Diffusion Printing

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by CPorter, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I was skimming through some back issues of "B&W" magazine (October 2001 page 96) and was reading the spotlight segment on Larry Wiese. In it, he briefly mentions the process of split printing in combination with a "diffusion printing" technique. I'm interested in knowing what that process is, if anybody could elaborate in a somewhat detailed fashion I would appreciate it, since there is no real explanation of it in the article.

    Thanks
     
  2. ooze

    ooze Member

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    I think I read that article. If I remember Larry Wiese's work properly then I think what is meant is to diffuse the light from the enlarger during part of the exposure. There are different methods to do that. Some people use a soft focus filter under the enlarger lens, others smear vaseline over a clear filter... anything that diffuses the image can be used. I personally use a stretched nylon stocking close to the enlarger lens when I want to diffuse an image.
     
  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Chuck
    A method you can try is as follows

    Using the 00 and the 5 filter only

    Black nylon stocking

    1. negative with striking blacks

    using the 00 filter establish a good density, slightly lighter than normal
    using the 5 filter placing the black stocking over the lens blast exposure untill you have an effect you like

    2. negative with striking highlights

    using the 5 filter establish a good black exposure, print will be extremely contrasty .
    using the 00 filter placing the black stocking over the lens blast exposure untill
    you have and effect you like


    In both cases one element of the image will be sharp and another element will be diffused and ( dreamylike)

    # 2 method is used alot by fashion printers to smooth out skin detail but still keep the eyes sharp

    try both methods and have fun
     
  4. ldh

    ldh Member

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    What bob said...although note that not all black stockings are alike...I had to mess around a bit (well you know what I mean) to find a stocking that had the transmission properties I liked. I settled on "victoria's secret, black essence". You also might want to try a water tray development as well as a way of gradually fine tuning the contrast. My approach with this has never been to overtly create diffusion but to create a kind of other wordly feeling...In essece one of the methods (kindly described by Bob) above, creates a feeling of the blacks folding into the highlights and the other method kind of creates a glow in the highlights while maintaining convincing blacks. This technique is one that has become a way of working for me, especially recently with my pinhole and zoneplate work.

    Good luck...
     
  5. Rusalka

    Rusalka Member

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    please explain more

    Bob, ldh
    i am sorry i find this very interesting but i am not really sure i understand the steps of the method you are both describing, i'm sure it is simple for most people here but i dont quite get it.

    Katja
     
  6. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    hi Katja

    What I am describing is a method to produce prints with an effect that the blacks spread/diffuse/cream/ and the highlights remain sharp
    or

    an effect that the highlights spread/diffuse / cream and the blacks remain sharp

    This is done with two filters and using a stocking, diffusion sheet, vaselineon glass or pictrol diffusion unit.

    the print exposure is divided between two separate exposures

    Using the two very different filters 00 or 5 place the diffusion beween the lens and paper for one of the exposures. This will create an effect some photographers and printers find charming.
    The effect will be different depending upon the filter the diffusion goes under.
     
  7. Rusalka

    Rusalka Member

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    bob
    does this mean that you make two diffeent exposure on the one piece of paper (one with 00 and one with 5) that together is adding to make density that you want or only one exposure with either the 00 or the 5 filter, each having different result depending on what you are trying to do. sorry my english is tired tonight.

    katja
     
  8. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Katja
    you are correct the two different exposures are on the same paper and combined you adjust the densitys to get a print you like
     
  9. ldh

    ldh Member

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    Well done Katja...once again what Bob said... BTW...Another person to checkout if anybody here like's Larry wiese's work...is Czech Photographer Pavel Banka...his portfolio from his stay in Oregon is very nice.
     
  10. Rusalka

    Rusalka Member

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    bob
    what about if i am using graded paper,which i mostly use. is this only working for VC papers or can i do something like this with also graded papers? also i went to look at website for larry wiese and i love his work, i would like to see more of it up close.

    katja
     
  11. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Katja

    this technique only works well with VC paper, try oriental vc you can buy it from a Maco dealer in europe.
    remember you are trying to keep one end of the image normal the other end diffused thats why you need two totally opposite filters and two exposures on the same sheet of paper
     
  12. Rusalka

    Rusalka Member

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    ah now i think i really understand, the 00 filter is only effecting highlight and 5 is only effecting shadow, or is it other way around, anyway so if i put diffusion under exposure of one then it is not effecting the other that way i can chose what part i am wanting to make the effect to. and what about agfa could this also be a good paper

    now i wont be sleeping tonight

    thanks
    katja
     
  13. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Thanks to all of you for your suggestions, I will give them a try
    Chuck