Henry Wessel/Philip Perkis, HC-110 or Rodinal
Old 11-06-2018   #1
brothernature
Registered User
 
brothernature is offline
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 16
Henry Wessel/Philip Perkis, HC-110 or Rodinal

I very much admire the images of Henry Wessel and Philip Perkis. I've been using HC-110 Dilution H (1+63) with Tri-X 400 shot at 200-320. I've been slowly pulling my development time, trying to find a sweet spot. I was wondering, is there anyone that achieves images that match the quality of Wessel/Perkis using HC-110? I love the tonality I get with HC-110, but think it lacks the sharpness I see in their images. I know they both believed in overexposing and under-developing, but I'm looking for more insight into their development techniques. I've heard that Perkis used Rodinal (1+50), but I'm not for certain. I'm wondering if I should give Rodinal a try, or if there are changes in agitation, dilution, etc I could make to HC-110. I just started getting consistent results I like, which is why I hesitate.

Not being able to have Rodinal shipped has also been a factor, since I'm way out in the middle of nowhere.

I've attached a couple of images of theirs that come to mind, the pics online do not do them justice, but if you have Wessel's book Incidents, or Perkis' book The Sadness of Men, you can see the quality I'm talking about.

Thanks!

p.s. I know that there are many other much more important factors playing into the strength of their images, but would still love to try for the quality in negative that they achieved.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PhilipPerkis_Mexico_1994.jpg (16.1 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg 311812.jpg (25.0 KB, 40 views)
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-06-2018   #2
Chriscrawfordphoto
Real Men Shoot Film.
 
Chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
 
Chriscrawfordphoto is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Age: 43
Posts: 8,889
Tri-X isn't a particularly sharp film in any developer. Developed in Rodinal it has a sharper look than it does in D-76 (I haven't tried HC-110) or Tmax Developer, but the look is gritty with a harsher tonal gradation. You might like it, so there's no harm in trying.

I'd suggest Ilford Delta 400 developed in Tmax Developer or Ilford's DDX Developer. Very sharp, fine grain, and gorgeous tonality. The examples below were both shot on 35mm Delta 400, developed in Tmax Developer.





  Reply With Quote

Old 11-06-2018   #3
DougFord
on the good foot
 
DougFord's Avatar
 
DougFord is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 742
Back when I was shooting with film, I used the same combo and dilution, triX/hc110 1+63. I went from aggressive agitation every minute to a gentler agitation every two minutes and increased the overall dev time by 2.5min. Perhaps trying other dev times/methods will work. I like Wessel's work as well but don't know what he used or how he dev his film.
__________________

the walk
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-06-2018   #4
charjohncarter
Registered User
 
charjohncarter's Avatar
 
charjohncarter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Danville, CA, USA
Posts: 8,636
I'm also a big fan of Henry Wessel, I don't know about his using H-110 or Rodinal. I always figured he used D-76, but I'm totally uninformed on this. I have found my formula for Henry Wessel's 'Southern California Look' which is highlights that are not blown but still upfront and sun washed shadows. If you are interested I use (and this is my formula), Trix at 200, HC-110h, 11:15 minutes and seconds, 30 seconds initial agitation, then 3 inversions every 4 minutes (so at 10, 6, and 2 minutes counting down), 68 degrees F.

This is a couple of mine:

trix at 200 HC110h Olympus 35RC by John Carter, on Flickr

TriX HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr

TriX HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr

Trix-HC-110h-Rodinal by John Carter, on Flickr

I do agree with you that HC-110 is not as sharp as Rodinal, but I don't like Rodinal for 35mm. Also, this minimal agitation was learned from D.F. Cardwell. It is supposed to let highlights develop but holds them back from blowing.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-06-2018   #5
Freakscene
Deregistered user
 
Freakscene's Avatar
 
Freakscene is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: In exile
Posts: 1,570
charjohncarter's approach is as close as you'll get to that look with HC110. You can vary a lot with exposure and development time, but there are subtle inherent differences in film curves with different developers. With HC110 and 35mm Tri-X shadows tend to be depressed slightly (darker), but not as depressed as they are with Rodinal, which really produces that dark shadow gothic sort of look. Just in case you are also using other formats, both developers look different with Tri-X Pro 320/TXP, which is a completely different film, and seems to still be available in sheet sizes.

Wessel used D-76 and you can get a similar response from Xtol. The shadows are more open and look brighter. What is really missing in getting this look in 2018 is Plus-X, which it's pretty clear Wessel used a lot of, particularly early on.

A lot of this depends on how picky you are and if you scan or wet print. If you can, you can work around the inherent look of the materials more easily.

Marty
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-06-2018   #6
benlees
Registered User
 
benlees is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Edmonton, AB
Age: 47
Posts: 1,484
It would be hard to get the look you want from Rodinal, as it is hard to tame the contrast with tri x without overdeveloping.

Wessel's work has a lot of mid tones; I would actually suggest HC 110h!
__________________
flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-06-2018   #7
brothernature
Registered User
 
brothernature is offline
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I'm also a big fan of Henry Wessel, I don't know about his using H-110 or Rodinal. I always figured he used D-76, but I'm totally uninformed on this. I have found my formula for Henry Wessel's 'Southern California Look' which is highlights that are not blown but still upfront and sun washed shadows. If you are interested I use (and this is my formula), Trix at 200, HC-110h, 11:15 minutes and seconds, 30 seconds initial agitation, then 3 inversions every 4 minutes (so at 10, 6, and 2 minutes counting down), 68 degrees F.
Thanks! When I'm using dilution H, I use 16mL of concentrate and 984mL of water for 4 rolls of 35mm. I've read that some people avoid processing that many rolls at once so the minimum amount of concentrate per-roll kodak calls for is used. What do you do?

Here is an example:



Detail:

  Reply With Quote

Old 11-06-2018   #8
charjohncarter
Registered User
 
charjohncarter's Avatar
 
charjohncarter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Danville, CA, USA
Posts: 8,636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
charjohncarter's approach is as close as you'll get to that look with HC110. You can vary a lot with exposure and development time, but there are subtle inherent differences in film curves with different developers. With HC110 and 35mm Tri-X shadows tend to be depressed slightly (darker), but not as depressed as they are with Rodinal, which really produces that dark shadow gothic sort of look. Just in case you are also using other formats, both developers look different with Tri-X Pro 320/TXP, which is a completely different film, and seems to still be available in sheet sizes.

Wessel used D-76 and you can get a similar response from Xtol. The shadows are more open and look brighter. What is really missing in getting this look in 2018 is Plus-X, which it's pretty clear Wessel used a lot of, particularly early on.

A lot of this depends on how picky you are and if you scan or wet print. If you can, you can work around the inherent look of the materials more easily.

Marty
I'd like to know where you got that information on the recently departed Henry Wessel. I've tried everything I can think of on the Internet, and all I got was 'generous exposure' and not much else. Thanks for posting this I'm encourage that there is more information.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-06-2018   #9
charjohncarter
Registered User
 
charjohncarter's Avatar
 
charjohncarter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Danville, CA, USA
Posts: 8,636
Quote:
Originally Posted by brothernature View Post
Thanks! When I'm using dilution H, I use 16mL of concentrate and 984mL of water for 4 rolls of 35mm. I've read that some people avoid processing that many rolls at once so the minimum amount of concentrate per-roll kodak calls for is used. What do you do?

Here is an example:



Detail:

I don't know much about how much of the syrup is needed per roll. But I have stretched it in past and not had a problem.

Covington say: at least 6 mL of syrup per 135-36 or 120 roll of film, but I've gone beyond that.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-06-2018   #10
aizan
Registered User
 
aizan's Avatar
 
aizan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Torrance, CA
Age: 37
Posts: 4,541
try this:

tri-x shot at exposure index 100

d-76, 1:1, 68F, 6.5 minutes (give or take less than a minute depending on your enlarger and tastes)
__________________
Ugly Cameras
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-07-2018   #11
Freakscene
Deregistered user
 
Freakscene's Avatar
 
Freakscene is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: In exile
Posts: 1,570
Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I'd like to know where you got that information on the recently departed Henry Wessel. I've tried everything I can think of on the Internet, and all I got was 'generous exposure' and not much else. Thanks for posting this I'm encourage that there is more information.
I asked him when I met him. I am really saddened by his passing, he was a rare sort of person.

Marty
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-07-2018   #12
Papercut
Registered User
 
Papercut's Avatar
 
Papercut is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Westchester county, NY (and Chongqing whenever I can get there)
Posts: 1,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
I asked him when I met him. I am really saddened by his passing, he was a rare sort of person.

Marty
Thanks for posting, Marty. I've admired both these photographers for a long time (though I will say Perkis' photographs speak to me more than most of Wessel's do), so hearing your personal "intel" on Wessel's developing is a treat.

Having recently switched developers from Xtol to HC-110, your characterization of the shadow results articulates what I was feeling but hadn't put into plain speech yet. So, thanks for that too. While I like HC-110 well enough (I switched because I don't develop enough to use up Xtol batches before they go bad), I really miss the open shadows that Xtol gave me, especially with the Bay Area sun. (Well, I just plain miss the Bay Area actually.)
__________________
-- Kevin

=========
Only connect.
=========

flickr photostream
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-07-2018   #13
p.giannakis
Pan Giannakis
 
p.giannakis's Avatar
 
p.giannakis is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Stafford - UK
Posts: 2,203
I have used Tri-x in both Rodinal and HC110. Started with Rodinal and exposed it at 320 iso. Dilution was 1:50 most of the time. Worked well for me in cloudy days with uniform light but in summer I was finding it difficult to tame high contrast as the shadows would appear grainy. Switched to HC110 1:50 and I like the results much better. Eventually I switched to T-Max 400 which I happened to find it cheaper and I like it even better with HC110.

Loads of pictures on my blog with these combinations.
__________________
Regards,
Pan


The Monochrome Archives
Instagram



  Reply With Quote

Old 11-07-2018   #14
gns
Registered User
 
gns is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,216
What Aizin said...
Tr-X, EI 100-200, D76 1:1, 6-7 minutes.
Not Plus-X.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-07-2018   #15
charjohncarter
Registered User
 
charjohncarter's Avatar
 
charjohncarter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Danville, CA, USA
Posts: 8,636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
I asked him when I met him. I am really saddened by his passing, he was a rare sort of person.

Marty
Thanks Marty, I live near him and was hoping to 'run' into him some day. You were lucky.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-07-2018   #16
presspass
filmshooter
 
presspass is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,199
You could also try either D76 or D23 at 1:3 dilution. D23 1:3 helps tame contrast and keeps the shadows open. It will give you printable exposure for clouds in a blue sky without using a filter. Are you intending to wet print the negs or scan them?
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-07-2018   #17
brothernature
Registered User
 
brothernature is offline
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by presspass View Post
You could also try either D76 or D23 at 1:3 dilution. D23 1:3 helps tame contrast and keeps the shadows open. It will give you printable exposure for clouds in a blue sky without using a filter. Are you intending to wet print the negs or scan them?
I've been wet printing but I think I might be switching to scanning/inkjet prints if I think I can get close enough to the quality I want. I'm moving soon and about to downsize in space. Health concerns are also a factor, I seem to be more sensitive to darkroom chemicals after a days worth of printing than most, even with good ventilation.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-07-2018   #18
charjohncarter
Registered User
 
charjohncarter's Avatar
 
charjohncarter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Danville, CA, USA
Posts: 8,636
This is way off subject, but when I scan B&W I open the histogram up a lot. Then I can sneak up to the exact highlights I want in my post processing edit program. The same goes for shadows but I don't sneak up to my shadows, I usually go right to the black point, and if that is too much I back off.

This is one (not TriX) that really had bright highlights luckily I scanned as above:

Arista EDU ultra 100-HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-08-2018   #19
leighmarrin
Registered User
 
leighmarrin is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 58
A friend of mine went to SFAI in the late 1970s and studied under Henry Wessel. He said Wessel used Tri-X pulled one or two stops, and he developed it in D-76 1:1.

One memorable moment for him in Wessel's class was when Garry Winogrand was a guest speaker.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:25.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.