dodging and burning multiple areas on a single print

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by ymc226, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

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    I'm not too smart when it comes to printing and can either dodge or burn only one area in a print.

    Reading various books on printing, they specify various areas in a negative to burn in or dodge (stated in either additional/less time or in percentages) but do not necessarily state how this is done.

    How would this be done without affecting the base time given the rest of the print?
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    You have to figure out which sections need how much or how little. Then take the base time and add /subtract each section. It helps to make yourself a grid pattern and check off sections as you work. Hopefully you don't have a large number of these to track.

    for example the over all time for an exposure is 22 sec. you want to dodge out 4 secs in two areas, so the last 8 sec of the 22 would be divided into 2 actions, each getting a 4 sec dodge. Then which areas need a burn and do them one at a time.

    Hope this makes sense.
     
  3. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    First it is helpful to have an audible timer or electric metronome sounding a one second intervals. You can easily make your own dodging and burning tools with mat board and a thin stiff piece of wire. For dodging cut the size and shape and tape it to the wire handle. For burning cut a hole in a piece of mat board probably best not to have distinct edges. You can also use your hands. A foot pedal for the timer is a real plus. Make test prints so you know where on the print and how much time is needed. I find my overall exposure and do any dodging during that time and burn after. I have a variable contrast lamp in my enlarger and can burn at various contrasts. If you are using filters it can still be done but you would have to change the filter accordingly. Generally your b/d tools should be somewhat above the paper and keep them moving so as not to have the print look as though it has been burned or dodged. Of course, the less you have to do the better. Sometimes bleaching is necessary but that is a different subject. Practice and it will come to you. There are also masks that can be made but that too is a different subject.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  4. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Here's one from a cool guy, from 5:00 ->
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewcsEHi8Vbg

    Some more:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7fcPUOu-Lw

    http://youtu.be/M08tqnISnnk

    http://youtu.be/Xv9XQe40yl4

    Personally, I like to find the base exposure first, say 35s, then create a rouch scetch of which areas need more (+4, +8 etc) and which ones needs less (-4, -2 etc), then make a new exposure, minus the largest dodge value (in this case -4), apply that over the whole image, then expose the rest of the image only for remainder of the base exposure, blocking out the areas I want to dodge. After that, I burn in the rest, trough masking techniques you see in the youtube links.
    - I'm still a newb though, but it has worked well so far =)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2011
  5. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

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    Thanks All,

    I think this makes sense to me. So I would get the base exposure, then subtract the sum total of all of my areas of dodging, and then dodge each section sequentially. After this is finished, I would start burning. Hope fully, there would be only 2 or 3 areas that would be different from the base exposure.

     
  6. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    yep, and it is rare that you would need to make more than a few adjustments. However, I have seen some very complicated printing maps. I.E. Richard Avedon's prints look lilke a topological map.

    You might try to find a book by Larry Bartlett called "Black and White Photographic Printing Workshop". He was at one time considered a master printer (he is no longer alive), but the book is very good with examples, etc.

    Of , course there are others out there with books that can be helpful, google Tim Rudman, Les McLean, for a few as there are others who have written helpful booiks.
     
  7. ROL

    ROL Member

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  8. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    I have that Bartlett book (among many many other printing tutorial books) and can attest that it's one of the best out there.
     
  9. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    WHOOOHOOOOO!!!!! 500 POSTS!!!!! Yes, I know I'm ridiculous.
     
  10. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

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    Thanks for the link. Even though it appears complicated at first, it appears quite straightforward and logical. Hopefully my experiences in the darkroom will be just as easy. I will start out with just 2 or 3 areas to modify.
     
  11. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

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    Just bought it on Amazon (used as not in current print). Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  12. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I've been thinking about this dodging and burning of multiple areas and I think it's like a performance. You have the choreography stage where you plan it all out, then there's the dress rehearsal when you give it a dry run before finally the performance itself in front of light sensitive paper.
     
  13. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Good, I think you will find that book very helpful and fun to look at as well.
     
  14. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Continuing with the musical analogy, much like a musician in a studio, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing "one more take", and endlessly tweaking details until there there is no appreciable improvement over the previous attempt. I personally know musicians who have said the following, (at 3:00 A.M.) "I still think I liked take two the best." You have to know when to call it a day (or call it a print) and walk away, or you can end up carpeting your darkroom floor with "imperfect" prints.

    Aim to improve specific things in a print, but if it's not coming, it just might not be in the negative.

    By the way, if you do have a recalcitrant print that just won't tune in on that final detail, (and if you've got paper to burn) spend some time setting the base exposure (and contrast - sometimes a difficult print is more a contrast problem than anything) for that section alone, without any other print controls. Once you have determined if it is possible to achieve your desired results on that, you can build the rest of your print around that success point.

    One final point from me, (I'm just an average printer who has had more than my share of frustrations in the darkroom, and a handful of lucky prints that made me feel like I'm not an idiot) advice asked and given is all great; the workflows suggested by your peers here and in whole photographic libraries are all very effective. But take it all with a grain of salt. Sometimes even the finest printers have their heads up their arse when they try to explain what they do. If Adams says one thing, Weston another, and Ann something else, (sorry Ann :smile: ) it does not mean two of them are wrong. It means what they do gives them the results they are looking for.

    Cheers,
     
  15. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    No problem toffle, as you make a valued point.

    I also suggest to people, pick one voice and listen to only one as there are various ways to do things and each of us have our own way that we have prcfective over time and with practice. Of course there are some things that are the same. i.d. an fstop is an fstop. but how' to's vary,.

    Also, for me, I want to see the work before I buy into the voice. Lots of folks talk, but can they walk the talk. If the mouth doesn't match the mouth my ears shut down. :smile:
     
  16. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Along that line, John Sexton said in an interview once that one of the most important items in his darkroom is the trash can.
     
  17. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Agreed, though in my case it is a large photocopy box; I seldom empty it, and I refer to it often. I find my mistakes are often better teaching tools than my successful prints.
     
  18. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    In my classes we call it the "learning bin".
     
  19. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Excerpted from my article (AA's concept):

    Fine art printing really begins with a negative correctly exposed for the subject/scene. To paraphrase Ansel Adams' famous musical analogy - the negative is the score, the print is the performance. It will be difficult or impossible to ever work a fine print from a poorly exposed negative (in darkroom vernacular, to make it sing). If the notes are there, it will be possible to achieve your unique artistic interpretation (i.e., visualization)...


    Adams' (who Sexton worked with) quote, I believe, regarding the most important tool in his darkroom.


    It all seems to go back to AA, which is why I cannot recommend highly enough The Negative & The Print for learning basic B/W darkroom technique.