The picture above was shot on my iPhone of a print I made this weekend. The image above is how I had seen the image and it is how I pictured the final print looking. To be clear the line in the middle of the column was actually there and is not a scratch on the negative!
The problem I encountered was that the negative has a massive dynamic range which gave me way too much contrast. I needed to mute the blacks but still give punch to the highlights and mid tones. I needed to do some split grade printing!
Fortunately for me, one of my favorite YouTubers just happened to have a video on how to split grade print (linked below) which walked me through the process. I thought I would show my own experiences through it.
The picture above is the first print I made (after the test strips of course). I determined that I needed 10 seconds to display the sky and give sufficient weight to the highlights. But it rendered everything very dark. Now I could opt to do some dodging and burning, but this would have been very difficult and taken ages. I could have exposed for less time, but the print would have been too soft.
In the image above I only used a 0 filter to soften the contrast down. I used this at 15 seconds (a full 5 seconds more than the very dark print above) and now I have all the detail that I want in the trees and lower portion of the image. My issue is that I lacked a bit of the punch I needed in the middle tones and highlights.
So I decided to add a 3 filter after laying the 15 seconds of 0 filter. So I put a new sheet and ran 15 seconds under 0 filter, and without moving the negative or the paper, I changed the filter to a 3 filter for 5 seconds.
I would like to give a special shout out to "Shoot Film Like a Boss" for the very informative video. I have been watching his videos for the past few months and really love what he puts out. I highly recommend his channel!
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.