I am still fairly new to home darkroom developing. Just a matter of months into it. Since inception, following pretty much the same workflow, with the goal of achieving repeatable, consistent results. This has worked well for both D-76, and HC-110, with some variation. But for the most part, I haven’t really experimented that much. Keeping by and large the same dilutions and development times. The only exception to this being changing D:76 development from stock to a 1:1 working solution.
I do love contrast. This has been something that has eluded me, until last night. With these shots I took in downtown Worcester, MA the other night, I decided to increase the contrast of my development by about 20%, by increasing development times by 20%. Kodak’s TMax data sheets make mention of this, so it made sense to go for it. Pushing film is not something I have really tried. These shots were taken at box speed., ISO/ASA 400. But the results are really making me think about 1-2 stop pushing, to take advantage of some higher shutter speeds. But, based on this experiment, I could not be more thrilled. The blacks are what I remember seeing in print in newspapers, and in publications such as Life Magazine. The tonality and shadows, well, not what is achievable with digital photography without huddling over Photoshop for hours, certainly not right at capture. The dynamic range simply isn’t there.
Knowing now how to do this, there is additional, powerful creative control. Maybe a great bridge towards, someday, trying more esoteric, exotic developers. It makes the process far less intimidating.
These shots were taken with my Minolta XG-7, with a 50mm Rokkor f/1.4. The developer of choice, D:76, 1:1 dilution, at 15 minute development time. The Minolta was a Christmas gift to myself this year, and for special reasons. A blog entry on this amazing camera is due soon.