Black Hair on Print removal

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Bob Carnie, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,311
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I need to remove black hairs that are on a few prints.

    I have done bleach enhancement but never spotted prints to remove hairs or dust marks.

    Any tips?? I am thinking of spotting on dry print and following up my spots with a dab of fix until the mark is removed.

    Then refixing the whole print toning , hypo clear and normal wash.


    help require from those who do this type of thing.

    thanks
    Bob
     
  2. MartinP

    MartinP Member

    Messages:
    1,417
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Sheet negs from darkslides? Might it be more practical to fill in on the negs and then retouch on the print, as it's often easier (for me, but I'm a clumsy amateur for a few decades now...) to add density than remove it. The only times I tried knifing it left a noticeable surface-texture mark, even if the density was ok-ish.

    Re-reading, it sounds as though it might be too late for neg-work though, sorry.
     
  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,311
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    yes supplied neg , murals are done, in future I will work on neg to remove the hair, but right now I need to bleach retouch
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,838
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Knife them with a fine scalpel blade it's quite easy, use a gummed envelope (drop or two water and ant retouching dye needed) and a spotting brush to cover up the knife marks. It's far easier than it sounds. It was the standard technique for over a century. and it does work :D

    Ian
     
  5. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,601
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Keep the cat out of the darkroom.
     
  6. MartinP

    MartinP Member

    Messages:
    1,417
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well, it was probably not a cat in a darkroom, but a dusty/dirty darkslide or changing-bag leaving a hair on the film-surface at the time of exposure. That unexposed area on the film then makes the black line on the print.

    Does ferricyanide attack that paint-on rubber-mask material? Might be worth a try to localise the effect a bit? Depends on the size of the area of course.

    The alternative possible technique with knifing also depends on the specific area of background one has to match of course. Mr.Carnie is well aware of the options I think.
     
  7. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,601
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I’m not a fan of spotting, just as a painter may make a mistake in a brush stroke, then so may a photographer leave a stain/mark when producing a particular process. It is the mark of the maker and as such is unique. Don’t spot or knife, leave alone as part of the spontaneous production of the image.
     
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,859
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    This worked for me to prove the concept. Unfortunately I got a bit carried away spotting back. Scratch one dangerous treehouse. Good thing I made two.
     
  9. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Location:
    Oregon and Austria
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Bob,

    I've removed a hair or two and some rather long scratches using the knifing/etching technique Ian describes. I commonly use etching to remove black spots on the print. It takes some practice, but, once mastered is reliable and much less intrusive than bleaching, which spreads into the surrounding emulsion and requires a lot of retouching.

    I use a surgeon's scalpel and a 8x or 10x loupe. The trick is to remove as little of the emulsion as possible, scratching down through it instead of gouging it out. If you are lucky, you can scrape away enough of the dark area to hide the defect and still leave a little gelatin over the baryta layer.

    If you aren't so lucky, you'll scrape the emulsion off completely, leaving the white baryta layer, which then needs to be spotted back up. I use spotone with varying amounts of gum Arabic added to match the sheen of the print surface.

    Practice on a few scrap prints and you'll get the hang of it. After a while, you'll be etching regularly.

    Some advice: take frequent breaks from your work and don't drink too much coffee before etching, otherwise your hands will be shakier than you want.

    Good luck,

    Doremus
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,311
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Thanks Doremus and others

    Ok so I am going to give this a go, first time for this method, I was not looking forward to bleaching, my normal retoucher Rose Scheler who is fantastic btw is away and this client needs it before she gets back.
    I have tried this but I think I was scraping and not knifing as you mention.
     
  11. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,337
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Location:
    florida
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Plus one for the other suggestions. Fortunately I haven't needed to remove a black spot for quite some time but in addition to the scalpel method it would be handy to have some Dremel burs and stones (or get some dental ones from your dentist). They work well for abrading with a light touch. Practice on a throw away print. Spotting when the emulsion has been removed might result in a more obvious black spot.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  12. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,311
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Quick question to Ian and all..

    I have not selenium toned the prints yet, should I tone after knifing or does it matter???
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,838
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You should do it after toning etc once the print's dry.

    Ian
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,311
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Thanks Ian

    I will give it a go.

    Bob
     
  16. ROL

    ROL Member

    Messages:
    792
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I second the etching technique as the best archival of a lot of bad alternatives. However, the unavoidable resulting emulsion breaks, though not much better by bleaching, visible at angles on glossy papers absolutely gives me the shivers on an otherwise "perfect" print. So much so that I have thrown out entire runs of otherwise fine prints to reprint them if the problem was not on the negative itself (i.e., during enlarging). One of a kind, hand made prints ...ahem :blink:.
     
  17. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,311
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I am between a rock and a hard place on this one, just got the knife, got to keep it away from my throat if I screw up.
     
  18. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,507
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    My cats are white, with white hair, so do you recommend an alternative technique?
     
  19. Smudger

    Smudger Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Location:
    Dunedin,New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Google "Lugols Solution". A mixture of iodine and iodide. Apply to hair line or black spot with a fine brush,on the dry print. Rinse and re-fix to clear the brown stain. Bleaches back to paper base white.
    It works very well.
     
  20. Smudger

    Smudger Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Location:
    Dunedin,New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Clarification..

    Just checked my notes -the above procedure is for a wet print, excess water swabbed off.
    To use on a dry print,clear the stain with a 10% solution of Thiourea,and wipe off with Methylated Spirits.
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,838
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is why you use a gummed envelope (not the self sealing type) and after knifing the hair repair the surface by dissolving a small amount of the gum in a drop of water and applying with a fine brush. As with all retouching working too hard to remove an imperfection can make it worse a light touch is needed.

    Steaming the surface of a print will also lessen the effects of a retouching knife.

    Ian
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,838
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Usually a hair line is too fine to be removed with bleach and I wouldn't recommend an Iodine/Iodide bleach on print as it's a very aggressive cutting bleach. I used Iodine/Iodide bleach extensively for graphics work in the 1970's & 80's and it is very useful.

    Ian
     
  23. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Location:
    Oregon and Austria
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Bob,

    Etch and retouch after toning, otherwise you will not be able to get an exact color match. Note that almost all etching requires some spotting afterward; there is usually a lighter or white area left, and you want to be able to match the surface sheen as well.

    Best,

    Doremus
     
  24. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

    Messages:
    729
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    How is that done? My experience has been that the etched areas show up readily when the light is reflected from the prints at an angle.
     
  25. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Location:
    Oregon and Austria
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    If you'd read the thread carefully, you would see that both Ian Grant and I recommend using gum Arabic (Ian's source is a gummed envelope) to mix with the spotting solution or use alone in order to get some of the sheen back that is lost when etching.

    Granted, it is rarely 100% perfect, and often the etched areas are visible in glancing light, but the spots I etch and then retouch using this method are indistinguishable in non-reflective viewing light, and it sure looks better than the defect.

    Best,

    Doremus
     
  26. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,507
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I regard either etching or bleaching as a last resort. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease, and it might be easier just to reprint the
    image. If the original neg has a scratch in the emulsion itself, well then, ouch! One more reason why the bigger the film format, the better.