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  1. #131
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Maybe a bit of an arbitrary quest for minimum exposure.
    A quote I run into from Todd-Zakia, "The least, if it is enough, is usually the best." applies to the arbitrary quest for minimum exposure. There are times when you need that. Without a tripod, for example, a blurry but well exposed photograph won't be as satisfying as one with shadows in the toe, that is crisp because you were able to use a higher shutter speed.

    For photographs where shadows are going to stay dark on the print, there is lots of leeway to stay on the toe, because viewers don't focus on the shadows. There can be less detail.

    But if you are going to dodge to bring up the values - my Red Cones tree shadows on the left are a good example - it really helps to have full detail, and be on the straight line section of the curve. Now I made another print and dodged Zone II to between Zone III and IV. You know what happened? The trees look natural as if there was more light. Had I placed shadows on the toe for that shot, I would have had to leave shadows compressed where they stay unseen.

    DREW WILEY knows masking, maybe he'll add some guidance here...

  2. #132
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Sorry Stephen, I looked up the old article and realized that I had gotten confused in my old age.

    PE

  3. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post

    Matt, I'm not being flip. Since the tone reproduction diagram is a graphic representation of the photographic process, a visual representation would be a photograph. In a way, the diagram from Jones' Hurter and Driffield lecture uses a pictorial example. What you might be wanting is a comparison test. That would be tedious. I believe Phil Davis had a number of articles with comparison tests in PHOTO Techniques.
    Stephen:

    It's true, I would like photographs.

    And it may be that comparison tests would supply the photographs.

    But what I'm struggling with is that the tone reproduction diagrams are obviously graphical representations of the response of the materials (and the viewer) to different conditions. I expect that most of the contributors to this thread can:

    1) look at those diagrams and visualize what the corresponding prints look like; and
    2) look at prints, and visualize what the corresponding tone reproduction diagrams look like.

    I can do neither.

    I expect what I am asking for is something like the illustrations used in this website article on assessing negatives: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/as...negatives-4682

    It would be onerous in the extreme to ask for carefully prepared reference prints that match exactly the tone reproduction diagrams themselves. But something that is illustrative would be helpful - e.g. a tone reproduction diagram that might correspond with a high key portrait vs a tone reproduction diagram that might correspond with a photograph where the shadows predominate.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #134
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Your choice to use a fixed bottom reference is really interesting to me conceptually in the context of the thoughts I started the thread with. It seems to me to be an indicator of the "negative centric" thought that the pervades much of technical photographic discussion. Maybe a bit of an arbitrary quest for minimum exposure. This is technically a reasonable, simple, measurable, line of thought and technical discussions benefit from common reference points, but that does not necessarily translate into an artistic advantage.

    I see Adams' intellectual conundrum reflected in your choice. On one hand Adams is trying to get people to visualize in the scene what they want on paper (essentially ignoring the negative), on the other hand Adams is trying to get us from A to B within the constraints of the available materials and tools of his day. Fixing the shadow point simplifies the discussion, but it's not the only, nor even the best way to take every photo.
    Mark, like I said, I did this a long time ago. It's only a small part of that program. All the adjustments/variables were done on the individual curves. The program still has it's uses, but the tone reproduction diagram program has mostly replaced it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #135
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Advanced print studies

    By doing a very advanced print study of negatives exposed over, normal and under that recommended, it is possible to pick the points on the film curve which encompasses the densities that make up the first acceptable print (using any means with a B&W photographic paper). This is discussed in both Mees and Haist and here is the resultant graph of one such study.

    The first acceptable print has densities ranging from "M" to "O" in the negative. Print quality improves until the minimum density reaches "Z" as long as the maximum density remains on the straight line portion of the film "A". If the film shoulders, then the quality again degrades and falls out of the acceptable range.

    this shows that from "M" to "O", or a film range of about 0.1 to 1.0, you can reproduce a print range of about 0.2 to 2.2.

    I hope that this is of use to someone out there.

    PE
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Excellent print.jpg  

  6. #136
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Stephen:

    It's true, I would like photographs.

    And it may be that comparison tests would supply the photographs.

    But what I'm struggling with is that the tone reproduction diagrams are obviously graphical representations of the response of the materials (and the viewer) to different conditions. I expect that most of the contributors to this thread can:

    1) look at those diagrams and visualize what the corresponding prints look like; and
    2) look at prints, and visualize what the corresponding tone reproduction diagrams look like.

    I can do neither.

    I expect what I am asking for is something like the illustrations used in this website article on assessing negatives: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/as...negatives-4682

    It would be onerous in the extreme to ask for carefully prepared reference prints that match exactly the tone reproduction diagrams themselves. But something that is illustrative would be helpful - e.g. a tone reproduction diagram that might correspond with a high key portrait vs a tone reproduction diagram that might correspond with a photograph where the shadows predominate.
    There's an example of a high key subject in this thread (sans photograph). Having to use photographic examples was one of the mired of reasons why I dropped the idea of writing a book on the subject. BTZS uses gray scales in its matching program that essentially is a Dorst graph.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Stephen Benskin; 04-21-2013 at 02:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #137
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Ron, that graph is from Jones' paper The Evaluation of Negative Film Speeds in Terms of Print Quality, Journal of the Franklin Institute, April 1939, page 502 and 503. The test is best known as the first excellent print test. Psychophysical testing is the definite way to determine print quality. A simplified version of this would be the so called ring-around test which is a popular class assignment at photographic schools. Michael started a thread recently on the fractional gradient method where the first excellent print test was part of the discussion.

  8. #138
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    It would be onerous in the extreme to ask for carefully prepared reference prints that match exactly the tone reproduction diagrams themselves.
    Worth the effort though. Images would be a valuable addition to the diagrams. Not too hard to work backwards from example prints. I can provide some when the diagrams "fit my way of working" - other contributors may be able to do the same.

  9. #139
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    Bill, I am by no means suggesting that minimizing exposure is a bad technique.

    What I'm suggesting it that it is simply one of several ways to think about getting from scene to print.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #140
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    It's fine to go for the least. It's also fine to do other placements. I admire the great imagination it takes to go for high placements.

    Just yesterday I re-discovered the joy of having fully-detailed shadows. I dodged them to Zone IV and they look good in Zone IV. (Same microcontrast as other Zone IV parts of the picture).



 

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