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# Thread: Print range versus negative.

1. Bill, according to the reproduction curve, an increase in the contrast for one part of the curve means a decrease in another.

2. Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin
Bill, according to the reproduction curve, an increase in the contrast for one part of the curve means a decrease in another.
Bill, Stephen has nailed the crux of the issue I'm facing.

Regardless of how we parse this once we pick a point on the paper to place say our main subject from the scene, then we are faced with a variety of challenges to get the rest of the subject matter we want on the paper.

Knowing it is a compromise, my question is basically asking "can placing subject matter in relation to the film's shoulder make my printing easier?"

Maybe a film that has, or can be manipulated into, a pronounced S curve with a relatively short straight line might fit my sensibility better than say a TMax that has 13 stops of straight line.

I don't know for sure but I'm beginning to suspect that this is one of the reasons that in practice I tend to prefer FP4+ over Delta 100 is the shape of the curve.

3. Stephen, Can your model project back from the "Preferred Reproduction" curve in the fourth quadrant... to an ideal film and flare curve in the first quadrant, then back out the flare to an ideal film?

4. Originally Posted by markbarendt
Bill, Stephen has nailed the crux of the issue I'm facing.

Regardless of how we parse this once we pick a point on the paper to place say our main subject from the scene, then we are faced with a variety of challenges to get the rest of the subject matter we want on the paper.

Knowing it is a compromise, my question is basically asking "can placing subject matter in relation to the film's shoulder make my printing easier?"

Maybe a film that has, or can be manipulated into, a pronounced S curve with a relatively short straight line might fit my sensibility better than say a TMax that has 13 stops of straight line.

I don't know for sure but I'm beginning to suspect that this is one of the reasons that in practice I tend to prefer FP4+ over Delta 100 is the shape of the curve.
I'm pretty sure the paper curve was manipulated into a pronounced S curve to fit the reproduction theory as best as possible, using the toe of the film. And I'm a bit concerned that placing the shadows high on the curve might be defeating part of the plan.

But placing the shadows high gives me negatives that I like to print, so I am likely to continue with my "self-imposed limitation"... that I "ruin" the shadows by placing them on the straight line.

5. Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin
Bill, according to the reproduction curve, an increase in the contrast for one part of the curve means a decrease in another.
I'm not following this. If I lift the flare curve (more flare), I decrease contrast in the film curve in the shadows. Tracing that part of the curve to the paper, this decreases the density difference between points on the print too. That is not an increase in contrast the way I imagine it.

6. Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin
From a paper by Jones in The Photographic Journal based on his Hurter & Driffield Memorial lecture. "Since that time the contributions of the theory and practice of tone reproduction have been many and varied. Much of this material has been summarized and analyzed by Dr Mees in his book The Theory of the Photographic Process, published in 1942. It is the intention of the present paper to pick up the story at approximately the point where it was left by Dr Mees in that publication... The general over-all theory of photographic tone reproduction has been discussed many times before and it is felt, therefore, that a greater contribution to this problem can be made only by dealing with it in a rather detailed fashion. To do this, the solution of an elaborated tone reproduction diagram, illustrated by a quantitative example, will be carried through."

An example from the paper.

Attachment 67484
Returning to this diagram... Is that the ideal film curve to achieve the preferred reproduction?

7. I realize that pegging to the highlights will typically create lots of shadow detail. This choice is simply a matter of picking my priorities. Getting the mid-tones right, especially faces, trumps everything else for me. I'm willing, for the most part, to allow the rest of the scene just to fall where it may. I do though want the rest of the scene to support the main subject and mood expected.

With my priorities defined I can better define and even design the scene to solve some of my problems. This isn't necessarily about studio work either. I can adjust my lighting ratios and scene contrast by the direction and the time of day I choose to shoot.

I used Jose Villa as an example earlier, he uses late afternoon light to backlight his subjects a lot. Part of what this does is to give him very even lighting on his subjects, on the people and the faces he is shooting. He has effectively reduced the contrast across his main subject matter which is then effectively lit as if they would be in an open shade situation.

As far as Jose is concerned, for the subjects that matter, this is a normal contrast shot. For a landscape shooter pointing the camera the same direction as Jose, into a backlit scene poses a very different challenge.

What I'm getting at here is that portrait and product photographers don't necessarily have to adjust film contrast to get what they want. By turning the camera so that it begins to shoot cross lit and or by continuing on to front lit a portrait photographer can control the contrast and lighting across their subject.

Turning the camera may actually prove to be a better systemic fix for my highlight contrast issues than pre flashing the paper. Simply different tools for solving the same problem. I don't always get to pick the perfect angle though so understanding how I can use the curve to my advantage is worth learning.

8. Originally Posted by markbarendt
I realize that pegging to the highlights will typically create lots of shadow detail. This choice is simply a matter of picking my priorities. Getting the mid-tones right, especially faces, trumps everything else for me.
I appreciate that, and in portraiture I do the same, spot faces and place on VI. -or- Incident read and done.

I am interested to hear more opinions and see more charts and photographs of using the film shoulder. Also agree there might be some value in using traditional primitive emulsions to explore this idea.

9. Originally Posted by Bill Burk
...there might be some value in using traditional primitive emulsions to explore this idea.
Dang, you call in' FP4+ primitive?

10. Originally Posted by Bill Burk
Stephen, Can your model project back from the "Preferred Reproduction" curve in the fourth quadrant... to an ideal film and flare curve in the first quadrant, then back out the flare to an ideal film?
Bill, I don't know if this is what you are looking for. Del400 - one at CI 0.57, one stop flare, 1.06 NDR and 1.06 LER. The other CI 0.49, no flare, 1.05 NDR, 1.06 LER.

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