Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post
Sounds like a self imposed limitation. The print is part of the photographic process and should be considered as part any option. Not only would print flashing be the easiest approach to obtain the desired effect, but it allows for greater exposure latitude with the negative. It's a win-win.
Absolutely a self imposed constraint. And yes it surely can be a win-win. And yes I'll be playing with flashing more going forward. And yes I do consider printing as part of the process, just not always an artistic part of the process. One thing that truly makes my day is when I walk into the darkroom with a freshly dry negative, put it in the carrier, and without changing any settings print an 11x14 that is really close to right on the first try. Doesn't happen all the time, but I'm getting closer.

That brings me to a point where I can blend in Michael's thoughts.

Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
This might be a dumb question, but can I ask why?


For one thing, less flexibility (should you decide at some point on a different interpretation of the image) since you're reducing the amount of "information" in the negative.
I would suggest that both Hurrell and Karsh, for example, had probably designed and refined their systems to include very specific exposure, developing, and enlarging procedures in order to allow easy, fast, simple, high quality, consistent completion of their client orders by their respective assistants and helpers.

In a tightly controlled system the value of latitude is diminished, even non-existent.

I would be truly surprised if Hurrell or Karsh designed into their production lines the use of pre-flashing their paper. Similarly I would be surprised if they reinterpreted a significant number of their shots.

So far in my photographic pursuits I've found little inspiration in reinterpreting a negative, I'd much rather shoot a fresh frame with different lighting or whatever.

Henri Cartier-Bresson though had a very different approach to shooting and probably benefitted greatly from the latitude/flexibility inherent in negatives. His printer may very well have added flashing and various other tricks of the trade to deal with the variances in scene lighting and subject matter.

As to the comments on grain and slow shutter speed, Michael those are real issues and I don't know if what I'm proposing can work well, or which film/developer combo might support this but as I refine my systems it seems a worthwhile path to play with and my interests aren't strictly related to B&W. Color negatives don't have the same grain issues.

I want to be clear here too, I'm a big fan of shooting normally and metering normally for a lot of my work and normally recommend normal shooting to others.