Bleaching prints for white eyes

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Shangheye, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

    Messages:
    1,094
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Haven't ever tried this before and was wondering if anyone has some advice/process they follow. Seems difficult to find info about it anywhere on the net. Any advice would be appreciated. Rgds, Kal
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

    Messages:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    None of your
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,946
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Try a search on "local bleaching." I know we've had a few threads on this topic.
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,202
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Tim Rudman covers it well in his book The Photographer's Master Printing Course" including what he calls dry bleaching for delicate areas. Well worth buying. I have the book but haven't tried bleaching. I suspect that while Tim covers bleaching comprehensively, practice is the essential ingredient. He has actually lightened sections of hair, making it look perfectly natural which must be as difficult as eyes but I'll bet it took a lot of practice.

    If you read the book many times you'll still learn something each time. Now that's value for money in any book

    pentaxuser.
     
  5. ooze

    ooze Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Location:
    Istanbul, Tu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is what I do if I decide to bleach the eyes:
    I mix up a very small amount of farmers reducer in a plastic film canister by dissolving the ferri crystals in water and then I add some working strength hypo. I test the strength of it on some scrap print. If it works too fast then add more water/hypo, if too slow add more ferri crystals. The print you want to treat should be wet. When you're ready to start you should be close to a source of water to be able to quickly wash the bleach off the print. A hose is ideal, but not necessary. Depending on the size of the area you want to bleach you can use a big swab of cotton all the way down to a very fine brush. For eyes, a cotton bud or fine brush is usually the way to go. Dip the cotton into the bleach, squeeze some of it off so that it's not dripping wet, give the area of the print you want to bleach a good blow of air so that the water disperses and it's now just damp, then dab the white of the eyes quickly with the cotton bud and let some clean water flow over it immediately. Repeat this until you are satisfied. It's very helpful to have a second print at hand for comparison. From here onwards it's trial and error, really. You'll inevitably go too far with some prints, where you'll get ghost eyes :smile: But that's part of the learning process. Also, I always wear gloves during this procedure.
     
  6. snallan

    snallan Member

    Messages:
    523
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Cambridge, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would use ooze's technique for giving the whites of the eyes some sparkle. Don't be too worried about getting the bleach just on the whites of the eyes, even though ferri is a subtractive reducer (acts on all tones at the same rate), a slight bleaching that will render the whites of the eyes white, will have little apparent effect on the pupils of the eyes.

    For example, in this photograph

    The River

    The white water in the left foreground was dull, due to being in the shade. I washed this whole area with Farmer's reducer, using a cotton bud to apply it, and washing off between applications. Six or seven applications of the reducer added a sparkle to the water, but had little noticeable effect, even on the lighter water flowing over the rocks in that area.
     
  7. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

    Messages:
    1,094
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks guys this is useful stuff. Will also check out the book pentxuser. I love this site :D
     
  8. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

    Messages:
    544
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I don't bleach eyes, but often dodge them with a piece of wire with a couple of bits of plasticine attached.
    - although I like oozes description - just might have to give it a try....
     
  9. ooze

    ooze Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Location:
    Istanbul, Tu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dodging is also my first choice. I bleach only as a last resort (e.g. if the eyes are too small).
     
  10. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

    Messages:
    1,094
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What do you do if you have several pairs of eyes...I guess that gets seriously complicated in timing!..I thought of dodging, but I fear the eyes may be too small and possibly too many. Will expriment. Thanks. K
     
  11. ooze

    ooze Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Location:
    Istanbul, Tu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, yes, in that case bleaching may be the better option.

    Good luck