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  1. #11
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    What exactly do you mean by "losing the highlights"? are they blown out, without detail, or are they gray and mushy?
    I mean gray and mushy. Attached is two test strips I did a little while ago. I guess I shouldn't, but I'm comparing these to negative scans, which came out a lot better.

    The funny blotches I'm guessing are from irregular development and/or contamination, but the image in general is lacking in contrast. The upper test strip has good highlight detail but grayish blacks. The lower test strip has good (better) blacks, but the highlights don't seem to pop as much.

    It seems to be a fine balance when printing these shots. But then again, I'm still a beginner.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails test strip.jpg  
    Those who know, shoot film

  2. #12

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    By "highlights" are you meaning the latice work, because they cannot be judged highlight, more of a dark mid tone in which case you will find it almost impossible to get the seperation I think you might be after from the black background. The only other true highlights are the specular ones which will have very little, if any, tone. I think you could be after something unattainable in this neg. and need to experiment with producing a wider contrast range (which is difficult for night time) using the suggested development techniques.

  3. #13
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    No, I mean the pinpoint lights in the background. I don't want them brilliantly white, but a little more "punch" overall would be nice. I think I'm comparing my prints to negative scans, which is perhaps unfair?
    Those who know, shoot film

  4. #14
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    If you don't want the pinpoint lights brilliantly white, consider flashing them locally with a dimmed pen light (I use partially flashed film leaders as small ND filters for this purpose) , with the neg still projecting through a red filter guide you where to flash. The points of light will otherwise when printed as grey a bit leave the rest of the print as blah. If the surronding area is almost full black, then a bit more from the flashlight overspill won't make much difference.

    The other possibility is to make an (usally unsharp works best for me) contrast reduction mask to cut the contrast range of the too high contrast neg, when the original neg and reduction mask are projected in registration. Hoer the use of an USM and sprilt filter burning may still be required.
    my real name, imagine that.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sorensen View Post
    For night time photography, I basically over expose and under develop quite a bit. One issue is reciprocity failure. If you are making long exposures, say over a second or two, and not accounting for this you are likely going to have underexposed negs for that reason. Different films have differing amounts of reciprocity failure. You can get an idea from the data sheet provided by the manufacturer, but testing will be helpful too. Also, as indicated above, contrast is very high when shooting scenes with streetlights and such, so by increasing exposure and reducing development, you can reduce the contrast in the negatives.

    Good luck.
    I second this. Meter off a dark area where you want detail, and expose that to at least two stops below your meter reading. If theres a light source or any light much brighter than this shadow area, you will need to underdevelop significantly to try to tame it (I tend to try and avoid light sources at night, as they're almost guaranteed to blow out no matter what you do, but it is very possible to get your highlights reasonable).

    I shoot HP5+ in HC-110. I normally develop at 5.5minutes, but most of my night work is at 2.5-2.75min.

    Look up the reciprocity charts for the film you're using and carry one with you. HP5 is terrible, a 2 minute exposure calls for 7.5 minutes and a 3 minute exposure calls for 17 minutes. Kodak's and Fuji's films aren't quite as bad, but I love HP5 and like to support Ilford, so I deal with it.
    ~ Michelle

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