Shoot Soft Print Hard? (4 replies and 3 comments)
Just caught the Bradford Young Podcast.. he mentioned the phrase “Shoot soft, print hard” he mentioned it after talking about underexposing his film stock, so I assume shooting soft is under exposing.. or having a “soft negative?”
So “print hard” I guess would be the main question.. even though not many dailies prints these days.. still would love to grasp the concept..
I think wouldn't it be the opposite? I always have been told film does better with a slight bit of overexposure (and Roger has mentioned that a few places on the forums as well).
I'm not too sure on the "print hard" part of it.
I believe printing hard is in relation to having to push more light through the negative during the printing process. This of course has direct correlation with the raised blacks of many Bradford Young films.
Overexposure protects the blacks and maintains contrast whereas underexposure tends to look a little softer. You can also overexpose and under develop to soften the look. I too am unsure what is meant by 'printing hard'. Of course you have many options with a digital finish but that is less true photo-chemically. You have a choice of your print stock as well as your intermediaries but otherwise you would need some special processing.
Pushing more light through an underexposed negative? You would push more light through an overexposed negative to get a mid range print. Push more light through a thin negative and you will get darkness but certainly no more contrast. Raised blacks imply a lightly printed negative.
Yes, this is exactly why I am confused on the phrase as well.. adding printer lights to under exposed neg sounds counter productive? Maybe for special effect…
He did mention it as a Savides Mantra.. so I’ll have to dig deeper and report back..
Oh whoops... sorry!
There is a link to an interview on the ASC site.. but the link doesnt go to the interview..
maybe the March, April, or May 2014 issues has the article?
Thanks all for the detective work!