Split grade printing
I have tried this method recently and would like to go further with it. Therefore your comments would be very appreciated.
These are my experiences so far
1) For the dark shadow areas
Use filter #5, or if it leaves details out in the darkest areas, #4. Make a test strip in 2 sec increments. Choose an exposure time somewhat shorter than the one that gives the best result.
2) For the important highlight areas
Expose all of a new test strip according to the results above. Then shift to filter # 0 or #1 and expose in 1 sec increments.
3) Choose the best combination of 1) and 2). Try it out also on the medium gray areas to see if slight changes in exposure times and/or filter grades should be made.
4) Try out burning and dodging on test strips based on above.
Now to my questions
A) Is there any rule of thumb regarding how much the ”dark” exposure time should be reduced, like 1/2 stop or 10%? If there should be such a rule, could you also say that when this rule doesn’t work it means that you should shift to the next softer grade?
Is there any advantage in starting with the most contrasty filter (I haven’t had the opportunity to try out if the differently exposed areas blend better together this way)?
C) If you start with the soft filter, will this result in something similar to pre-flashing, i e to be used for very contrasty motives?