PART B - SELECTING AND PROCESSING FILMS AND
PAPERS FOR PORTRAITURE
For black and white portraits, black and white panchromatic film is generally used. With a pan film, the
appearance of any red spots, veins, or redness in the subject's skin are minimized in the final print as a
result of the film's sensitivity to red. Conversely, an orthochromatic film can be used if the texture of a
man's skin, especially an older man, is to be emphasized.
When you select a color film for portrait photography, there are two important considerations: What type
of product is to be produced, and what is the color of the light source?
Another factor to consider in selecting a film for portraiture is the ISO of the film in relation to the
intensity of the light source. A slow film can be used successfully with a relatively high intensity light
source such as an electronic flash unit. If the same slow film is used with a relatively low intensity light
source, an excessively long time could result. A fast film can also be used with a high intensity light
source. However, a smaller aperture is often required to control the exposure with a resulting increase in
Selection of a Film Developer.
There are several types of developers, and each differs in activity and provides different qualities for
development. In selecting a developer, consider the type of film, the conditions under which it was
exposed, and the results desired. For example, you should select a slow working developer for portrait
negatives since they require a low or medium degree of development. Conversely, aerial photographs
are normally produced under poor light conditions and therefore require a vigorous developer to bring
out as much of the image as possible.
The old saying "expose for the shadow, develop for the highlights" may have been around for ages but it
is sound advice. To obtain maximum print quality, the negative must be properly exposed and
processed. Alterations in development can sometimes compensate for a degree of exposure error.
However, if the detail is not on the negative, all the fancy development tricks in the world will not
magically put it there; enhance a weakness, yes, but create something where nothing exists, no. Many
fine books exist on the zone system of photography and it would be well worth your time to read the
information that they provide on fine-tuning and customizing film speeds and development times.