Achieving this look...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by milkplus-mesto, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    Hi APUG, I've been taking photos of bands for the last six months or so, and I'm looking at moving to film to give me something a little bit different, and nicer to work with, my question is this... would I be able to achieve this sort of look with film? I've been using DxO FilmPack to emulate the look/grain of Delta 3200.

    The thing is, much as I like working digitally, it's just not the same as working with film, which I love, and I'd love to be able to get this look with film.

    Also... it's a bit cheeky to ask here, but does anyone have any comments or criticisms of my image, because I plan to enter it for a local photographic club competition and I'd be grateful for any comments.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    You can definitely get something very close to that with film. It will take a lot more time, work, and knowledge on your part than you need to do it in Photoshop...so get crackin'! You have found the right place to get the help you need to learn to use film.
     
  3. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    The image looks fine. Good "moment" shot where the subject's expression leaves you wondering what's going through his mind. It's a good portrait in a setting where you'd rarely see a contemplative expression.

    As for the tonality - sure you can get it with film. High speed film with extended development and printed on high contrast paper.

    Go for it ! Hope you do well in the competition.

    Bob Hall
     
  4. OP
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    milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    Right then, I shall buy some Delta 3200, and perhaps a roll of TMZ 3200 and see how it goes. As for high contrast printing, is it something I could achieve with multigrade paper, or would a fixed grade be a better choice?
     
  5. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Start with multigrade. If you dev. your negs to high contrast you'll find there's a fine line between "too much and just enough" when it comes to the printing. You'll retain a little more flexibility with MG.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    One rule of thumb is that the faster a film is, the lower in contrast it is, the less sharp it is, and the less detail it can capture. What you want for this look is to use a sharp and contrasty film to start. I would try shooting Ilford FP4. The fact that it is an ISO 125 film might sound crazy for low light shooting, but part of the look is the extreme contrast, which you can get by underexposing your shots and then overdeveloping them. You underexpose in order to black out the shadows, and you overdevelop to punch up the highlights. All you need is for the film to pick up the very brightest areas on your subject, even if they end up underexposed. Your overdevelopment will brighten them even more, and so will your printing.

    Or, you can shoot and develop to get a normal-looking negative, and use interpositives and internegatives done on litho film to get this look in the printing stage.

    But for now, if you are really chasing that same look, but on film, I would experiment with a roll of FP4 or Plus-X. Shoot at a fast enough shutter speed to freeze action, and with enough depth of field to get everything sharp that you want sharp, such as the guitar AND the face. I would not meter. Just pick the aperture and shutter speed you need (within reason) and let the tones fall where they may. There will be nothing precise about what you're doing, and getting enogh depth of field will be more important than calculating exactly what exposure to use. Then develop your negs in paper developer (which is harsher than normal film developer) and print a high contrast print. You will waste some film and time doing it, but it will work if you keep experimenting.
     
  7. OP
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    milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    Thanks, I managed to finish all my paper with my last project, so it looks like i'll be off up to silverprint sometime soon. Thanks for the advice.
     
  8. OP
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    milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    2F/2F, you are a genius. I'll give that method a go, and I've got about 5 rolls of FP4 lying around here, and two gigs coming up very soon, I reckon that could be the solution. Cheers. With paper developer, what sort of dev times would I be looking at?
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks. I'm not a genius, though....I've just done it before! heh heh...and that includes wasted film and wasted time.

    Remember that you are experimenting. Don't bank your entire night of shooting on a first-time experiment. I'd shoot enough to make sure you have whatever "normal" pix you need before trying the experimental roll.

    As far as paper developers go, I have used Dektol and Ilford Multigrade for high-contrast negs. I used the normal 1:9 paper dilution of Multigrade, and it was harsh, but not as harsh as Dektol. For Dektol, I used the normal paper dilution as well (1:3, I believe, though I have not used Dektol in a while so I don't really remember). I think I settled on 8-10 minutes being a decent time for what I wanted. However, I wanted nothing but black and white on my print. You might want to start at 5 or 6 minutes since you want a tiny bit of detail in there.

    You can also try some Kodak D-19, which is specifically designed to give high-contrast negatives. Personally, I think Dektol makes for a closer-to-halftone neg than D-19, but D-19 works well if you want a little bit more "normal" results, but still with some high contrast.

    If you really want to have some fun with contrast, use normal working strength AB graphic arts developer (available from Freestyle) to develop your film (and/or your paper)...hahah.

    If it turns out the FP4 is too slow for the light in there, maybe try HP5 or Tri-X instead.
     
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  10. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    If the 5 contrast paper doesn't give enough contrast for you, you could try making an interpositive on litho film the size of the print you want, and make a new negative by contact printing the interpositive with another sheet of litho film. With a little experimentation you'll have no trouble getting rid of all the medium tones and achieving a photo which is literally black and white.
     
  11. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    That look have quite a lot of "pushed 2 stops" look to it. I.e. TriX exposed at 1600 and some quite active developer. One thing I recon you are after is sharp visible grain. While Rodinal doesn't give you 1600 (no developer really does that), it does indeed give you very sharp visible grain.
    If you work in the kind of light like on the shot above, a normal time + say 25% will give you quite hard negatives, which with a grade 4 or 5 paper will be quite a lot like your digital shot. With a bit of practice you can produce negatives which will produce both nice tonality with a softer paper and that hard grainy look on a hard paper grade.

    //Björn
     
  12. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Long time ago I'd print a continues tone neg contact print or enlarge it on litho film to get a positive then sandwich that to another litho film to get a neg. The more generations you did the more contrasty it would become. All long the way you could solarize it, do bar relief . Used dektol for the developer and could use a regular safe lite. mike