Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post
That's not exactly correct. The darkest point in determining the LER of a paper is 90% D-Max. The idea is that the average shadow value will look natural if placed on this point. Within reason, it doesn't matter where it falls on the film curve.
Thanks for the correction.

Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post
The idea of minimum exposure is to offer higher film speeds, reduce graininess, obtain maximum sharpness, and maintain reasonable printing times. There isn't anything intrinsic from a tone reproduction standpoint about it. See attachments. The reason why film speed is determined from the shadows is because it was determined shadow reproduction was critical to image quality.
Their suggestion was one of the range we might chose to place on film from a long scale scene.

Essentially choosing how much shadow is important in a given scene.

Where detail becomes acceptable on film is technically important, what tone we actually put there is subjective.

Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post
If I understand the example of the art's fair correctly, it should be more about contrast than exposure placement. The effect you describe can just as easily be accomplished by exposing well and printing down.
If by contrast you mean the faces in sun are brighter than the faces in the shadows, then yes.

My thought is that once I've pegged the shadow point I want, that the faces and other tones, will fall properly in relation to each other. Essentially one specific enlarger exposure would place the faces properly in relation to each other.

Shaded faces will look shaded, those in full sun wil look like they are in full sun.

Let's assume for a second that the fair is the setting for a portrait.

The setting/background could be made to fall in a very believable manner from shade to sun, the challenge in camera becomes how to fit/light/isolate the main portrait subject in that scene in such a way that looks natural.