Some developing advice

Light, film, exposure..
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Alastair Moore
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Some developing advice

Postby Alastair Moore » 18 Sep 2012, 13:19

Hey chaps,

I shot an image next door in the workshop of one of the old machines. Metered it at f16 - 1/4s, however there are skylights in the roof which were glaring away. I recall Walter suggesting on an image I posted up that I might want to reduce exposure and increase development to reduce the windows blowing out. So I've shot one image at f16 1/4s and I bracketed another shot at 1/8s. When I develop the second sheet, do I want to develop it as if I shot it at ISO 200 rather than ISO 100? Might this work to reduce the blow out on the window?

Cheers in advance!

Alastair

Lachlan717
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Re: Some developing advice

Postby Lachlan717 » 19 Sep 2012, 10:05

I would never recommend reducing an exposure/increase development model. You risk losing shadow detail as, no matter how long you develop them, you will never gain any further density in the shadows if they're not there at exposure.

The Zone system basically refers to "expose for shadows/develop for highlights".

As such, it suggests that you meter for your shadow details, and then contract development time so that the highlights Z(i.e. the dark areas) on the negative have less time to gain density in the developer.

So, I would have taken 2 exposures, reducing development time by (at least) 15% on the first and view the results. If the highlights are still too dense, reduce the first development time by a further 10%. (I would highly recommend doing testing of film. There is a heap of info out there on this, but consider using Fred Newman's testing service at http://www.viewcamerastore.com/).

Semi-stand developing could help, although I have never used it (the volume needed to cover a 7x17 film is just too prohibitive!)

Finally, you could perhaps look at using a divided development process. In broad terms, you split a 2-part developer (eg. D-32, D-76, Pyro etc), allowing only a limited amount of developer to soak into the emulsion, limiting the build up of the highlights. Some more info here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/ ... post887860

Again, I would avoid reduced exposure/increased development. And highly recommend doing some film testing.

Walter Glover
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Re: Some developing advice

Postby Walter Glover » 19 Sep 2012, 10:22

Alastair Moore wrote:I recall Walter suggesting on an image I posted up that I might want to reduce exposure and increase development to reduce the windows blowing out.



Alastair,

I don't have time right now to go back and find the comments I made but I am pretty sure you may have got my suggestion muddled. I seem to recall that I suggested increasing exposure to open up the low values and add separation and to reduce development in order to rein in the highlights outside the windows a bot.

I'll look back into it when I return home this evening.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

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Alastair Moore
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Re: Some developing advice

Postby Alastair Moore » 19 Sep 2012, 11:04

Walter Glover wrote:
Alastair Moore wrote:I recall Walter suggesting on an image I posted up that I might want to reduce exposure and increase development to reduce the windows blowing out.



Alastair,

I don't have time right now to go back and find the comments I made but I am pretty sure you may have got my suggestion muddled. I seem to recall that I suggested increasing exposure to open up the low values and add separation and to reduce development in order to rein in the highlights outside the windows a bot.

I'll look back into it when I return home this evening.


I suspect I did read it wrong or didn't read your comment properly :) That'll teach me.

smbooth
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Re: Some developing advice

Postby smbooth » 19 Sep 2012, 17:22

Its only next door, you can go back.....

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Maris
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Re: Some developing advice

Postby Maris » 19 Sep 2012, 19:06

I reckon don't be bullied by those skylights. Option one:let them blow out to pure white. The eye/mind tends to accept lightsources as undetailed luminous things. The part you don't want to lose is a full scale of tonal separations for all those delicious details in the workshop. Or....

Skylights can be tamed by a variety of techniques. Frame them out of your picture. Interpose something big to stop the lens looking at them. Boost interior lighting to match outside daylight...needs a Hollywood budget. Shoot very early or late in the day when window light is the same as interior light...needs after hours access. Make two exposures in register, one for the interior with the skylights blocked off plus one much shorter exposure with the skylights shining. Be prepared to invest darkroom time in burning in (heavily) when making the positive. Or flash the paper to render a trace of tone (but no detail) in those darn skylights. Or use an unsharp positive mask in register with the negative to bridge the brightness/density gap.

I'd do option one.

Andrew Nichols
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Re: Some developing advice

Postby Andrew Nichols » 18 Dec 2012, 19:25

Here is a letter from Robert hall from large format forum
He did a beautiful shot of a machine shop and in low light with window probs as you mentioned.

Hope it helps.



QUOTE=Robert Hall][QUOTE=cosmicexplosion]Hi to you mr Robert
And well done for nice work.
I have been trying to learn what rhe underexposed and overdeveloped
Thing is. Makes it pop you say. I have only just got my head around exposing 8x10 and am now trying to get some decent prints so not really very advanced but I am methodically working and getting better
Love the first machine. Very figurative.
Warm regards
Andrew[/QUOTE]


It's a bit more challenging down under. You're not as prone to too many cloudy days or finding open shade. And you materials are much more expensive so when you make a mistake, it costs you. :)

When the contrast of a scene is small, ie, a cloudy day, or photographing after the sun has set and you have no sky in your image, you have a very small range of contrast. You can then under expose, not by a lot, but some, say half a stop or a full stop (do this while experimenting), then develop for 20% more time than usual. (the times are a rough stab, believe me, we don't expose or develop the same in my darkroom like you do in yours so you *will* need to experiment, but you get the idea).

Think of how dense your sky would be if you developed that much longer with open sky? Your highlights get all the exposure they need, so this doesnt work well when you have bright spots in the image. Take a look at my wheel image if you can, notice the small portion of the windows are a little blown out. This is the issue. But... when you don't have any bright spots, and you have exposed enough to get the shadow detail you need, you can develop a bit longer and that gives more "local contrast". This is what makes images pop, local contrast. There are a couple other ways to improve this as well. Look in to unsharp masking (with film).

Let me know how I can explain further. Best of luck,

R[/QUOTE]


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