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06-28-2011, 06:48 PM   #1
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Bruce Barnbaum: b+w film exposure and film scanning

I was reading Bruce Barnbaum's "The Art of Photography" So far this is the best photography book i've ever read read and i'm only half way through it!

Anyways, in the book he describes his use of the zone system on film. He always puts his important shadows in zone 4, not zone 3 so that the tones are given better separation. He then adds extra exposure of the final print to get the shadow back to zone 3. B+W film negative can record tones up until sone 17-18 he says, so no details are lost at the high end.

He does this to avoid having shadows in the toe of the development curve (zones 0-3) where there is less seperation of tones between levels.

How does this work for those of us shooting film, but scanning and processing digitally?

Should we also be doing to maximize the quality of our negatives, or does it push the highlights too high for a scan to get detail?

06-29-2011, 05:41 AM   #2
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Well, a flat neg is best for scanning, so I guess it applies to us in the digital darkroom too. I have rarely had problems scanning dense negs; and, if need be, there's always PS's Shadows/Highlights adjustment to claw something back.
06-29-2011, 07:12 AM   #3
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that's what I was hoping, the scanned neg would be kinda of like a digital photo taken with a histogram optimizing highlights without clipping
07-06-2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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I was wondering about this book...Bruce Barnbaum's. Is it worth the price, how does it compare to something like Les Mclean, or Way Beyond Monochrome? I just picked up John Blakemore's B&W workshop book, as it was given rave reviews, and its a bit airy fairy for me. Another I just tried out was Image Clarity by Williams, which again I thought was overhyped...looking for some inspiration at the moment. I can't stomach the cost of Elements, and I've just downloaded the book by Ctein, and that also left me cold.

On the flipside, I picked up a copy of Don McCullin's book just simply titled with his name and found it to be awesome. Thats led me onto the Magnum list of photographers and it looks like photos from the likes of George Rodger will do the trick over and above these B&W guide books.

07-07-2011, 07:16 AM   #5
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I can't compare it to those other books, I haven't read them and i've only been taking photography seriously for the past year. This is the first book that I felt gave me the tools to capture my vision.

Personally, I like his outlook on photography.

He dislikes formulas has no qualms with cropping if it enhances the picture and advocates tasteful use post-processing.
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