Before I start doing some tests, I was wondering had anyone any views on lightening foliage.
How would a pan-ortho film like Efke 25 and a green filter compare with SFX and an 89B for example?
It's not really a valid comparison.
In the last 20 years the only filter I've used has been a green one :-)
Yes a green filter will lighten the tone of green foliage, but not remotely like using Infra-Red film. I shoot a lot of Industrial landscapes often with trees and brickwork and a green filter helps a lot..
I assumed that this filter would give me very light foliage. I'll try a roll of efke and see.
Look at it this way:
Those white leaves seen in infrared-photography employing that Wood-effect are nothing else but strongly over-exposed subject areas. That this does not end in an image overexposed in general, is due the fact that those leaves reflect IR-radiation much! more than any other part of the subject. (Without use of that IR-filter those other subject parts would be even more over-exposed than those leaves due to the sensitivity of the film to that other light which is so much higher.)
Using a green filter, how strong it would be, on a non-IR film would not yield that effect as other parts of the subject still reflect green light, and not that much less than those leaves.
That very selective reflection of IR-radiation is the thing behind that kind of IR-photography.
First, do your tests!
Second, keep in mind that although foliage is green, it reflects other colors as well (e.g. IR) and that foliage from different plants have different spectral responses.
That said, I've had good luck with a Wratten #44 filter, and a regular 80B color correcting filter for lightening foliage (The Wratten #44 filter approximates orthochromatic film). Both these filters will raise shadow values considerably.
The number 11 yellow/green filter is less effective; a 58 filter may work better, but I haven't tried it for a long time.
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I should have explained that I don't try to achieve that gimmickry strong wood-effect, but something a little more subtle. I will look into the filters you mentioned Doremus as I'm using a yellow/ green and green filter for this type of work. Raising shadow values appears to hit the nail on the head.
Also bear in mind that most panchromatic films are a bit weak in the green part of the response. Thats the reason for those green safelight filters for working with pan materials ( and weren't really worth using ). So it may take a little more filtration than common sense tells you to get to a mid grey response on the green.
Whatever filter you use, the exposure/development choice needs to take into consideration how the shadows are being illuminated
If your shadows are illuminated by a clear blue sky, then using any of the blue absorbing filters to lighten green foliage can darken the shadows since they contain that colder light, causing a degree of contrast that you may not want. Your exposure/development choice needs to consider this. You may have to increase the exposure a bit to support the shadows and then reduce development to keep the highlights in check. With the filter accounted for in the exposure choice, you should see where the important shadows are on the scale
Just a thought.
I recall getting rather light foliage with kodak bw400CN, when the light was direct. Here's a sample. No filter. But it's also not hard to blow highlights so you have to be careful.
How about Rollei IR or sfx with a red filter.
Sorry for dredging up this ancient thread but it's the only one I can find that addresses precisely what I want... bright but not white foliage... no halation effects... and predictability. A darker sky (cloud contrast) is a plus.
I found a comparison chart of the spectral sensitivity of several common films and T-Max seems to have the flattest response of all (no dip in the green region).
I didn't like T-Max 100 when it first came out but I strongly suspect it's because I didn't try enough developers... I could never get past a "blah" look. A better developer and some... um... "manipulation"... will get get fine results with a #58 or #61 filter, I'm sure. I'm aware that a #44 filter will open shadows, a big plus for me, but at the expense of less cloud contrast.
I think SFX200 will also get me what I want though through different spectral manipulation and with less predictability. From what I've read so far Probably a #25 or #29 will get the results I want with SFX. I don't want to use an IR filter... not even a #70. I'm aware that this combination will render sky darker which, again is a plus, but at the cost of predictability and darker shadow areas. I could bracket multiple frames and shoot a second roll as a backup to adjust development... but that takes time and we all know that nice environmental conditions can be fleeting. Overexposing and under-developing would be my norm for this film to minimize loss of shadow details. I can tweak image H&D curves with a "special process" which will go unspoken.
These two film/filter combos are, to some degree, polar opposites but I think I'll like the results from either.
An important decision-making part of this dilemma is that I can't get out to photograph much and I need to optimize my successes. I'm also a bit weak-minded and forgetful these days so simplicity is also important.
Now that I've "talked through" my questions and concerns I think I've come to my own conclusion... shoot T-Max with deep green filters, learn how to optimize development in XTOL or Pyro HD, tone the film in selenium, and "tweak" thereafter. It's possible that the unpredictability and complication of SFX may be too much for me these days. Another thought... I might take two images of a given scene... one each through deep cyan or green and another through deep yellow, orange or medium red filters... and use "magic" to blend the two so I have the best of all three worlds... shadows, foliage and sky..
At any rate, I'd like to receive your opinions about the above film/filter combinations and how they render foliage and sky.
Last edited by Old-N-Feeble; 05-28-2012 at 07:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.