshatch method as I was shown it uses a whole sheet of paper with one grade printed left to right and another printed top to bottom.
    But that takes no account of where the primary shadows are or where the primary highlights are so I found it practically worthless. You really want a set strips across your primary highlights and primary shadows. A cross hatch across each of those areas might be better, but how a print looks in the end is a combination of contrasts across the whole image which gives it its overall look so focussing on only one area of a print is not going to give you full feedback on how it will really look when fully printed.

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