I will throw in my method.


I have found I can usually be pretty close by looking at a contact sheet and the image on the easel first time around. I will use 3 test strips, one at my estimated exposure and then one 1/2 stop less and 1/2 stop more. I am looking for the best highlight values I can get with these strips. Then I can adjust filtration to match the disired contrast range.

If I am going to split grade the print these first three strips will be with the #0 filter and then after determining the best initial exposure, will repeat the process with the higher number filter.

If there is an area of the print that requires burning and dodging that I am not sure about exact time, I will use small test strips for the area and then lay them on a first proof in that area to see how they work.

Test stirps also come in handy to evaluate how bleaching will work in certain areas before attempting on a fnal print.

And there are many images where the tonalities of the image are pretty consistent across the whole negative. In this case I will use a full sheet of paper and just expose in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 stops.