Thursday, 19 January 2012

Evaluating your print test strip.

low contrast
High contrast
correct contrast
Now that you have your test strip what are you looking for? You are looking to see which of the timed sections gives you blacks that are really black without making the whites look grey, with a good separation of the greys in-between. If the picture looks grey overall with no defined blacks then the paper grade is too soft, meaning lack of contrast. On the other hand if the blacks dominate the picture then the grade of paper is to hard - too much contrast! If you need to change the grade of paper you will need to make another test strip. It should be noted that test strip evaluation is best carried out when they are dry as wet ones tend to hold back some of the more subtle grey tones which may encourage you to pull or push the expose time needed. While checking this you should also be ensuring that the focus is accurate.

When your test strip is pin sharp with good clear highlights, defined shadows and the right amount of contrast, you are ready to make a print.