I feel I am pretty competent with enlarger printing and PS printing.
Split printing can be very much like PS work, they designed PS using enlarger terminology and methods.
You will need to print many thousands of split prints to gain the confidence of mimicking the moves available in PS.
But why bother, if you like enlarger prints and have the setup dive in and make a thousand prints.
If you feel it is too difficult then stick with PS and buy a good printer.
I do both, my enlargers are in the next room from where I am typing right now, and an 24 inch Epson printer is within hands reach.
I like both worlds as I suggest most on this site would admit too if pressured.
I think split printing is more like painting in selected curve shapes in PS .
The highlight Shadow command is much like flashing and should be only used in moderation.
Channel Blending and other methods will give you tremendous control that I am envious of when printing on the enlarger but, there is nothing better IMHO than working in the soft light, heavy rock cranking and two enlargers full of negs.
Working on a computer and printing just dosen't give me the same feel , therefore I will never give up the darkroom , well at least for another 30 years.
Originally Posted by Worker 11811
Exactly. That would be one of those times where split grade printing would be useful.
Originally Posted by Athiril
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
The relationships you are trying to control are set first and foremost in the negative. Printing methods can help bring that to fruition, but your authorship in the exposure and developing cycle is the foundation, and sets the parameters of what is possible even for a skilled printer. Look at your negatives for the answers you seek may be there more than anywhere else.
Sounds like HDR done wrong.
Originally Posted by Athiril
Don't let this sound like I'm bragging about what I do or my technique. I'm not that way; I just want to share how it is possible with an example. Ezzie has posted similarly nice snow texture, which I am convinced is more challenging than just sky texture.
Have a sky with bright cloud detail AND a foreground with the shaded side of wet dark rocks (such as shooting into the sun) with good shadow detail in the foreground is not a problem. I did this with TMY2 film, orange filter, PMK developer.
The filter choice controls the tones in the sky, no filter would mean a sky of entirely highlights. Unless it's a gray sky, I feel sorta naked going shooting B&W and not having the option of a filter.
The film & developer managed the scene contrast. TMY2 has a massive range that just needs care to be wrung out. I printed it normally. If I have time, I'll scan in a bit of the large print to share.
Here's a scene off the same roll, same lighting conditions. Look; nice detail in the sunny snow highlights. Nice detail in the black hat and pants. This is the type of day you go outside squinting because of the bright sun and snow. Keep in mind our monitors don't show the detail as nicely as silver prints. This was with a $200 Rolleiflex automat something with the 75mm tessar and orange filter.
I'm having trouble (and have been) wrapping my head around this as well. The Les McLean page made me wonder if the exact same result couldn't be had with one contrast grade, like what Tim says, but perhaps his example (the car handle...) isn't the best negative to demonstrate the utility of this method.
So then, Athiril's comment makes sense as well and I have a negative that matches his example quite closely; a wedding portrait taken in the shade of a buildilng, while the background is sun drenched. There is a huge discrepancy between the two areas, but I want them to fit on the paper nicely, showing all the detail that's present in the negative in the print.
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Splitting allows you to work a bit of magic that a single filter does not allow you to do.
Think this way , You are laying tone down multiple hits on a piece of paper.
the softer filter allows you to bring in as much detail in the highlight region without burning in. This first exposure gives soft delicate highlights with info.
the second exposure or laydown of tone with an aggressive filter # 5 only addresses the lower end so you can put the type of blacks in that you want.
the third and or fourth exposures or laydown of tone, addresses local contrast ie using a burn with the 5 filter will darken anything black in the highlight regions which allows the eye to see contrast.
A fourth hit of 00 filter could address leaving some tone that separates the paper white and skys or very light areas.
Split printing is not trying to do this by coming to a certain filter # with combining ... but rather using the vario contrast emulsion with an appropriate filter and maximising the laydown of tone.
Its all about looking at the original scene, seeing what you got on the neg, and figuring out how well to bring out the image you envision.
Originally Posted by holmburgers
It's possible to make your own graduated filters although time consuming. Clear Cokin or Lee 4x4 polycarbonate filters can be dyed in heated Rit dyes. Gradually dunking them in the dye until you have the desired result. I have made yellow to clear and orange to clear ones so you can filter the sky and not the foreground. Best to bracket the exposures but usually you can compensate for the 1-2 stop difference when printing and tweak with split printing if so desire.
Bob, thank you very much. I think I understand it better now. Basically, the low contrast exposure that gives you good highlights will not lay down a rich black, and vise versa, a high contrast exposure that gives you rich blacks produce nothing but white in the highlight region.
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
So in this way, you can attack it from both sides, so to speak?
Yes , you are able to control the blacks and highlights to a much greater degree.
I do not use a 0 and 5 split. rather 1 and 5, I do not like the results of the 0 filter.
I think Ralph L had a post regarding Ilford Warmtone and 0 filter and my practical results confirm his thoughts or
I would rather start a little but up the contrast filter range than starting with 0 filter like most people do.
Originally Posted by holmburgers
The roadblock in my head was, "Won't the 2nd (grade 5) exposure destroy what I just did with the 1st?". But I guess you're taking the highlight tonalities out of play by using the extremely short scale of the grade 5 emulsion.
Great... time to put it into practice now.