Quote Originally Posted by jordanstarr View Post
I can't think of a time I ever disagreed with Matt and this is no exception. Exposure determines your shadow detail moreso than pushing your film. You can't get something from nothing.
While I agree with you about getting 'something' from 'nothing', the case is usually that a lot of the 'lost' shadow detail ends up on the toe of the film curve, lost in 'film base plus fog' density. By under exposing film on purpose, and over developing, some of that shadow detail on the toe can be 'pushed' back up onto a portion of the curve, where it's no longer obscured by the densities of film base plus fog.
Some developers are better than others at this, and this is why dilute developers, like Xtol 1+1 is better than stock - longer developing time brings out more shadows. Not a fantastic amount, but it does help, and it is real.