Darkroom Difficulties

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by jaydebruyne, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    Hi APUG'ers,

    So I've started to use my darkroom to wet print! *yay* I love it.

    I've made two prints I'm happy with. The third was a wasted effort as the frame was blurred (slow shutter/lack of light/handheld). I'm trying to print my 4th print and I've made many attempts #epicfail

    The image I'm trying to print is attached to this post.

    (this is a scan from the negative with minor levels adjustment).

    So after finding my base exposure and processing a print using the exposure I found suited my taste, I found I wanted to keep the face and burn the rest into black. *thumps head* It's actually a really nice image with a dimly light face surrounded by a vast area of black.

    The left side behind/above the head: (+3s). The highlight to the bottom left of the hands (left shoulder): (+6s). The lamp? *headbutts brick wall* I've tried a low grade (0, 1, 3) so not to accentuate the contrast: 45 seconds, 60 seconds. I still see the lamp. I've tried 45 seconds to the entire right side and a further 30 seconds to the upper right side, both at the aforementioned grades, I still see the lamp. I've tried higher grades (3.5, 4 - exposure times for my colour head are the same for all grades, i found this out from initial tests), using the same exposure times mentioned before. I've tried using the lens wide open using the same exposure times, I still see the lamp.

    I thought about doing my burning in on the left of the frame, removing the negative carrier and then just exposing the right side with bare light, but something stopped me.

    Forgive my frustration, my naivety, my questions and what not. I am reading books. I promise. I just need a little help.

    I'm printing on Ilford MGIV RC Pearl in Bromophen for 2mins @ 20 degrees. I'm exposing at f/5.6 (unless wide open at f/2.8) using a Schneider 50mm lens and a Kaiser VCP 6001 colour head. I'm setting my grades using the Durst Y/M settings from the ilford pdf document.

    How can I get the right side of the frame to sheer black? Am I missing the obvious?

    Cheers
    Jay
     

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  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    try to find the right exposure for the face at grade 2 and ignore the lamp at first.then,burn i the lampuntil you see some detail with grade 2 or 1.that's the best you can do;nice composition by the way.
     
  3. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Flashing, where you hit paper with a bare light source (while covering up parts of the print you want to protect) will make parts of the print dark, exactly as you were thinking, without the negative.

    It will be easier if you hang a small light bulb near your enlarger work area, because you can leave the negative in the enlarger.

    Experiment with times and distance to bulb just like you experiment with test strips... and save the test strips... you will be able to use the same times for any future prints where you need the same effect.
     
  4. Colin DeWolfe

    Colin DeWolfe Member

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    If you're not wedded to the right side of the frame, I'd just crop it. Either with the easel, or with a paper cutter. It makes a nice composition.
     
  5. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    I like the space on the right side of the frame. Without it, for me anyway, the image won't have the same feel to it if I cropped it.

    Also, even though I did buy a 2nd hand 10x8 easel, I've never really used it. I cover the paper with a sheet of glass on the baseboard. Maybe that's not the correct way if doing things but I find it less cumbersome than the easel. I might give the easel a try tonight though :wink:
     
  6. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    I thought flashing allowed detail to be kept in the highlights? Or am I getting mixed up with pre-flashing? Or am I totally wrong? Ha! Its not uncommon :wink:

    Thanks for the tip, will give it a go!
     
  7. Colin DeWolfe

    Colin DeWolfe Member

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    If you want to keep the empty space on the right, then probably best to flash the paper while keeping the left side covered, as suggested by Mr Burk. Easels are a godsend when you are making more than one print of an image. You can put the paper in the exact same place over and over again, and the glass will reduce image quality a little bit (you get internal reflections). It's essential with fibre to keep the paper flat.
     
  8. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    I like the face at grade 3.5. But I'll try your suggestion. Thanks Ralph, much appreciated :smile:
     
  9. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    Ahhhh ok! I didn't know about the loss of quality through glass! Will def use the easel next! Cheers Colin..
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Or alternatively you could try and get the lighting ratio and exposure nearer to what you want by retaking the shot.
     
  11. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    Indeed! But now I'm hell bent on doing it with this negative... Then I might retake the shot :wink:
     
  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    It's that silly tendency of people in a technical field to use the same word for three different things. (Think of trapping in printing industry)...

    So instead of 'flashing' just a little light over the whole sheet to keep detail in highlights... This meaning of 'flashing' is more like blasting the paper with light to make it pure black where you want to wipe out stuff (like the lamp).
     
  13. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    Gotcha! Makes sense.. Well, flashing worked a treat and I'm also glad I decided to use my easel as I have a rather dashing border too :smile:

    Thank you so much to everyone for your speedy responses :smile: you saved a lot of stress (and paper)!
     
  14. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    It's not perfect yet, but so much closer than I was getting before this post!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    do whatever Ralph says, he wrote the &*#$ing book!! LOL!

    seriously!
     
  16. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    I always like to test as many options as possible and settle for the easiest option that works for the image I'm working on. I speak more digitally here as it's where my experience lies. As far as analog goes, I will apply the same principles :smile:
     
  17. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Awesome! Glad you could do it, and you did it right.
     
  18. Colin DeWolfe

    Colin DeWolfe Member

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    Looks fantastic!

    I think I have that same sock dryer.
     
  19. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    Haha it's a brilliant little contraption that cost me £1 in the pound shop (a saving of £29 on a Paterson rack dryer!)
     
  20. jaydebruyne

    jaydebruyne Member

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    Cheers Bill.. I did one more print after it and nailed it how I wanted it, I'm so pleased! (Only took me 12 tries :/ haha)