School Assignment

Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by white, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    I just started taking photography classes at college and one of our first assignments was depth of field. I have a Minolta SRT-202 with a 50 mm prime lens, f/1.4 - /16. I shot this picture at f/1.4 with ilford Hp5 400. I think it turned out okay. I kinda wish I shot it at f/2 or /2.8, though, to make sure the cat was in full focus. Curious what you guys think.




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    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  2. DRoberts

    DRoberts TPF Noob!

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    Needs better focus on the cat's face, especially the eyes. Other than that a good start.
     
  3. Cosette

    Cosette TPF Noob!

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    definitely should have had the cat in focus
     
  4. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    Right.

    I shot wide open (f/1.4) and the focusing distance was rather small, so there was an extremely narrow depth of field. I figure I could've done better at f/2.8 or even 3.5. Also, manual focus is a ***** sometimes, especially with things that move and don't want to be photographed.
     
  5. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    First Darkroom Print

    Last night I got a chance to make a contact sheet and a print in my school's darkroom. I think it turned out okay. I included the original to show the crop that I really, really did not want to make. But the crooked line had to go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tech specs:
    Minolta SRT-202 w/ 50 mm Rokkor-X f/1.4
    ilford HP5 400
    1/2 @ f/8
     
  6. SoonerBJJ

    SoonerBJJ TPF Noob!

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    First, welcome to film!

    DOF has already been mentioned. If you are going to shoot close at wide aperture you have to be EXTREMELY precise with your focus. You have no margin for error.

    Is the cat a scanned negative or print? You've got some dust and/or scratch issues going on with both images.

    The tones look a muddy gray for me. If they are prints you might need to adjust printing time or the grade at which you are printing for better contrast. If they are scanned negatives you may still need to adjust contrast to get a better representation of the negative's potential.

    My early prints were a muddy gray, too. This improved with more attention to printing times and contrast. Printing longer to bring in the shadows and filtering for some contrast made a big difference.

    Keep at it! Printing is extremely rewarding as you work through these issues.
     
  7. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    The newest pictures were printed on ilford multi-grade paper with no filter. My teacher said the paper has the equivalent of a #2 filter.

    Yesterday was my first time printing ever. We haven't covered printing filters yet, or burning and dodging. That's probably what we'll be doing tomorrow.

    The picture of the door/flower/lamp was adjusted in photoshop. The print is much more contrasty in real life:

    [​IMG]


    And this is something new I printed tonight. 12 seconds at f/16. I have a lighter print which is 9 seconds at f/16, but the white in her hood was really blown-out. I liked it, though, because there was more detail in her jacket and you could see the back of the chair she was sitting in, instead if being all black.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. stone_family3

    stone_family3 TPF Noob!

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    I just did this assignment last quarter in my Foto 111 class. I agree the cat's face needs to be a bit more in focus. But you're off to a good start. Once you get into using filters and maybe the zone system you could make some really nice prints.
     
  9. cnutco

    cnutco No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Great pics!

    The only thing I see, that does not have to do with DOF, is the cat. I would like to see a picture with the cat on the right side looking to the left. Giving him space to look through in the picture.
     
  10. SoonerBJJ

    SoonerBJJ TPF Noob!

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    The more experienced printers may correct me if I'm wrong, but this doesn't sound correct to me. Variable contrast paper only prints at #2 contrast IF you use a #2 filter.

    Either way, the door/flower/lamp needs more contrast. The highlights on the back wall are blocked out. Examine your negative and see if you've got detail on the wall. If so, you can bring it in with longer printing time.

    Once you learn about dodging and burning you'll be able to manipulate the girl's image to bring in all your highlight and shadow detail.

    With time you'll learn to evaluate your negative for all the information it contains. You may not be able to capture all it's highlight and shadow details with a simple straight print if it exceeds the range of your paper, but with burning, dodging and use of contrast you'll be able to bring it all into the image. That is where printing gets VERY cool.

    To paraphrase St Ansel, the negative is like the score and the print is the performance.

    In the very beginning learn the principles of developing and enlarging with basic dodging, burning and contrast control. Tighten up your technique, ie controlling dust, scratches, cross-contamination of chemicals, etc. Then start developing the creative and technical tools at your disposal for making the expressive print and realizing your vision.

    Stick with it. You WILL be rewarded for your efforts.

    And you should check out the forum at apug.org for more info about film photography than you can possibly digest in a lifetime.
     
  11. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Sooner. Today I didn't spend a lot of time practicing burning like I thought I would -- just enough time to discover that precise burning is tough! I have a few negatives which are good candidates for burning, so I guess I'll just keep at it.

    Maybe you can help shed some light on something for me. I read that a good rule of thumb is to "expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights". Does that mean for an overexposed negative I should underdevelop or overdevelop? All of the pictures in this thread (except the cat) were developed for 60 seconds. The shadows usually come up first and get progressively darker the longer they sit in the tray.

    Anyway, here's three prints I made tonight. I'm using less paper to get prints that are decent, at least, which is an improvement from a couple days ago. The picture of the hands was adjusted in photoshop -- the detail in the hands isn't as dark in the print. It will be one of the pictures I'm going to practice burning with.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. SoonerBJJ

    SoonerBJJ TPF Noob!

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    The saying "expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights" applies to the NEGATIVE, not the print. For now I would focus on normal development, especially if you are shooting 35mm roll film. Expose your photos as well as possible and develop normally. Don't mess around with pushing and pulling your film yet. If you are shooting roll film you would need to over/underdevelop the whole roll and develop accordingly. Don't worry about it yet. Expose normally and develop normally.

    Developing your negatives and developing your film are two different processes and should be considered separately.

    Normally develop your negative and then determine a printing strategy based on what you've got on your negative. Printing time is going to depend on the density of your negative, paper, grade, height of your light, etc. Determine your exposure time and any dodging/burning and then develop the PRINT normally, too. Ask your teacher how long you should develop the print and develop every print for the same amount of time. Don't go changing too many variables at once because you won't know where you screwed up. Don't develop by inspection either, ie don't sit there watching and pull it out when you think it looks good enough. They look different in the safelight than they will dried in regular lighting. They almost always dry down and your blacks will be flat or underdeveloped. I thought your muddy prints above might have been underdeveloped. Mine looked like that for awhile because I was jacking around with print developing times because I thought I knew better. I was wrong and wasted paper. Find out how long you should develop and develop for that long every time. That is assuming your developer isn't depleted. Ask your teacher how to go about testing or replenishing the developer.

    How are you metering? Modern film has a pretty wide latitude so you'd have to really screw up your exposure to bump your highlights off the shoulder or drop the shadows off the toe. That saying about exposing and developing is in reference to the Zone System. Definitely explore the ZS later when you have a spot meter, but save that for later.

    The hands would be a good one to practice with. You've been shooting wide open again, haven't you? The DOF is so narrow I can't really tell where the focal plane is supposed to be.

    You are obviously thinking about all the right things. Keep at it. Learn the basics and understand the process. Learn the "normal" way to do things, then you can go about tweaking them to realize your vision.

    Cool stuff, isn't it?
     

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60 second film assignment high school