I Yams what I Yams , as Popeye would say.

Recently a 40 print show that hung in the Royal Ontario Museum which was viewed by hundreds of thousand viewers , got extended for one year due to the positive responses. All the negatives produced this show were done in my very unsophisticated method of dipping back into the developer.
I think the prints are pretty good using this method.

I think you are missing my point about the hardening effect of tannin developer, nowhere did I say the stain had any mystical properties and I must admit it took me years to understand the zone system, and my take on it is probably very different from the gurus here and back then.

How you make the prints zing is most important. That just takes practice and a few thousand negatives to work with.

Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
What I believe is important is the stain produced during development since it is created in proportion to the amount of silver produced. I think of this as image stain. Placing the negative back into the developer after all silver halide has been removed by fixing contributes nothing to the image stain. This procedure produces only an overall stain something like a built in ND filter. It's not going to create any mystical qualities in the negative.

Years ago when there was a great deal of interest in the Zone System there were a handful of gurus for lack of a better term. Their every word was considered as holy writ. No one was allowed to question any of their pronoucements let alone supply any scientific criticism. Sadly, I think that the technique of stain development is at a similar point. It's a valid and useful method but people need to separate the facts from a great deal of fiction.