Analog Retouchers where are you????

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Stephen Frizza, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    Hello analog retouchers out there, will you please let me know yours here by responding to this post and telling us what your main retouching skills are,
    do you airbrush prints? do you oil colour images? bleach and rework transparencies and prints? do you make composites? do you use photo opaque on black and white film? ......and any of the other processes............. there seems to be so little talk of analog retouching in APUG.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Back in the 70's & 80's I did a lot of retouching mainly B&W prints,but occasionally colour prints for others. Also I did a lot of hand colouring work, using toners, chromogenic processes and dyes as well. The company did a lot of composite work, often using lith masks, opaque, Ruby lith tape. I've always used proper retouching dyes like Spotone, and the Paterson Colour dyes.

    In recent years the only major retouching I've done was myself out of an image :D A LF multiple flash exposure image in a manganese mine, someone else lit me up :D - there were 4 people painting the cavern walls with light making 20 full power flashes each. Took a bit of retouching but it's invisible, just done with Spotone.

    Ian
     
  3. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Stipple, stipple, stipple... Those many white specks caused by dust...
    And an occassional scratch or two as well.

    I did bleach parts of prints. Either to get rid of a background completely, or to fade it.
    But a messy procedure it was, with imperfect results. I dare not say this (well... i obviously do! :wink:), but i'm very glad that photoshop and digital post processing exist...
     
  4. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    Hi Stephen, I use a '00' brush and 'spotone' to hide the white spots on my B&W prints. If it gets any more complicated than that e.g. black spots which require knifing, I'm inclined to re examine the print to see if it is worth the extra trouble. As an amateur it's not the end of the world should I fail to get a shot.
    __________
    Vincent
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I do spotting and etching on my B&W prints and do other kinds of work on large format B&W negs--pencil retouching, abrasive reduction, spotting with dyes, stippling out pinholes with a stylus on the back of the neg, and I'm slowly getting better at etching on the neg with a blade.
     
  6. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I spot my prints with SPOTONE dyes... I used to use brushes but found that Iwas too clumsy with even the finest of brishes and now use tooth picks or cocktail sticks... I moisten the ends and then add dye as needed. It works great and I find I no longer over cover areas like I did with the brush. Like Vincent, I knife occasionally. However, on some negs I may add a spot or two of spotone to the neg if I am getting black spots on the print. Then you spot the print afterwards.
     
  7. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    Hi Ian so many of these techniques are no longer being taught, and I know its always better to be shown my masters but via books etc can u recommend any texts to learn some of these practices? it amazes me how many people are forgetting retouching was around before digital, and that almost all the functions in photoshop were based on analog retouching tools and techniques.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Stephen, off hand I can't think of any specific book I've had or read on retouching, maybe Otto Croy, The complete art of printing and enlarging. i think that hs a section, he also wrote a Retouching book but I've not seen that. There was a small Focal Press Guide as well, just called Retouching.

    Most of what I learnt was self taught or from magazine articles. Manufacturers used to sell Retouching kits, I have an old Johnsons one, still using the some of it, it maybe 40+ years old, came with a load of darkroom equipment.

    I have a great book on Illustration that has a good section on Photography, retouching and manipulation, I think it featured Hypnosis the company who specialised in album covers (Pink Floyd etc). It's back in the UK so I can't give you the exact title etc. I did a small amount of airbrush work as well but it wasn't my forte, I was better with a brush.

    For hand coloured work the two masters were James Wedge, (a book called Painted ladies) and particularly Bob Carlos Clarke - his best work is in a book, called Dark Summer. He used a combination of toners, chromogenic dye toners (bleach & redevelop in a colour developer with the relevant dye coupler added) and hand colouring using retouching dyes, the results are stunning. His two earlier books were also interesting, The Illustrated Delta of Venus (Anais Nin) and Obsessions.

    I used to give occasional lecture/demonstrations on hand colouring in the early 80's, using toners & dyes and would turn a B&W image into an acceptable colour image in about 30 mins, cutting a few corners :D

    [​IMG]
    This is the backing singer from Aphrodite's Child, Vana (also the name of her own band) - a quick hand coloured print made in the late 70's.

    Ian
     
  9. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    What I know about retouching mostly came from trial and error when spotting black and white prints. I still have a set of spotting brushes and a small palette I used to use to mix Spotone for different papers (but the Spotone is long gone). I am slowly putting together all the equipment I need for a working darkroom (and looking for a pace to set it all up), but once I do I have no doubt I will start doing print and negative retouching again. Looking forward to it, in fact. I also did a little hand-coloring but never really got into that.
     
  10. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    ian thanks for the image attached and the references. i like your hand colouring.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've picked up quite a few neg retouching techniques from old retouching manuals from the 1940s and earlier. I've got a couple of these, but they're in storage, so I don't have them handy, but I've posted about them before, so you might try a search on "retouching manual" or something like that to find some of the earlier threads on this topic.
     
  12. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I used to know a woman who had been a hand retoucher in New York in the 1980s. Mostly large format Ektachromes I recall, advertising stuff.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i used to retouch using an old adams retouching desk and leads.
    see if you can google or contact new york institute of photography
    and find out if you can get a class manual that covers retouching.
    they are a online and mail order school which has offered professional photography
    and retouching classes since the 1920s or eariler.
    they were one of the original photography schools, at least in the usa.
     
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  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    A Rough Guide to Hand Colouring

    Thanks Stephen.

    I think I posted this in the past but it got lost, here's a rough guide to hand colouring.

    The prints of the three stages were done during a lecture I gave.

    I'll stick it in the articles section here sometime, shows you can make Colour prints on Harman/Ilford papers :smile:

    Ian
     
  16. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Very important topic. If we're going to bash Photoshop, we need to understand the analogue alternatives. This ought to be a sticky. Strange, but I don't remember a similar thread in the past.
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    You can't bash photoshop for the myriads of possibilities it provides to do what in the analogue world was (and is) often a messy, always a very time consuming and tiresome business.

    I can and do understand why people don't like digital (why esle would i shoot film!). But PS as a tool is simply fantastic! Unbashable!
     
  18. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone'


    Or words to that effect!
     
  19. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Subscriber

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  20. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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  21. lutifio

    lutifio Member

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    this response might be a couple years late, but i was a negative retoucher for all the major US photographers for 12 years, did brush and dye art work removing mostly blemishes and eyebags on b/w and color negative portraits. i was the best in my field sometimes retouching up to 900 portaits per day using one of the 12 Bauche and Laumbe binnochular micromagnifiers custom made for this purpose.:smile:
     
  22. lutifio

    lutifio Member

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    i also want to sell my machine if anybody want it. its attached to an adams machine . i paid $1200 for this rare item in 1996. you can retouch a fly on the wall of a 35mm negative with this. its amazing!
     
  23. VanessaA

    VanessaA Member

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    Hi Lutifio, This is so long since your post, but I'm searching for someone to hire to retouch my 4x5 analog negatives that have a few tiny fibers exposed into them. Alternately, someone to teach me how to do it and the tools to do it myself. Can I hire you? Do you know someone who does this? Do you still have the tools? Can we work something out?
    I so need help figuring this out! My website is www.vanessaalbury.com and my email is my first name at my website.com.
    Please let me know!
     
  24. VanessaA

    VanessaA Member

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    Hi Michael,
    Who is this woman? How do I find her? I super need this service! Please, please, please let me know!
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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