[pure-silver] Re: How do I increase local contrast in my shadows when printing?

Thank you everybody for the many replies and suggestions. I'm going to try 
and do justice to each suggestion in this one email, so here goes - 

Bruce, thanks for the suggestion, but as pointed out by others, split grade 
printing won't help me out here since it doesn't increase the contrast 
beyond what the paper is capable of.

Ralph, I'd like to try out a blue filter rather than Ilford's dark Magenta 
#5. Are these common? I haven't yet looked. The print is for a wedding gift 
to some friends. If I'm going to persevere with printing the windmill it 
needs to be done by next weekend, otherwise I select another print on the 
roll that should prove less work. So if I can't obtain such a filter by 
Friday, then my incentive to solve the problem will decrease. I'm not so 
much against selenium toning, it's more of a time issue, since I haven't 
toned before and purchasing/getting familiar with the toning process will be 
more than I hope to achieve over the next 5 days as I work FT. My paper was 
manufactured no more than 18 months ago. I do have fresher paper made around 
Jan '05 which I could try out. I also might switch devs.

Randy, thanks for the ideas. I have WBM, and while contrast masking will 
help out here I don't have enough time for this particular print. Since the 
windmill blades are to be darker than the sky, I could try burning with an 
accurately cut mask, there's only one way to see how well it looks, and that 
is to try it out.

Kent, yes I do want the blades darker than the sky. I'd like to try burning 
in the blades. Using translucent drafting film reminds me of a big blooper I 
used to make when printing - and that was to use photographic paper as a 
burning/dodging mask! It took me a while to realise why parts of my print 
would end up overexposed or reduce contrast!!

Eric, what better way to learn than when it happens to our own negs?! As 
you've read above, my time is limited to solve this, so as my skills lie in 
the dodging and burning domain I'll try those options, before either getting 
a solution or moving on to another print. Since everyone has given me more 
suggestions that I have time to try out, I have decided to post the image up 
after trying out a few of the ideas otherwise I'll feel bad about people 
spending more time writing about other possible solutions (that I won't have 
time to try out). I really only have Ilford MG RC papers. I do have boxes of 
fogged/mottled Oriental seagull but testing with that would be for 
instructive purposes only, and not for a final image, since I would like 
crisp whites in the clouds and trees in my print.

Larry, while I'd rather not pull a print before development completes 
(tougher with RC than fibre), you have raised an interesting point regarding 
the position the area of interest is on the paper curve. I was assuming that 
most papers don't have much of a shoulder to them and thus I wouldn't be 
able to get much more curve steepness in the area of interest (which is dark 
and therefore near the (non-existent?) shoulder).

OK, I really have to get back to my work now, I've had an extended lunch 
break answering all these replies....


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