Quote Originally Posted by Alan Johnson View Post
Thomas,I am approaching the question not particularly from the point of view of making good photographs but rather from the point of view-here is an old process (acutance film development) where the old films are no longer available and the process has been lost-or has it?
I think we look at this in fundamentally different ways.

My philosophy is to communicate mostly with tonality, which is almost entirely under my control. Paper + paper developer has a set of characteristics with respect to tonality, and then I develop my negatives to get what I want in the print, and fine tune with print contrast. Sometimes high contrast prints, and other times softer.

Grain, sharpness, and resolution I don't even think about anymore, because I've noticed that most viewers seem to be mostly affected by tonality, as it sets the mood of the print extremely effectively, dark or light, smooth shifts in tonality, or really harsh ones. So much can be done and is in our power to change, if we just know how. So that's how I see things. That tonality will greatly emphasize the message of what I'm trying to show with my photograph, it has the power to fundamentally alter how others view it, and that interests me. I can do all sorts of crazy things with it, things that are not 'correct' at all by the book, but appeal to me - like shadows that are completely featureless to add weight or create negative space, or highlights where some areas are paper white in order to lens a really intense highlight, or a print where all highlights have been toned down towards lighter mid-tones for a really somber or mysterious look, perhaps in combination with really rich dark blacks, etc etc etc.
Grain is what it is, and I find it doesn't change that much with developer choice. It just is. My two cents.