Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/12/18

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Subject: Re: [Leica] How'd they do that?
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 1999 13:52:19 EST

In a message dated 12/18/1999 12:59:30 PM, you wrote:

<<I have recently been revisiting the photos of Bill Brandt ,Ray Metzker and

Michael Kenna. All 3 seem to have a look I would really like to try and

duplicate. The highlights in the photos are a pure white, then a real drop

in density with the shadows being dark but with detail discernable. The

curve of the negative  would be a long toe on the bottom then almost a

straight shot upward. I'm guessing at setting the highlight at Zone 4 and

over developing to increase contrast, but I would like some other


Roy (?),

I think that you can get the look you are after, but keep in mind that 
today's materials are different than what they used.  You will have to do a 
lot of experimentation.  The soot and chalk look was popular in the 1960's, I 
think more so in Europe than the US.   I would use Tri-x and probably develop 
it in D-76 possibly straight for more time than usual to build up additional 
contrast.  Be sure to give the film adequate exposure.  I would tend to place 
the shadows at zone 4 to make sure of adequate detail.  Also, the paper you 
use will have a big effect on your results.  Try Ilford Galerie in Dektol 1:1 
or 1:2.  Be sure to fully develop the prints- 21/2 to 3 minutes.  The grade 
of the paper should be 1 or 2 numbers higher than normal.  Good luck, and let 
us know how you do.

Richard Wasserman