Developing For Foggy Days

Ian-Barber

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Scenario:
It's a foggy day and there are no real true blacks or white in the scene
By placing the lower areas on Zone 3 the brightest area falls on Zone 5 indicating a 2 stop brightness range.

Question:
Would you ....

A) Develop to N+2 to try and give the negative a little more snap
B) Place the lower vales on Zone 4 and develop to N+1
 

David M

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May I suggest that the attraction of a foggy scene is that it doesn't have much snap? I'd try to retain that look. So, perhaps lowest values on Z4 and N+1 if you must. Or lower values on Z5 and N+/-0, with final aesthetic adjustments made on screen. A little hill in the middle of a billiard table in the histogram, that can easily be shifted left or right, to give the most expressive print rather than a straightforward transliteration. There may be more than one valid interpretation...
Don't you find that however carefully you meter, there are always tiny patches that fall above or below the Zone spread that you envisaged?
Although it is often regarded as holy writ, I don't believe that every single image is obliged to have a full range of tones from deepest, darkest black to shining Persil white. I have a lovely John Blakemore print of thistledown that runs from about Z7 to Z8.
Of course, all this is said without seeing the original scene, so a pinch of salt may be useful.
 
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Ian-Barber

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Don't you find that however carefully you meter, there are always tiny patches that fall above or below the Zone spread that you envisaged?
Yes, i do find this unless I can really get up close to the area I am metering. It is for this reason why I try to place the lowest values on the straight line portion of the curve usually Zone 4 to compensate for the values which may fall outside the radar.

I have a lovely John Blakemore print of thistledown that runs from about Z7 to Z8.
Funny you should mention John Blakemore, I am currently reading one of his books at the moment which I am thoroughly enjoying.
 

Keith Haithwaite

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I think David has hit the nail on the head. Foggy/misty images are one of those subjects that are even more personal than 'normal' scenes. A touch too much lighteness/darkness/contrast in the image and the moment is lost for you yet another viewer might profoundly disagree with your interpretation - but the key is 'your interpretation'. Capture all the information on the negative with the tools you prefer and then let your 'gut' produce the print

Funny you should mention John Blakemore, I am currently reading one of his books at the moment which I am thoroughly enjoying.
I had his Black and White Photography Workshop on a semi-permanent load from my local library for almost 2 years (it had never been issued before) before someone else requested it and then 'lost' it. :mad: I don't know how much the fine was but I bet it was well below the cost of a new book.
 
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David M

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I have a copy and is seems to have been a bargain when new – £20.

From Amazon today:
Hardcover
from £99.9
6. Used from £99.96. New from £175.00
Paperback
6 Used from £98.72. New from £162.46
Sixteen five-star reviews and one one-star ("Technically usells. (sic) I am new to B+W...)

Abe Books: paperback from £63.73 new from £128.69

Oxfam have one for £125

"Lost" you say? Understandable but not at all forgivable. Better snap up a copy before they become entirely unaffordable. I can't understand why it hasn't been republished.
 

David M

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Very nice. I have the book with the test strip on the cover.
On my screen, these tulips seem to run from about Z2 to Z5. There may be details outside this range of course. In real life, John's tulip prints look very rich.
 
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