Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Osgood View Post
I would tend to disagree with this. Remember you are taking a white piece of paper and making it shades of gray to black, or thereabouts. Once you have set your dark's you cannot make them lighter, rather set your whites and darken them as needed. You cover white with black, you cannot cover black with white.
Hi Bruce. Yes, I admit it does sound counter-intuitive to determine your hard exposure first but here I am talking exclusively about soft negatives. Once you've set your dark tones you can make them lighter by altering the exposure, just as you would with highlight exposure. This is where experience and 'expertise' comes into play and it's no harder than doing the G.00 exposure first. If I were printing a normal/hard neg then undoubtedly determing the highlight exposure first makes sense. I could print with a hard filter - as Thomas Bertillson says - and I often do, but I sometimes find it easier to nail that deepest shadow with the G.5 filter first with the added advantage that it shows me exactly where to print in with the G.00 filter. Perhaps it's not orthodox but it works for me and what the hell, if it gives you the result you want, why not try it. Regards, B.