Dodging and how to do it.

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by jaimeb82, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. jaimeb82

    jaimeb82 Member

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    Learning how to dodge and burn my prints. Sometimes my times are like 8 seconds exposing into the paper, how do you get around that if you have to cover some black areas to make them less dark? I feel by the time I get the shadow into place the time is over. Also, do you make your own tools with the shape needed for every picture or do you use conventional tools. Thanks.

    Jaime.
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi jaime
    i use my hands ...
    i have coathangers bent in funny shapes for dodging tools .. ( wanna buy them :smile: )

    before my exposure, i study what needs to be dodged and burned, then i do it ..
    sometimes it is getting acquainted with what the negative looks like
    it isn't the easiest thing and takes practice.

    good luck!

    john
     
  3. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    Try longer exposure times.... makes it sooooo much easier.
    Ditto on the coathangers....and hands.
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    If your current exposure is too short, then close the aperture.... If you are currently printing at f/5.6, then go to f/8. You'll have 16 seconds to work with.

    The way I do this is.... first time exposing, I set my timer to 8 seconds then expose the whole thing. Second time, I have my tool ready at the right location, then start the timer for whatever seconds. For this second exposure, here's how I do it exactly.

    First, take a large cardboard and put it on my paper to cover it entirely. Turn on the enlarger so I can see the image. Then place the tool at the right place. Shut off the enlarger. Then set the timer.... ready.... GO! (and start the timer). As soon as the light comes on, I slide out the cardboard and start dodging/burning.

    There are probably better ways to do it, but this method works for me.
     
  5. jaimeb82

    jaimeb82 Member

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    That's very clever tkamiya, I will see the image on the cardboard and I could practice the movements, I am going to go and try that one. I will also close my aperture and double the time, that will help! Thanks all.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Instead of coat-hangers I use wooden skewers designed for kebabs - cheap at the Dollar store. I cut out various shapes (as and when needed) from white cardboard and tape them on to the skewers.

    I also use my hands.

    One really important tip - constant movement!

    Have fun - it can be magical!
     
  7. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I use various sized circles or ovals made of white matboard, attached to coat hangar wire with black gaffer's tape. For large areas I have a quite large, very flexible card that I can bend into various shapes. Black side down so as not to reflect light back onto the paper, white side up to identify the part of the image to dodge. I do my dodging as part of the main exposure rather than dividing it into segments; the first second or two of the exposure I can identify the right area, then insert the dodger and count the seconds from the audible clicks of the timer.

    Burning in is the same general idea: during the main exposure I keep my eyes on the area(s) that need further exposure and the burning card in my hands. As soon as the main exposure is done, I keep my eyes on the paper, move the card into place, start the burning exposure and begin moving the card. A footswitch to start the timer is very helpful.

    I also find that split grade printing makes dodging and burning more precise and predictable. For example, burning in a highlight during the soft exposure darkens the highlights much more than surrounding shadows that may not need darkening.
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    A footswitch to start the timer would be useful too. (I haven't got one but I think I should).


    Steve.
     
  9. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I tried a foot switch a couple of times and found them to be impossible to work with, I move around the easel when dodging and burning and never could find the damm thing.

    Also those saying to go longer in time to make it easier should also note that dodging and burning is a % of over all time and not transferable as your time gets longer. ie 4 second dodge on a 10 second main exposure, is not a 4 second dodge on a 20 second main exposure with the same neg.. but we all pretty well know that.
    I always count in my head the whole exposure and give each area their oneonethousand , two onethousand.. after time you will be suprised how good you are at at timing a print and giving repeatable dodge and burn.

    Also another trick ,, make a big card black on bottom white on top and cut out a big hole, you will be able to see the image as you burn.
    Now make a series of smaller cards like the bigger one with smaller holes Then you can lay one on top of the other and for big areas use the big tool and smaller areas use the small hole card on top of the bigger one . This allows you to not flash the outside areas but also get into really small areas.

    For burning with your hands, imagine you are distributing water through them, by cupping and allowing a little amount of water onto small areas you will be suprised how simple using your hands to burn can be.. we all know that I am saying to imagine you have water and not really endorsing putting water on your easel.
    l
     
  10. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I had the same problem and ended up mouting the footswitch on the side of the enlarger cabinet and I hit it with my knee to turn it on. And I am going to adopt Bob's "nesting burning cards" strategy!
     
  11. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Dodging IMHO is probably the most underated part of enlarger printing.
    Burning is ok but I would rather bring the density to a good balance for the upper mid tones, lower highlight region, or for those digitally savy just above the 3/4 tone or 80 on the L reading.. sorry I can't help myself I hope Sean dosen't purge me.

    by giving the print a bit more density , and in conjunction with a very detailed dodge strategy, you can just Burn and pop in a bit of tone to nail the upper highlights with two filters, I use 0 filter to set **flash ** in some tone and the use the 5 filter to create local contrast within the highlight region.. the five does not affect the whites but it certainly darkens any dark area within a highlight which has the effect of showing more detail.
     
  12. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I use an audible timer. It beeps every second. Great for dodging and burning. That way, i don't have to look at the timer and I can concentrate on the print. Count along with the beeps--"go, one, two, stop."

    For contact printing, I use a cheap electronic metronome set to beep every second. I think it cost about $10.
     
  13. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I tried the digital metronome once and just about went insane from the beeping. I liked the method of using a metronome from my piano days, so I got a small quartz one. They sound like tapping wood and I found it much more pleasing.
     
  14. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I hope that cabinet is totally impervious to vibration...!
     
  15. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    It is a 6x3 foot L shape constructed of 2x4s, 3/4" shelving, a 1-1/2" top, and bolted to the concrete block basement side wall. The enlarger itself does not sit on the cabinet but is attached to the sidewall in 2 places above the cabinet. I am pretty sure that a tank battalion could pass by my house without causing vibrations!

    But your point should be considered by anyone deciding to follow suit.