I'm afraid, that's an excuse not an answer.
Originally Posted by Dinesh
I think the 3D effect is about the relationships between adjoining tones, and the glow is about making whites seem stronger by surrounding them with deep blacks. You cannot make the whites brighter, but you can makes the blacks blacker, and thus make the whites seem whiter by comparison.
The problem is that papers usually have a shoulder, and if you try to make blacks really black, you sometimes risk losing the details in the "almost-black" areas. And if you try to preserve those details, then you can't make the blacks deep enough. You can sometimes get around this by burning the blacks, but that's not always effective enough, or even possible.
That's why the long straight line that Azo/Lodima - and probably many older, now discontinued, papers - can give in amidol is such an advantage. With Azo/Lodima and amidol you can get deep blacks without losing shadow detail. That's why people mourn the discontinuance of Azo, and why they put up with the quirks and high price of amidol.
It took me some time to understand this, and I couldn't have understood it if I hadn't seen some great Azo prints with my own eyes.
That's not to say that anything printed on Azo will look much better than on other papers, or that Azo/Lodima/cadmium/whatever will make a great image all by themselves. The effect is subtle, and only visible with certain subjects. It's still the photographer's eye that counts the most. The biggest part of the effect lies in the subject itself and in the lighting.
Last edited by Vlad Soare; 12-17-2010 at 08:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.
What about the effects of weak developers, slow longer developing times? Underexposing and developing longer vs. overexposing a bit and developing shorter? I experiment with this often in trying to push or pull the curves a bit. Water baths? Two bath devs? So many things to experiment with...
I think, it's a combination of that and what Nicholas said earlier.
Originally Posted by Jim Jones
The 'glow' comes from subject matter and carefully crafted print contrast:
1. Create Impact
The combination of basic design principles must create sufficient impact to catch the observer’s attention and get him or her to take a closer look.
2. Provide Interest
Once the observer starts to look, the image must provide attractive and exciting elements to keep him interested in exploring the image further.
3. Get the Observer Involved
A quality image involves the observer and supports his image exploration through guided eye movement and intentional hindrances, inspiring the senses and confirming experiences.
4. Create Brilliant Highlights
Specular highlights have no density and are reproduced as pure paper-white, adding brilliance. Diffuse highlights are bright and have a delicate gradation with clear tonal separation, without looking dull or dirty.
5. Optimize Midtone Contrast
There is good separation, due to high local contrast, throughout the midtones, clearly separating them from highlights and shadows.
6. Protect Detailed Shadows
Shadow tones are subtle in contrast and detail, but without getting too dark under the intended lighting conditions. The image includes small areas of deepest paper-black without visible detail, providing a tonal foundation.
The importance of contrast cannot be overemphasized. You need overall contrast, strong midtone contrast, micro contrast, the right mount to make sure the contrast is not ruined. Some of this comes from the right choice of subject matter, some of it comes from printing expertise and complementary print presentation, including mount, frame and exhibition lighting.
Ralph, will you explain what you mean by "micro" contrast?
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
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Only if you believe in ferry dust. I'm convinced, it has litte to do with equipment and materials. Of course, you need the right tools, good film and paper and the proper processing materials, but that combined with solid technique, a controlled workflow and lots of experience, makes high print quality a likely possibility.
Originally Posted by hpulley
I should have listed: overall contrast, local contrast and micro contrast.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
1. overall contrast (Dmin, Dmax)
2. local contrast (highlights right next to shadows if subject matter allows)
3. micro contrast (also called sharpness)
So you think straight development techniques are all that's needed? That's good.
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht