Pinhole photography inevitably requires long exposures. So one of the features of many pinhole images is the high contrast caused by the long exposures. I am investigating the use of Pyro developers with their compensating behaviour to reduce the overall contrast, particularly in the skies. I also want to incorporate some edge effects. Pinhole images are usually quite soft and this is not always something that I want. In the images below, the mud flats are better with some edge acutance.

Dee Estuary near Dawn. Zero 2000 Pinhole; FP4 exposed for 14 minutes; Pyrocat HD reduced agitation method for 27 minutes.

In the image above, I have burned in the sky corners to drop attention back into the image and increased the filter hardness for the mud. The Pyrocat HD development was semi-stand with minimal agitation at 7, 14 and 21 minutes after the initial agitation stage.

Dee Estuary near Dawn; Zero 2000 Pinhole; FP4 exposed for 7 minutes; Pyrocat HD reduced agitation method for 27 minutes.

In this image I get better skies. Not a bad result. I dodged the central mud area to lead the eye in.

So overall, it’s OK. I find FP4 naturally high contrast. I might have been better served using HP5 at this time of morning to reduce exposure times and reduce contrast a little. Also, PMK is said to be a better compensator than Pyrocat, so this might be worth trying.

The thing that is not clear to me yet is whether reduced development would have reduced contrast whilst maintaining acutance. Theory has it that long exposures benefit from reduced development. But whether this holds for semi-stand (which also reduces contrast) I’m not sure.

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