Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Osgood View Post
I don't understand what you mean by making set dark tones lighter by altering the exposure? Are you speaking of the second exposure at G.00 being altered? How do you lighten an exposure by adding to it? Or are you suggesting dodging the the first (G.5) exposure and making it lighter? I'm not trying to be PITA but I don't understand what you mean,

Bruce
Hi Bruce, you're certainly NOT being a PITA! I reckon I'm not explaining myself properly. You're right, laying down the G.5 exposure first followed by the G.00 exposure does make the dark tones a little darker but not as much as you would think, acting as it does primarily in the highlights. If you look at it the other way; when you determine the soft exposure first for the highlights, you do so knowing that the 2nd (hard) exposure will affect that tone a little bit, but not by much because it (the hard exposure) is acting mainly in the dark tones. As an example, let us say you determine a soft exposure of 10 seconds and that exposure gives you exactly the tone you want in the highlight(s). Next, on top of that soft exposure you determine the hard exposure to give you exactly the tonality you require in the dark tones. In doing so you might see some very slight darkening of those highlights because, as you rightly imply, adding exposure will make a print darker. So what do you do? You back off very slightly on that first soft exposure to compensate for the 2nd hard exposure. In exactly the same way, if I choose to figure the hard exposure first, I do so knowing that the subsequent soft exposure will have some small (but maybe noticeable) effect on those dark tones and compensate accordingly by backing off very slightly on the hard exposure. This is where one's experience comes into play. Remember, I'm simply trying to give a minimum exposure that renders the darkest part of the subject true black or just 'off' true black and then determining the correct soft exposure. It's the same process but the other way round and the whole point for my doing it this way is that I find it difficult to establish a soft exposure first when printing a very soft neg.