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High contrast development

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How to achieve hight contrast photographs Edit

At shooting/development stage Edit

Ralph Gibson's method: overexposed, overdeveloped Edit

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.

At printing stage Edit

Sources Edit

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