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Steve Anchell's Darkroom cookbook

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Old December 31st 08, 07:08 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Craig Schroeder
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Posts: 26
Default Steve Anchell's Darkroom cookbook

The developers in DRCBook are grouped on type and there is a good
description as to the applications of each type. Personally, I get
satisfaction from mixing from scratch and it has re-kindled my
photographic interests. I understand the idea of learning one film
and one developer which will cover 95% of your situations. I have now
gotten a few combos that are optimized for specific subjects, light
contrasts, films, etc. and it has made my darkroom work more efficient
and gratifying.

Anchell's books are a great place to form a foundation of good, proven
knowledge of the work of others. You will have a lot enjoyment in
finding a good compensating soup, an accutance formula and the list
goes on..... Many people are not interested in chasing these issues
and simply make pictures and many are very, very good at it. I stay
more stimulated when I'm on a project and fine-tuning a formula to my
equipment and techniques. Each of us has different hot buttons that
keep our interest but if nothing else, the book is a darn good read
and a great resource.

On Mon, 15 Dec 2008 18:07:00 -0800 (PST), Larry


I will soon be purchasing Anchell's Darkroom cookbook. I would like
to know if the explanation of each developer is part of this book. I
really would like to avoid researching the advantages and
disadvantages of each.... thanks


Craig Schroeder
craig nospam craigschroeder com
Old December 31st 08, 07:43 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Nicholas O. Lindan
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Default Steve Anchell's Darkroom cookbook

"Craig Schroeder" wrote

I stay more stimulated when I'm ... fine-tuning

Yes, same here.

I get pretty crumudgeonish on the topic of testing --
because I do too much of it with the Darkroom Automation
operation, and spend too little time making pictures.

I agree it is chasing the fine details that can add a
transcendent touch to an image.

Personally, I find those details are better chased in making
the print than in making the negative. For a negative I want
as linear and fine-grained a representation of the scene as
I can get as it affords me the most flexibility in making the

When it comes to linear and fine grained the developer choices
are well known and few: D-76, Xtol, Microdol-X, POTA/Technidol
and their clones.

Developers that 'add actuance' are really taking away information
in their non-linear response. If I want to add actuance the tool
I reach for is an unsharp mask.

Ditto if I want to lower highlight contrast my tool of choice
is to burn the highlights with a #00 filter. I do not consider
a staining developer. After using Pyro one's contrast control
in the highlights with VC paper becomes severely limited:
maybe I will like the effect Pyro gives, but as often as not
I won't.

The last thing I want is a 'compensating developer' - if the
highlight density gets out of range the answer is a contrast
mask or burning. A compensating developer just looses highlight
detail by giving the film's response curve a huge shoulder -
burning in highlights just produces a featureless grey mush.

Folks complain about TMax and TechPan films 'blowing highlight
detail'. They don't: all the detail is right there, it is
just off of the paper's response curve. If one takes the
time to burn it back in the results are wonderful.

Nicholas O. Lindan, Cleveland, Ohio
Darkroom Automation: F-Stop Timers, Enlarging Meters
n o lindan at ix dot netcom dot com

Old January 11th 09, 07:10 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Craig Schroeder
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Posts: 26
Default Steve Anchell's Darkroom cookbook

I catch myself going back to look at these lately.... I'm too
left-brain dominated to be a good artist but perhaps this could be a


Enjoy your plunge into the Cookbook!

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your good advice. I think I'll read the Film developing
cookbook as well. I am in the medium tech side of photography being
an artist who uses pictures as expression. I desire enough control of
my medium such that I can create the effect I need.

To each their own.....

thanks again

Larry Kriese

Craig Schroeder
craig nospam craigschroeder com

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