Dodge & Burn Question

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by photomc, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. photomc

    photomc Member

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    I have been reading one of Tim Rudman's book, Master Printing, and was wondering if anyone here had used the technique he describes of projecting the image and using clear film, of the same size, and outline the area to be exposed with initial exposure, and 'Painting it with photo opaque (sp) paint'...what would photo opaque paint be? I would assume it is paint that blocks the light and allows the areas that need to be burned in.

    Any way, has anyone here done this? Have you had success and are there easier ways to do this?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Aurore

    Aurore Member

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    Being a bit of a DIYer, I might personally try a red Sharpie. The safety filter is red after all. I know from experience that a black sharpie is not opaque on film; it smears and won't cover uniformly. You might also consider making an initial print and then cutting out any areas you want to burn in. This then leaves the possible problem of too-obvious edges on the burned in areas. Maybe a smaller print... for example, make a 5x7, cut out your areas to be burned, and then print an 8x10 while holding the 5x7 halfway between the lens and the paper. Of course, you'll need to project the image with the safety filter engaged to line up the 5x7 first.

    Just thinking out loud... hopefully something will be helpful. I honestly can't think of anything that would be easy to apply to film that would remain uniformly opaque. Check out some of the bigger photo supply shops online maybe?
     
  3. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I've done this to dodge eyeballs. I used some clear acrylic sheet that I used to use for contact sheets. I stuck a little (2-3mm) bit of paper in the middle of the sheet and dodge each eye seperately (two exposures that made up the total time)
     
  4. Annie

    Annie Member

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    There are products specifically designed for this purpose. One is 'Perfect Liquid Opaque', can be applied with a brush straight or diluted to blend edges. There is also a paste. Photo stores usually carry it, just a few dollars an ounce. There is also a red opaque that is available at graphic art suppliers.
     
  5. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I have and found the technique more trouble than what is worth, might as well just make a mask and be done with it. Is good if you have small areas you want to work specifically, but something like the example he shows of ths sunglasses, that takes way too much time and can be acheived easier with a mask. Not a bad technique, just too time and effort consuming IMO.

    Gitta say, though this is the best book by far on darkroom tecniques.
     
  6. Annemarieke

    Annemarieke Member

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    I normally use the back of an old rejected print to make a mask. Aurore is right about "too obvious marks", but I avoid this by laying the old sheet face down on a pile of boxes of photo paper, so that the projected image is smaller than the new print I want to make. I then draw around the edges of what I want to dodge or burn, and cut out the mask. All I need to do then is estimate how high I need to hold (and move) my mask above the new print.
     
  7. jamesiscool

    jamesiscool Member

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    I too found the technique not very satisfactory. It is hard to be very precise with the dye or pencil let alone opaque. Better to make a film positive mask if you need one. Better yet to learn how to use the material to it's best advantage.
     
  8. Aurore

    Aurore Member

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    "Better to make a film positive mask if you need one"

    I am still relatively new to the darkroom (a little over a year) and there are SO many techniques that simply cannot be found in books. Will you elaborate on this? Perhaps it is something I already am familiar with, but the way you phrase it, it sounds new to me. Would be interested to hear a little more detail about this method you are suggesting.
     
  9. jtsatterlee

    jtsatterlee Member

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    I usually cut masks as Annemarieke described, so the mask is smaller than the image and i can hold the mask above the print. The closer you hold the mask to the enlarger lens the softer the shadows edge. (therefore making easier to blend the dodge/burn in)
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    There are several ways of making masks. The simplest is to overlay the camera negative with clear acetate and block out the areas that you don't want exposure through with opaque. This requires some type of registration...the simplest would be to mark the camera negative boundaries with red lith tape on the negative carrier so that the mask can then be position in the same location for fairly precise burning of the areas that you wish. The same thing could be done by making a dodge mask that would be sandwiched with the camera negative for a portion of the exposure. Again the lith tape will position the negative/mask fairly accurately. Without a registration system it will not be as precise as the method that follows. However it will enable burning and dodging more precisely then not using masks.

    The method that I use is to make a photographic sharp mask with lithographic film by contact printing the camera negative in register with the lith film then developing the lith film in paper developer or AB developer to arrive at a high contrast and sharp postive of my camera negative. This will work as a dodge mask by sandwiching it with the camera negative for a portion of the print exposure time. By taking this another step and contact printing the high contrast sharp positive mask with another sheet of unexposed lith film I make a high contrast sharp negative image of my camera negative and this will work as a burn mask by either using the mask alone or for very precise printing in of details in a sandwich with the camera negative in a second exposure. Typically I follow this with an unsharp mask to blend demarcation lines and to increase apparent sharpness by "edge effects". This is very precise if you have a registration system for your enlarger/negative holder/punch and mask printing frame. Hope this answers your questions.
     
  11. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Donald, won't applying a dodge mask sandwiched with the negative cause sharp edge effects (halo's, etc) since it will be pretty weel focused along with the negative, as opposed to std dodge and burn wiggling which blends those areas with surrounding areas? How does that work/apply for say dodging some 2-3mm (1/8") eyeballs?
     
  12. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Nige,

    You pose a very good question.

    The reason that the demarcation that you question will not occur is that one only dodges using this mask for "a portion of the print exposure time". Obviously if the high density sharp mask were printed in register with the camera negative throughout the entire print exposure the effect would be to totally block exposure to the affected area. If one uses a registration system that is accurate then the affected area is affected in a very precise manner.

    Conversely if one does the cruder method of making a mask using opaque then the best method would be to make a mask the size of the final print and the fashion a "jiggle frame". The "jiggle frame" is a frame that allows the mask to be positioned over the print in a manner that the frame is supported at each of the corners by a weak tension compression spring. This allows the frame and mask to be "lightly jiggled" throughout the period of dodging or burning operation. If I were inclined to try this method, I would make the frame in such a manner that the frame would be built to my largest print size and in which the support for the mask could be adjusted downward in size.

    I hope that I have answered your questions. Please feel free to address the matter again if you have further concerns or if I have failed to adequately communicate to you.
     
  13. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    that makes more sense to me... although I'll be sticking to my sheet of acetate for dodging eyeballs as I find it works fine. thanks for the explanation.
     
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  15. jobel60

    jobel60 Member

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    I must admit I am with Anne in how I make a mask. I just get a reject print and use a scalpel to cut it out and then hold it just above the paper on the easel. But, most important with this technique is to move it about to mthe right degree. Too much and you get a halo, too little and you get sharp edges. Takes practice but is easy to do after a while.
     
  16. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Don,

    I believe Brett Weston used some sort of jiggle frame for some of his printing.

    I also recall an article in View Camera about using a frosted piece of acetate in register with the negative and using a pencil to shade areas to be dodged. When I get a chance I will find the issue and provide author and date of the issue.
     
  17. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Jim,

    I have not heard of Brett Weston using a "jiggle frame". Though it may very well be true. I have heard of a jiggle frame before and it was indicated as being effective by the person relating. Have you used it in your printing?
     
  18. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Another method that has not been addressed is a method that Blansky uses all of the time. That is retouching the negative. In talking with him, I learned that he does this a lot in his portraiture.

    I recently bought an Adams retouching machine and have used it in retouching some of my negatives. The technique takes some practice but works very well. I have retouched some fairly sizeable areas. By applying the retouching dyes the negative density is increased...this has the effect of allowing one to burn down the other areas, if desired. It could be used as only a dodging method too.

    The dyes that I use are sold by Veronica Cass. This is a reversible procedure. If too heavy a application of dye results, one can rewash the negative and start over.
     
  19. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Jim,
    There was also an article last year in Photo Techniques, Howard Bond I think, where he discusses the same thing. Used frosted acetate, on one side only, and used a pencil to 'dodge' a tree line I think. Have considered trying this, but Don's suggestions seems a little easier, since it does not require the registration of the acetate and negative.
     
  20. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I have tried just about every method mentioned in this thread except the "jiggle frame" and discard them in favour of the method I'll describe, mainly because I find it quick to set up and very effective.

    For burning in I use a piece of black card that has become very pliable after years of bending into the shape required to burn in the area in question. When the card was new and was bent to a shape it cracked so I taped it over with masking tape. After a few years of doing this it became very soft as I was able to bend it form just about any shape I wanted. I got the idea from this to use a piece of heavy industrial rubber, such as the sort used on entrances in warehouses where forklifts etc run through. This did not work so I returned to my bit of black card. Apugers who attended my workshops in San Francisco and Calgary will tell you how effective it is. When burning in hold the card as near to the lens as possible, this producesa penumbra which is a wide softened area that is projected on to the baseboard which allows you to feather the area being burned in to the adjacent area that you are holding back.

    For difficult dodging I lay 3 or 4 boxes of paper on the base board and place a piece of white light card and project the image on to it. I then draw around the area to be dodged, cut out the shape making the edges ragged and stick it to a piece of flower arranging wire. I remove the boxes project the image and by holding the dodging tool at the same height as the boxes were, thus ensuring that the size of the dodging tool matches the size of the area on the baseboard to the area being dodged. A slight up and down movement ensures that there is no tell tale halo.
     
  21. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Don,

    I thought I had read it in an article in Photo Techniques several years ago, but now I can't find it.
    I am pretty sure it was Brett, but I may be confusing it with someone else. Perhaps Michael Smith can clarify when he gets a chance.

    I have not used one and your mention of it was the only other time I have heard of the device.

    I have used spottone on occaision in experiments but have yet to get consistent results. Usually I use a very dilute solution and build up the density of the area, but I have not done enough to be able to make a good estimate of the effect when printing.
     
  22. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Jim,

    The Veronica Cass dyes are better in my estimation then the materials from Retouch Methods (makers of Spottone). Retouch had a kit several years ago that included dyes that were different then conventional Spottone. I used those dyes initially but later ordered the VC dyes after good guidance from Blansky.

    I heard the other day that Spottone was out of business. I haven't verified that information but it was reported in a couple of places.
     
  23. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    I had the opportunity to spend a half day with Nick Orzio, one of General MacArthur's photographers, while I was studying retouching in Florida.

    A dodging trick he has, is to build a bracket down from the negative carrier platform on each side. He made it adjustable so it could go down to something like 8 inches.

    I think he screwed two brackets, on each side, close to the corners of the negative platform. On the bottom of the bracket, it was bent to a 90 degree for about an inch or so, inwards.

    When he is dodging long exposures he lays a piece of glass onto the 90 degree corners, and lays home made dodging devices on the glass to block the exposure.

    To describe it better, all exposures have to also go through the glass to get to the paper. He has devised a system so that he can block exposure to areas of the prints, hands free, allowing different and many areas to be manipulated at one time.

    I haven't done this yet but I thought it rather ingenious.


    Michael McBlane
     
  24. nolindan

    nolindan Member

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    A transparent red dye, 'cochineal red'

    http://www.texasindians.com/coch1.htm

    can be applied to negatives to lighten areas on the print.

    The book "Lootens on Photographic Enlarging and Print Quality" devotes an entire chapter to the method. He refers to the dye as 'New Coccine'. Having read the book when I was ten years old I thought to try the stuff - at dinner I announced that I needed some cocaine, and did they think I could get this cocaine at the drugstore.

    I recommend Lootens' book, it is out of print but is available at any used bookstore worth it's stuff will have a copy, prices start at $1.25. A good net source is abebooks.com. I think even amazon.com lists used copies.

    The dye is commonly used as food coloring:

    http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v12je13.htm

    I beleive 'Dyene Red Negative Retoucher' is the same stuff, though I have no proof that it is.

    And advantage of doing tone adjustment this way is that one doesn't have to go through a big dodge & burn dance for every print. Or to have to try and do the same dance a year later...
     
  25. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    Reading Les's method, my wife's craft scissors that cut a zig zag line are starting to look very handy!! I've always hated the time it takes to "roughen" the edges.
     
  26. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    You would use expensive pinking shears to cut paper? When you do that, I suggest either buying her a new pair, or running for your life.