Have been under the weather, but was unpacking books today and the next one to go on the shelf is the Lustrum Press Darkroom book!


Having learned from the lithographic process I now go directly to contrasty subject matter and expose for the narrow contrast ratio I desire. I overexpose and overdevelop and, in the process, pick up grain and contrast. This yields a dense negative, but through the years I have found that I prefer them this way. A dense negative offers a range of possibilities that, when explored, yields greater content.
To develop Tri-X, I use 10cc of Rodinal for every roll. If I am developing two rolls of film in a two-reel tank, I fill the tank with water at 68 degrees to within a quarter of an inch of the brim. Then I pour in in 20 cc of developer and stir. This is generally considered too harsh a solution, but it gives me the quality I desire. An eleven minute development time with agitation every minute and a half for ten seconds yields a contrasty negative having the appearance of blocked highlights. Thinner negatives, finer grain, longer development... I've tried all of these approaches, but the only negative that I consider interesting in terms of its potential is the overexposed, over developed one.