When the density difference is small, the negative is said
to be flat or lacking in contrast.
the negative must be proportional to the reflective
brightness range of the subject photographed
scene lighting ratio (a contrasty original scene). A flat
by underdevelopment or a low-contrast original scene.
tones of the negative. Middle tones are the various tones
of gray between the highlights and the shadows; that is,
the densities that are not highlights or shadows are
termed middle tones or intermediate tones. The middle
tones vary with the type of film and the subject contrast.
that correspond proportionally to the middle reflective
brightness of the subject. A panchromatic negative that
does not have proportionate midtones is contrasty or
"grainy" or exhibit graininess (fig. 10-22).
grains used to produce the emulsion.
should be used.
density increases, so does graininess.
variations. From the left, they show the effects of
development; from the top, they show the effects of
exposure. The center negative has been given both
correct exposure and normal development and is a
"normal" negative that will print without a filter or with
Increasing development (No. 3) had no appreciable
effect on the lack of shadow detail. Little can be done to
improve negative quality when exposure is insufficient.
detail. However, No. 4 was underdeveloped and is flat
or lacks adequate contrast. Negative No. 5 received
normal development, has good shadow detail, and good
contrast. It is a "normal" negative. Negative No. 6,
although having received correct exposure, was
overdeveloped. This resulted in excessive highlight
density with a loss of highlight detail and excessive
contrast. The highlights in both 6 and 9 are too dense.
highlights of the overexposed and overdeveloped
negative, No. 9, are completely blocked up.
Basic Photography Course