DEVELOPING BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by photokid, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. photokid

    photokid TPF Noob!

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    hello all...

    i'm new to the world of photography, but gained an interest after seeing a lot of dark/crisp black and white photos by photographer Ross Halfin.

    i've included a link below to his work.

    if i want to achieve the dark/crispness of his photos, is this done through developing, or does this soley rely on his film and equipment?

    http://www.rosshalfin.co.uk/ac-dc/acdc01.php
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes to all. The developing and printing of B&W film is an art, and one which takes a fair amount of skill and knowledge to perfect. I would suggest you spend a little time reading in the "Film Photography" forums below; I suspect you'll find a wealth of information there.
     
  3. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also Pick yourself up an older SLR body and attend some BW Photo classes, There are things you can only learn with hands on training.
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    The look of his AC/DC pictures from the late 70's and early 80's is a combination of the film he used and the developing. It's quite easy to replicate - dark and crisp is easy! The film is simply given less exposure than normal, then developed for more than the normal time - called 'pushing' the film.

    There is quite a lot of good information on the Ilford website, including information about developing film in general and about pushing: getting started link; general info link; pushing film link.

    Suitable films are Kodak Tri-X and Ilford HP5+, and suitable developers would be Kodak D-76, Ilford ID-11 and Ilford Microphen, but there are many, many others. Back in those days I used Tri-X and D-76 for pushing.

    Good film cameras and developing equipment are cheap these days.

    Good luck,
    Helen
     
  5. fstopusa

    fstopusa TPF Noob!

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    I remember those days. Tri-X was great for tonality, but never correct on it's ASA (ISO to you younger photogs) listings. It usually ran more around 160 instead of 400. There was something about the smell of a new box of 4x5 film that I always liked. I almost miss those days. Almost!
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    160 ASA? Tri-X sheet film was/is different from, and slower than, 35 mm Tri-X. Here's a couple of frames from a 1974 test roll of 35 mm Tri-X shot at EI 1600 and stand developed in very dilute D-76 for an hour. We were minding our own business, inflating a plastic Battenburg cake we had just completed when a gentleman was kind enough to share his opinion of us. All I had in the camera was the test roll.

    [​IMG]

    The purpose of my tests was to try to avoid, as much as possible, the soot-and-whitewash look of pushed film that photokid wants.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  7. fstopusa

    fstopusa TPF Noob!

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    Yes, there is a difference in the speed of 35 and 4x5 sheet film which I used. I have pushed Tri-X many times, in 35mm format, but I had to run tests on a batch of sheet film while studying Ansel Adam's Zone system. The tests almost always came up at about half of the rating. Some emulsion batches were a little higher, some a little lower, but after that I just stuck to 160 and it worked out well.

    I also used a fair amount of Plus-X in 35mm format. I liked it better in many ways even though it did not have quite the tonal range of Tri-X.
     
  8. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    Tri-X is one of the most tried, tested and trusted films ever.
    There is a wealth of info and advice on how to expose and develop it...with speeds from 50 to 64000 ASA, and a zillion formulae...
    It was also my favorite, although Kodak have monkeyed around with the emulsion several times and I´m not so happy with its current incarnation.

    Still...as the others have said, push whichever film to achieve the look you are referring to. It can be replicated in Photoshop too of course.

    Check this http://www.rosshalfin.co.uk/ross/ross_equipment.php and note that he invites queries so I guess he will tell you what he did...
     
  9. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've been using the TMX and TMY films for a few years and just added Fuji's Neopan 400 and some Efke 25 to my arsenal. I second the older film SLR. Pentax K1000, Minolta sr-T101, Nikkormat FM2 and dedicated lenses. Even just an old rangefinder like a Zeiss Ikon Contina. Anything that you can completely control the exposure settings and can operate in manual. And a hand held meter would be helpful as well, something you can point around without being restricted with the tunnel view of the viewfinder. Something like an older Weston Master IV. I have one and that thing is sweet. You can set your ISO and it will give you your EV number and then you do the rest. As far as processing, do it yourself. Cheaper than sending it off and much more fun and satisfying.
     

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