Dodging Methods - S.O.S

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by stormbytes, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    I've got this beautiful portrait of a young girl. Exposure was set at 30 sec, contrast #2. There were however 3 areas on the print where dodging was required. After numerous work prints, I determined optimum dodging times to be as follows:

    Area A: 15 sec

    Area B & C: 5 sec (each)

    Area D: 5 sec

    Total Dodging Time: 30 sec

    I found myself scrambling to juggle dodging wands during the 30 second exposure! I thought about increasing the aperture but dodging time relationships would remain unchanged. I also thought to break up the base exposore into 3 or 4 bursts - but then thought that might change my tones.

    I'm sure with some practice I can hone my dodging want juggling skills, but I'm thinking there's gotta be an easier (and less nerve racking) way to go about this. After all, what do you do when you've got more then 4 areas to dodge? Grow more arms?!

    Help!!??
     
  2. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    What size negative are you working with?

    There is a technique called "dye dodging" in which you use a small brush to apply a dye to the back of the film. The dye functions just like a dodging wand, except that once the dye has been applied, the negative can be printed many times with the same doding effect.

    Obviously, this trick works best with larger format negatives - certainly roll film, and preferably sheet film. It also is helpful to tape a sheet of clear (undeveloped but fixed and washed) film to the back of the negative - that way, if you aren't happy with the results, you can simply remove the dyed film to get back to the starting point.

    You can use ordinary spotting dyes for this purpose, but it's helpful to use colored dyes instead if you are printing on variable contrast paper. A yellow dye gives a lower contrast dodge, while a magenta dye gives a higher contrast dodge. Dr. Martin's watercolor dyes work well.
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    No, you don’t need more arms; fortunately, just a little planning.
    My approach is to split the exposures to cover the various dodging actions. I have a base exposure followed by whatever number is required to complete the required dodging and/or burning actions required. It may total 10 or more seperate exposures. I try to arrange a base exposure that is around 10 seconds, and, if possible also use this same time (or multiples) for each of the other actions. I find any time shorter than 10 seconds does not give me sufficient time to get into position, although my RH timer footswitch is a great help.
     
  4. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I use essentially the same approach as Dave.

    So, translating that to your situation, it might mean a base exposure of 15 seconds with dodging area A, followed by another 15 second exposure in which areas B, C, and D each receive 5 seconds of dodging.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    I reverse everything:

    In a case like that, I would reduce the base exposure to 15 seconds dodging nothing. Then 5 seconds more on everything but A&B, 5 on everything but A&C, and the last 5 seconds on everything but A&D.

    I might decide to one of the areas with dodging during a 20 second base exposure, but that would depend on the shape of he areas.
     
  6. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I agree with Ole. I don't think I described my work method too clearly. I tend to prefer burning to dodging. I only dodge small or intricate areas, and then often using acetate or card masks masks. Also I like to work a sequence out that is repeatable.
     
  7. eric

    eric Member

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    That's how I'd do it as well. More burn, less dodge.
     
  8. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    This makes sense, in theory.

    But how would split-burst printing affect the final print? I know that the important highlights print to my satisfaction when given 30 sec of consecutive exposure. How would these, if at all, be affected by split bursts? (I do recall reading something somewhere on this very issue, can't place it now)

    I've replied to Ole's method to which you've subscribed in a later reply. I may not be understanding what Ole's saying as I don't see how that would be possible in this case.
     
  9. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    Given the scenario I initially posted to this thread -

    It seems I'd have an easier time focusing on dodging one area rather then 2 areas simoultaneously. If I had my scanner hooked up this might be a bit easier to explain.

    The photo is essentially a "headshot", going down to include the shoulders, collar bones and ending just above the breasts. Area "A" is the corner-and-semi-circle to the left of the model's head. The area was darker then that on the right - dodging for 15 secs serves to equalize the tones.

    Areas "B" & "C" are the model's eyes. Everything works well printed at contrast #3 except for the eyes. I have a tiny-tipped dodging want that works quite nicely. Each of the eyes (or rather, center of the eyes) needs 4-5 sec of dodging.

    Area "D" is the model's hair as it falls on the shadow-side of her shoulders and top-chest. Dodging for 5 seconds in a straight up-and-down line brings out some textured highlights adding a nice accent.

    Given the above, I think i'd be quite difficult (for me at least) to juggle areas simoultaneously.

    As for "preffering to burn in", I'm not sure I understand how that works either. I see dodging & burning as complimentary, not either-or. And burning in is cake - no time limits and much more stress-free!

    Cheers
    Daniel
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    As someone else mentioned, dye dodging the negative solves all of this convoluted maneuvering.
     
  11. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    Indeed an interesting and as far as I'm concerned, novel approach to dodging. I don't know that it's what I want to do today - seeing as my goal at this point is to obtain a fine print by way of simple dodging/burning methods, but clearly this is something I'd like to research in greater detail. It would seem that this method, given a good technique, would help salvage many a negative where dark-spots are too fine to be dogded conventionally.

    Thanks for the tip.
     
  12. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser

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    I agree with Dave Miller in that you are better off splitting your exposure into several increments. I usually print in increments of 3-5 seconds building to the total exposure. This gives me time to work on specific areas as well as helps to regiment my printing so that consistent results can be expected over the course of printing an edition. There is no need to be concerned with how this will change your overall exposure if you test using the same time increments. IMO a footswitch is an essential tool in printing in order to free your hands to be in position with whatever tool you are using before the exposure begins. As Dave said, plan your attack. For instance, you say one area needs 15 seconds while 2 areas need 5 seconds each. Say you've got a 30 second (6- 5 second bursts) exposure that encompasses these dodging times. Start dodging your 15 second area with the fist 5 second burst. Continue that dodge for the next 2 bursts of 5 seconds. That's your first half of the total exposure and the dodge for that area is complete. Then move on to an area needing a 5 second dodge for the next burst. Then move on to the next for the final 5 second area. This leaves you with one final burst over the entire image. Now any remaining bursts you may wish to add for burns can be done to complete the print.

    As for dye dodging, or anything that needs to be painted on your negative, I strongly disagree with that technique. Unless you are using opaquing material to block-out pinholes, I recommend keeping your negatives pure.

    Hope this helps!

    Bill
     
  13. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Incremental printing exposures do not equal the same exposure as a single exposure. This has been reported over and over and over again. 6- 5 second exposures do not equal a 30 second exposure. While this is true of all light sources, it is most problematic with cold light sources. The thresholds of the light "power up" are the reason.

    Inosfar as dye dodging. Dye dodging is a tool that is used by a lot of well known photographers today. John Sexton, Howard Bond, and others use this method. It is a totally reversable and amendable procedure, provided the proper materials are used.

    Just wanted to set the record straight on this.
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Some LF films have a roughened base to make it easier to retouch the negative with a soft pencil. Just the same result as dye dodging, but with more familiar tools.
     
  15. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    The main problem with multiple exposures is the warm-up and cool-down time of the light source. This can be avoided by using a card (or your hand) to block the light instead of using a timer. A metronome gives you the timing. I used that method before I obtained my AC1200 which uses the motorised filters to block and unblock the light in conjunction with its built-in timer.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  16. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser

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    Agreed.
    Let me clarify... When you have a test strip of 6 bands at 5 seconds each, you will get the same results in your final print on say 4- 5 second exposures as you did on your test stirp at 4- 5 second exposures. It is true that 6- 5 second bursts do not equal a ful 30 second exposure.
    I don't dispute this, but I still think it is a bad idea. My opinion only.

    Bill
     
  17. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser

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    I do understand this problem Bob, but it has never been much of a problem for me. There is rarely 1.5 seconds between my exposures and although I am sure there is some cooling, it would seem to be extremely slight. Your technique of simply blocking the light source may complicate things even further considering iserious' original dilemma.

    Bill
     
  18. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I use an RH f-stop timer which has the warm-up time factored into it's exposure times. In anycase having first done a test print, or should I say a practice print; adjustment will be made, and warm-up times become irrelevent. Such a system is much easier to repeat on subcequent prints. I advocate a base exposure of around 10 seconds simply because errors are minimised, by that I mean if you are one second slow getting in position you will only be 10% out, where as if you base exposure is 3 seconds, you have messed up a print.