Question about Contact Sheets

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by sillyphaunt, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to make a contact sheet to use for the Print exchange, but I'm having trouble. How do you do a decent one if you don't have the similar exposures on all the prints?

    I end up with a couple exposed right, and the rest black.
     
  2. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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    Can't you expose the negatives so that some are correct, then cover those up with bits of card and expose the rest for a little longer?

    I've never used an enlarger, so take this post for what it's worth.
     
  3. luis.martins

    luis.martins TPF Noob!

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    One of the goals of producing a contact sheet is to see which of your exposures are ok, and which aren't. If you don't have consistent exposures in your film, ie. some over and some under exposed, you won't get an even contact sheet.

    When I print a contact sheet I find the time necessary to get maximum black from the paper in the unexposed film, and then expose the paper at grade 2.5 (difusion enlarger).

    If you get a very dark overall result, this will tell you that all photos were under exposed, and vice versa.

    If, like you, I get lots of too dark and too white photos, this will tell my I was failing in calculating the exposure of my photos.

    How are you mettering light? spot, center weight, auto, matrix?

    If you want you can give each frame a different exposure time, but this is a lot of work and not the goal of a contact sheet.
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I will usually arange the negs so that I can get an overall exposure, then cover up some with a piece of cardboard and re-expose the ones that need a little more time. Not all will be perfectly exposed, but that is one of the purposes of a contact sheet, to find out what worked and what didn't.
     
  5. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    Ahhh Okay, I see what you mean. I understand the general concept and why you WOULDNT want them all to be the same if not the same exposure.

    BUT, for the print exchange, how is everyone doing it? The purpose for the exchange is to show the "process" or thinking as we were shooting, and that won't happen if we've got shots that you can't see. Are you leaving them under/over exposed, or are you trying to make the entire contact sheet decent?
     
  6. luis.martins

    luis.martins TPF Noob!

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    I am not involved in the print exchange, but if I was, I would send a plain contact sheet, ie, one exposure only. Sometimes I will have the same photo over and under-exposed in the same contact sheet, that can show my shooting method to others. I will try different exposure settings if the light conditions are tricky, or if I want to make sure I will get the shot.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It would be nice to be able to get an idea of as many of the photos on the contact sheet as possible, but it's not expected to be perfect. If some are really light, and others really dark, that's the way it goes.
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I do it pretty much the way Kevin described it up there.

    I just look at my negatives and arrange them by density - depending on the location of the shoot, they may be similar. But then again, sometimes there is a definite variation. That way, as Kevin described, I can expose them all for a certain amount of time, then cover and re-expose the ones that need more time.

    It's a pretty laid back process, but it gives me a decent sheet. :)
     
  9. PreludeX

    PreludeX TPF Noob!

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    my instructors consider a perfect contact is when your sprocket hole area blends in with the blackness of the paper... thats bout 14 seconds on f-4 most of the time.... i notice that the best prints ive done are the ones that are exposed correctly on that contact sheet.... thus another reason why i bracket... most people make contacts to see what the print would look like while they have really thin or really thick negatives... since i bracket i just do the way my teachers taught me and thats the way i like it :D
     

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