Another example is one that I frequently use. If the scene is about a step under normal, I usually will process it normal and print it on a grade three. One of the rules I keep in my head is that processing extends the highlights and printing brings out the mid tones. Most of the time, I'm more interested in having good local separation of the mid tones than a negative that will print on a grade two paper. Both pushing the film +1 and processing it normal and printing it on a higher grade paper will produce the full tonal range, but they produce very different local contrast. This can be graphically depicted in the upper right quadrant of the tone reproduction diagram.
Along the same lines as the above technique is taking a scene with a normal luminance range and expanding the mid tones with an unsharp mask. I have a good example of this. It was late in the day just after a storm. The sun was moving in and out of the clouds and was coming from a slightly back lite condition. The scene was an iron age broch on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. The luminance range of the main subject was normal with the assumption that the upper clouds would have to be burned in (I usually don't factor the sky into the exposure calculation). The broch is made of stones of very similar values. Processed normal and printed on a grade two, the "main" subject of the broch would look weak.
I shot the scene using an orange filter and processed it normal with the intent of using an unsharp mask. The unsharp mask also acts as a contrast mask, so I was able to print the negative on a higher grade and pull out the mid tones. I also did some bleaching in a couple of spots to "pop" them up.
Last edited by Stephen Benskin; 12-02-2007 at 01:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.