Monday, August 16, 2010

Pre-flashing.
Trying to get a decent print from this  negative I made a few weeks ago in early evening before sunset of this statue in the South Park Blocks near the Museum.  The bronze statue is displayed within a structure so the light is hitting it from the side and the statue is bronze so it will print out in black to dark gray on the zone scale. I wanted the statue to appear close to the mid range so it would stand out hopefully with a little shadow detail against a darker background and shadows.  The arch to the left of the statue and the base are very reflective so with that exposure it is overexposed and loses all surface detail printing out at near paper base.  I liked that I got some of the detail of interior ceiling which was picking up reflected light from the base.  I thought the easiest solution in printing would be to pre-flash the paper eliminating the highest zone 9 and shifted all print zones down one zone.  The print on the left has had the paper pre-flashed 2 seconds and the print on the right has received the identical cumulative exposure without pre-flashing. The best way to calculate the pre-flash exposure is to run a test strip using small increments of time which is much easier now with my new exposure timer that can set an exposure of as little as 1/10 of a second.  Here I did a series of 1/2 second exposures using the same contrast and aperture settings I was going to use for the print.  I develop the test strip and than look for the first sign of exposure to the paper and than use the exposure before that.  In this case it was 2.5 seconds so I pre-flashed the paper 2 seconds.  Later I noticed after the paper dried that the actual first sign of exposure was 2 seconds and I probably could have used a pre-flash exposure of less than 2 seconds.  In the future I may want to consider this dry down issue and I may want to consider further experiments with printing this negative using a shorter pre-flash exposure and see if I like the results.  Less pre-exposure might lighten the print up a bit and bring out the ceiling a bit better and better shadow detail in the statue.

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