Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
Tone reproduction theory. In broad terms, how the luminances and luminance relationships of the original scene are ultimately rendered in print values. The quadrant diagram Stephen refers to is a graphical way of following the original values in the scene through the various steps to the final print. There are variables, controls and limitations along the way that change these relationships. The general idea is if you really want to "predict" how the scene will look in the print (Zone System, for example), you need to look at the entire system from subject to print. In other words, it is not enough to know your film curve. There is also the paper curve, flare etc.

This particular thread goes a step further than the objective transition from subject to film to print, and adds subjective aspects like the conditions under which the print is viewed, the brightness of the background, the way our eyes react to value relationships in the print.
Ha yes, Michael, and since much of it is indeed "subjective" that's when a lot of theory goes right out the window. After all, what is truly, technically "correct", from a negative/development/paper/curves etc, point of view, when you start adding the many subjective aspects? All I know is that if would ever start worrying about all of this, I'd probably never make another print..or I may just shoot digital and make inkjet prints and yes, I am understanding and respectful about the fact that a few people do care about all of this, but from what I can tell, I don't see it translating to better photographs/prints, especially these days.