A trick I used years ago when I was printing 0 and 5 is as follows.
If you want to create an interesting visual... get some black netting stockings, and try playing with images by using the black stocking under the lens for either the 0 or the 5 exposure.
one way you get sharp highlights with bleeding blacks... .think landscape smooth scene black fuzzy trees.
the other way you get sharp blacks and soft highlights...... think skin tone , eyes sharp
I will reverse my logic with filters and their order of importance depending on what the person wants in the print , not necessarily dictated by the negative.
A classic case is a High Contrast print like lets for argument sake say Bill Brant... I would start with a 4 or a 4 1/2 filter to set the image and maybe flash in with 00 to set some basic tone in the highlights .
Another case would be a Low Contrast print like lets for argument sake say Jock Sturges.... I would start with a 1/2 or 1 filter to set the lovely highlight tones and with the 5 filter, add an exposure until I see a defined black somewhere in the print and call it a day.
I believe too many people look at the negative and then determine what the print will look like.
I prefer to visualize what I want the print to look like and then with the tools available to me make it happen , no matter what the negative looks like.
I doubt there is very few negatives that cannot be tamed with a bit of effort and using biggest tool of all, one's brain.
not to say present company are not using their brains, just sometimes its being used too much and not let the eyes tell you when its done.
Originally Posted by Blighty