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Photographic Practice

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2825QCA Photographic Practice 1A Introduction to Medium Format Black and White Photography Student no: s2675896 Tutor: Joseph McDowall ASSIGNMENT 3: Aim The main aim of this assignment is to introduce students to the use of medium format cameras and the use of medium format black and white photography through experimenting, using multiple studio lights. The main benefit of medium format photography is that, because of the larger size of the film or digital sensor, images of much higher resolution can be produced. This allows for bigger enlargements and smooth gradation without the grain or blur that would characterize similarly enlarged images produced from smaller film formats. Moreover, as well as reinforcing the skills learned in Assignment 1 and 2, this studio task aims to give students a basic understanding of black and white negative processing and printing. The assignment aims to develop a broad practical knowledge of certain aspects of black and white photography and darkroom techniques. By working in groups to photograph each other in a studio context, students aimed to use appropriate studio flash lighting and medium format cameras to produce one quality black and white print image that best captures the character of the subject. As a whole, these aims are significantly important to produce the final 20 x 25 cm black and white print, as combined they help provide an understanding and competency for various aspects regarding black and white negative processing and printing. Method Studio Shoot Equipment * Rolleiflex (medium format camera) * Tripod * Sink cord * Black and white film (50 ISO) * Fill light * Main light * Hair light * Diffuser * Grey background * Stool Step 1: Setting Up Lighting Set up the studio lighting including the main light which models ...read more.


The enlarger must first be correctly set up in order to continue with the following steps. A 75mm lens is placed at the bottom of the enlarger and the negative holder is place in its position, as shown in the diagram below. At this point the grade can be selected. The grading system runs from 00 to 5 is a method of controlling the contrast of the print. The lowest contrast or softest prints are made at grade 00 and the highest contrast prints or hardest prints are made at grade 5. The filters associated with the grading system are then adjusted to the standard 2 grade, which means the yellow filter is set at 52, the magenta at 20 and the blue is at 0. Lastly, the lens aperture is set at 8 by simply rotating the lens on the enlarger. Diagram: Step 2. Proof Sheets Turn off the main light and ensure the safelight is on which produces a light that will not expose or "fog" the paper while you are working. Then place the proofer on the base of the enlarger and place a sheet of the multigrade paper on the proof sheet. Place the negatives on top of the paper with the emulsion side up and line them up so that they fit the size of the paper. Close the proofer, ensuring it is positioned where the light will cover the entire frame. Set the enlarger timer to 4 seconds and expose the proof sheet by pressing the red button on the timer. Then cover a small section of the proof sheet with a piece of card and expose the rest of the proof sheet for another 4 seconds. ...read more.


Lastly, the developing process in particular highlighted that fact that consistency is vital to producing a quality black and white print which is maintained by carefully adjusting and controlling each variable to maintain the equilibrium. The assignment further strengthened the idea that contrast is the difference between the darkness and lightest parts of a negative. A normal contrast negative is one that produces an "excellent" quality print on a normal paper without additional burning or dodging. Moreover, development is what alters negative contrast while exposure is what effects negative shadows, which was also learnt through experimenting with the negatives. In regards with exposure, the negatives produced demonstrated that a subject that is heavily lit from behind can cause underexposure, too much brightness without compensation. Experimenting with various aspects of the enlargement process and obtaining a wide range of results in the prints allowed for a better understanding of the processing and printing process. As a result, it became clear that exposure is significantly related to time, aperture size or amount of light that is let in and the filter or grade. If one were to re-do this assignment, it would be important to undertake certain changes in order to improve on previous mistakes or failures. Lighting, aperture and shutter speed utilized during the studio shoot is very important to achieving desired affect and appropriate exposure. Furthermore, consistency throughout the development process combined with the correct exposure and contrast for a particular print is vital to obtaining good quality prints. Overall, although there were some slight inconsistencies and inaccuracies made during the studio shooting and the developing and printing process, the final black and white print was relatively successful in achieving contrast and correct exposure. ?? ?? ?? ?? Fiamma Frisone Joeseph McDowall 12.05.08 ...read more.

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