After i developed etc i setup a flat print (after determining the best overall exposure using split grade test strips) i got a flat print exposure. And it looked rubbish. So, off i went exploring my dodging and burning options - sheet after sheet after sheet after sheet of paper was used (i was using Slavich Unibrom for it's cold tone and nice heavy weight). I got a print i was semi happy with and decided to tone (after a wash of course). I copper toned for a short period then put it into selenium - after a few minutes large white spots started to appear (this is where we learn to selenium tone before copper) so i scrapped it, deciding it didn't look right anyway.
No amount of dodging and burning that i did made the print look right. I wanted something dark and i just wasn't getting it. Perhaps i'm just not at the skill level to do that kind of print yet - hopefully one day i will be. It's prints like these that really test me!
|This is the best i got alas.|
Now one of mankind's oldest questions - which paper to use. After much deliberation i decided to go for Fotospeed Lith paper as i knew it would give me a dark feel and suitable colouring. So, i picked my exposure and developed until the sky had good detail. After snatching, fixing and washing i was left with this:
After a few days of moping about and being busy with work i went back to look through my prints and you know what - i decided i liked the final print i got. I was suitably dark and it was moody. It probably isn't going to go down in history as one of my greatest prints but i like it so i decided to leave it there and move on to another negative. But then again - looking at the above photo of my pre-toned print, i'm liking that as well...
One thing we learn - never underestimate the power of selenium!