"Chemical dodging"?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Helen B, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Back in '73 or '74 I worked for Jock Sturges for a short time. He showed me a printing technique that he called 'chemical dodging'. I used it occasionally, but I've never come across anyone else who has even heard of it, never mind used it.

    Here, briefly, is the basic process:

    Soak the unexposed paper (FB is OK, RC doesn't work so well) in water.

    Squeegee the paper down on the easel (helpful if it's a vacuum easel - I got one just for this).

    Make the first exposure.

    Sponge developer over the print and let some development occur before squeegeeing it off lightly.

    Make subsequent exposures until you have the image you require.

    Stop, fix and wash as usual.

    There's lots of potential for variation. Has anyone else come across this?

    Best,
    Helen
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Nope, but it sounds like a useful technique.
     
  3. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I gave that a try back in 1958. I did it all wrong probably because of
    of my little darkroom experience and incomplete instructions. A real mess.

    I'm glad you brought up the subject. I'm in the process of compiling
    a list of whole print contrast controlls. I don't like to dodge and burn.
    Your discription of the process I think will intice me to try again.

    I'll likely give wet paper printing a try. I don't much care for easels.
    That contrast control technique will fit in nicely. Off hand I'd think the results may be similar to using SLIMT. Dan
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds messy, too. I guess the principle is like printing-out-paper, which has some self-masking effects, because development and exposure are happening at the same time, and as density increases in the shadow areas, exposure is in those areas is reduced.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    hi helen

    i never did that as a technique to make my original exposure on the paper, but when i had problem prints i used to do something similar to that when i burned. i remember les explaing a similar techique but i can't put my finger on it to supply a link.

    i haven't done it in a while, but here's what i did:

    expose and dodge - put the paper in a water bath, and let it soak.
    after about a minute, put the paper in weak or semi-exhausted developer until the image just begins to appear, remove it and put it in a water bath again.

    get the safety filter ready on the enlarger and align the image in the easel ( remove filter ) & "burn" - put in the developer, and repeat as needed.

    it worked pretty well, but i got kind of tired of everything being wet and then there is the whole washing the developer off of my easel :smile:

    -john
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I have used a variation of this technique in the past.

    I use a glass plate as an easel. I focus the enlarger and frame the print on a throw-away piece of the chosen enlarging paper. I make position marks with strips of masking tape on the glass.

    I soak a sheet of paper in developer, allow the excess developer to drain off then place the paper on the glass plate and lightly squeegee.

    With the safe light off, I turn on the enlarger light and timer. I carefully watch a critical highlight/shadow interface in the print. When the densities appear to merge, I turn off the enlarger light/timer and note the exposure time.

    At this point, I turn on the safe light and examine the image. If required, I sponge on more developer, squeegee and expose again (if needed - sometimes all that is needed is more developer).

    As you might expect, you can use split development with this technique, as well.

    I learned this trick from my old and dear friend Al Mandl, who learned it in the early 1930's in Czechoslovakia.
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    All interesting replies, thanks. I thought that if anyone knew about it, it would be the APUG members.

    Regards,
    Helen