Quote Originally Posted by Athiril View Post
Extra exposure increases graininess, try it some time. You can end up with a thin image (read: thin image) where minimum image density is close to max.
Not understanding what you are really saying here. Extra exposure increases image density. True of both paper and film.

I do this regularly. Ilford agrees with me on the grain issue too. http://ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/20061301945161573.pdf

Quote Originally Posted by Athiril View Post
Better shadows does not equal more saturation. You are compromising saturation above mid tones, and the tones above mid tones get compressed.

The colour separation gets smaller and smaller on the negative the more above mid tones you go.
On the film, the tones only start getting compressed when they reach the shoulder. As long as we print from the straight line portion of the curve then separation of tones remains constant.

On films like Portra there is room to place a normal scene easily 3-stops up from what an incident meter might suggest without losing color balance or detail. This does make for a thick neg and requires more enlarger exposure to place the subjects in the scene on the heavily exposed films at the same brightness on paper as those from a "standard" exposure, but the relationships remain.

Quote Originally Posted by Athiril View Post
Try shooting a sunset some time, and expose the sunset colours as mid tones, then expose for the shadows on the foreground and see where you get.
The problem your posing isn't really about "getting that huge range all on film", it's about "getting it all on paper."

The problem you are posing here is a camera work problem where the photographer allows the subjects to get too far apart exposure wise.

Shooting a trash shot doesn't help.