Compressing the tonal range / by Darren Lewey

A little technique I learned at Derby College courtesy of tutor John Blakemore, was via the black and white darkroom producing a sequence of images from zones 2-8, each with subjects chosen to closely represent the individual zone. To assist with creating an overall black and white tonal feeling for each zone, exposure and development would be manipulated. So on creating one of the main grey zones such as 4,5 and 6, then one would need to expose at shadows and reduce development to stop the highlight areas from building up. To create higher zones, then development would be increased or set at manufacturers recommendations. For my Swiss images, although in the digital domain, a similar thing took place. In editing I lifted the shadows and held back the highlights, thus reducing contrast.