Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
As someone already wrote, forget the rules. Just look at the negatives and prints. The only requirement is that you FULLY understand the exposure/development relationship.
good advice. I have a set of sheets which I exposed one sunny day at a creek with dark waters bounded by snow. I developed sheets in 3min 6 min and 12 min (where N = 6 min for the temperature I was using). I have been trying to develop my understanding of this. In the last year of making density checks of my negatives (rather than just looking) I feel I've come a long way (although perhaps not as far as I'd like).

I was surprised to find that even that didn't have the densest area being as dense as the element of a light bulb I photographed and developed normally. I'm sure that there is some substantial difference between the snow and the filament brightness.

Film it seems handles quite an amount of exposure before it hits a wall.

The issue for me now is how this negative (and its range of density) can translate to the print (and just how far it can go).

I've been restricting myself to one film (ADOX) one developer (D-76) and one paper (MG IV portfolio) just so as to not get confused.

I wish I could compare numbers with people as I find that easier to reconcile with.