Developing B&W film is always fun. I find there's so much more control than with colour. The other day I developed my first roll using the stand developing technique. Instead of using more precise measurements, times and calculations as you usually would to develop B&W film, stand developing takes developing and flips it on its head. Using a developer such as Rodinal, usually I would use a 1:50 or 1:25 mix of developer to water. Yet with stand developing I used a very weak ratio of 1:100. Depending on the ISO and look you are after, developing the usual way consists of calculated agitation for a time anywhere between 7 and 15 minutes. As you're using very little developer, in order to achieve theeven and smooth rendering of stand development you need to extend the developing time. For the photo above I shot 2 rolls of Tri-X pushed to 3200 and developed with a time of just under 2 hours. Agitation is very minimal, only taking place at the start, halfway point and end of the developing time. Ultimately I wouldn't have agitated at all to make the developing even smoother but I guess the subtle agitation allows for the developer to cover the film evenly.
The photo above was shot at dusk yet as you can see the highlights are quite bright. Although it was shot at f2.8 with a shutter speed of around a second, it wasn't as if I was after a long exposure. I wouldn't have been able to achieve the dynamic range of the photo if I hadn't used the stand developing technique. As you can see this technique has pushed every element of the developing process to their extremes; the highlights are strong, the shadows are bold yet still distinguishable, but most importantly, for a roll shot at 3200 there is next to no grain, crazy! I guess the very minimal agitation would have been a factor here. I love the contrast this technique brings, there is a lot but it's a different quality to that of a beginner photographer who is pushing "Contrast" and "Clarity" sliders on Lightroom (we all know that we've all been there).
So as you can see stand developing brings out the extremes of a negative. Some may not like the rather 'gritty' result but I find that individual zones are more gradual and defined. Ansel Adams may not approve of my middle finger to the zone system but the end result is all that matters to me.