Doding & Contast Masks on OHP

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by menglert, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. menglert

    menglert Member

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    There is a technique briefly mentioned for making a dodging & contrast masks using transparency paper then printing on b&w paper. LINK Does anyone have experience with this? If so could you please comment?

    I sent an email to Mr. Rockwell and informed him about the question and asked if he could point to any further in depth articles or possibly respond himself.

    I would appreciate if someone could explain how increased magenta, yellow, and cyan effect the variable contrast papers or point me to a website with some articles. I know the manufactures give starting settings for C/M/Y but I would like to know how each effects contrast grades. This should help me experiment more with the masking technique mentioned above.

    Thanks for the help, Martin
     
  2. unregistered

    unregistered Inactive

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    Leave it to a d*****l guy to make something like printing harder, and more complicated, than it really it. The use of the yellow and magenta to control contrast is like using a color head to print B&W, and using Y & M to control contrast. Y for lower, M for higher. The more Yellow dialed in, the softer the grade. For Magenta, the more dialed in, the higher the grade. Same basic principles as multi-contrast filters, except they tend to blend more than giving different densities of Y & M. You don't use Cyan at all. You could even use Green and Blue, with green for lower contrast and Blue for higher, and while you can salvage a very flat negative using a certain blue, its more trouble than its worth for every day printing. Stick to either the filters or the Y & M settings on a color head, if thats what you use.

    The main problem with this guys technique is that you have to guess how much Y & M to put down in the various areas (along with gray for the density... :rolleyes: ), and how they relate to the contrast and density of the area you are masking with those colors. You'd be doing a lot of guess work, not to mention going back and forth from the darkroom to the computer to change the amount of Y because you used too much and its too flat, etc, not to mention that each time you'd have to take out the neg, put in the new output, refocus and align on the easel...

    There is nothing that that technique can offer above printing with either filters or a color head.

    Now get back in the darkroom and make some prints...watching what you are doing, and learning by the results of what you did. THAT'S the best way to make good prints. :smile:
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Martin

    I can't help you much with this, but in general, more 'Y' makes the print softer and more 'M' makes it harder. 'C' has no effect in B&W other than adding neutral density. There is a very good Ilford article on the web explaining all of this, but I have to look up the name of it and its location.
     
  4. mprosenberg

    mprosenberg Member

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    Martin,

    I have been doing this for years using OHP material matched for the HP printer (so that the inks dry, although the same material works with my new 2400 printer). It lets me dodge areas and reduce contrast in areas that I want detail but cannot possibly dodge otherwise. Kachel described this in the early 90s using color retouching dye - and called it dye dodging. Ross descibed it 5-6 years ago in View Camera, and then Bond and someone else in Photo Techniques. I have used it to print a negative at two different contrasts with a single exposure. Get the PT article (published last year?) it describes it very well. The reiteration of going from darkroom to computer is fast, and instructive. Generally start around 10 - 20% transparnecy. I teach this in a workshop here in the RTP area of NC.

    Good luck.

    Mike

    Mike
     
  5. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Give Lynn Radeka a call or check out his masking kit. (Do a google search). He has a section in his workbook on inkjet dodge/burn masks. You have a lot of control with these sorts of things and can get as crazy with it as you wish. Go for it!
     
  6. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Yikes Mike!

    You joined APUG in its infancy in September of 2002 and only you've only 2 posts to date?!!? How did you hold yourself back from jumping into the fray all this time? You should get the Frugal Apug Poster Award...contact Sean for your prize :wink:

    Murray
     
  7. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Personally, every thing that Ken Rockwell writes about I take with a grain of salt. Sure you can do all of this stuff but you can also use dye dodging. What I don't understand is how the dither pattern from the inkjet printer and the grain of the OHP material don't affect the print in some way or another. This just sounds like BS to me.
     
  8. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Dye dodging offers something that conventional masking does not offer.

    What I am about to say is based upon masking that I do. Also the dye dodging that I do.

    Conventional masking offers very precise burning and dodging of selected areas. It offers both increased and decreased contrast depending on the mask that is produced.

    Dye dodging allows for very precise dodging and also contrast control within the dodged area. It does this by using the colors of yellow and magenta ...in lieu of that you could use blue and green. These colors are used because the two emulsion layers on VC materials respond to these colors. The amount of dodging and the degree of contrast effect within the dodged area are controlled by the value of the color hue. (the intensity of the dye used)

    You don't need to use OHP ...although that is possible. Any fixed film will serve as a substrate on which one can dye dodge. The dither pattern of the digitally produced dye dodge mask should not present a problem...it is of soft enough effect that it simply will not show. One need only look to the digitally enlarged negatives that some guys are producing today to see that is not the case.

    These techniques could best be described as split grade printing on steroids. Split grade printing is childs play compared to dye dodging.

    That being said, I would never consider any type of masking beyond unsharp masking for roll film formats. The information is just simply to compressed to do it with any degree of usefulness or precision.
     
  9. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Again, anyone interested in ultimate control (WHEN NEEDED) should investigate Lynn Radeka's Masking kit and book. I was just at his house the other day and he showed me a new mask that will eliminate scratches and other such troublesome anomalies that might ruin your prize neg. Now, would you use masking on every neg, of course not. But, it's good to have the tools in your tool chest for those times they are needed. You can use masks to control the curve of the print. Shadow Contrast increase masks, Contrast reduction masks, Highlight masks, Fog Masks, Unsharp masks... and more. Take a couple of minutes and investigate his methods, they really are eye opening and powerful.
     
  10. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    What blows me away is that by using Radeka's methods as a springboard, how different images might lead you to new discoveries specific to those images needs. His methods and the level of control possible are only limited by the imagination of each photographer's will to pull it off. There's no need for a computer with this stuff, as the control in Christopher Burketts colour work testifies.

    Bobby, you're teasing me here about the visit to Lynn's house! I've always thought it possible (but haven't yet tried it) to eliminate dust and lint in the skies of negatives while printing by making a heiniously dense, sharp positive mask above a piece of Duratrans where the only clear areas were the dust and lint, then they were "burned to an appropriate print value" - was that what he did?

    Really...it's okay to kiss and tell :smile:

    Murray
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    All that needs to be done is to produce an interpositive of the appropriate density. The density in the mask would offset the missing density of the scratch on the negative. This would be like a limited unsharp mask...it would take a second mask or to ammend the unsharp mask to totally mask (block) the unaffected areas.
     
  12. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Wouldn't it have to be a sharp positive mask above a sheet of Duratrans, with the only clear areas being those you wanted to burn? Wouldn't each area of sky, for example, need a different amount of burn to blend with that areas surrounding density?

    Have you done this?

    Murray
     
  13. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    But...but...but......

    Because the dust or lint on the original negative has no density and is in effect just film base plus fog, wouldn't you have to burn each area appropriately..?

    Murray
     
  14. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Murray: Give Lynn a call to get the details. He said it takes 3 masks. He just discovered it. I didn't get the particulars as I was there visiting a friend that was taking his workshop. I plan to call soon and will get the details. It really does work though. Amazing!
     
  15. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Three? I'll be stewing over this one for days!

    Me (being the simpleton that I am) would burn each pesky piece of lint while Lynn would figure out an eloquent way to do it in one shot, in one mask. I should really go visit that fellow...

    Murray
     
  16. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I worked in a portrait studio 1976 where the owner had been dye dodging for over 25 years, he used red coccine*sp* powder and dye on his 4x5 negatives.The red dye would lower the density in the black suits and darker skin tones so he could print for the brides complexion and white dress. He started his career as a film retoucher in Germany and was very good with the brush.
    As well there is a method of contour masking described in one of the Darkroom Series Books that is basically cutting sheets of acetate and piling them on the clear acetate over a negative. the more contours piled upon each other the more dodging . This probably would also work with our contrast filters . *old beat up ones that could be cut down.*You could then control some local contrast with the base exposure
    Also one could make dura tran, dura clear and or clear inkjet masks to go over the printing easal to use as burning and dodging tools for complicated areas as others point out here. This method would be great with split printing techniques as you can then add different contrast grades to bring out important areas of the print.

    I once was asked to print a show of images of the ship breaking yards in India using only grade 5.
    The client wanted very harsh looking images to accent the imagery. We made *size as* RC prints and cut out the subject and used this paper mask directly above the the paper surface so we could print in the background behind the subject. This was very difficult to do but the effect was very powerful.
    As well as Donald mentions the Contrast Controlling and Enhancing masks that could be used in register with the film .

    All the above methods have their place and I am sure there are many more methods of working with secondary material to control the balance of any print.
    Some are good for controlling contrast and other methods are good for the dodge and burn control in printing.
     
  17. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Bob, while this may be taking this afield from the original post, I wanted to mention that I encountered a photographer some twenty years ago who had discovered a way to split the tonal regions of a print into three basic regions and from that separation was able to alter contrast within those regions using different filtration with VC materials.

    He went still further by retouching his negs as he determined and used specific dye dodging to turn out some very fine work...labor intensive to distraction...but fine nevertheless.
     
  18. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Murray, I

    have done something that would work for this application...although not specifically for this application. I used a combination of a sharp interpositive followed by a very low density unsharp mask to blend the demarcation regions. As I mentioned before the mask would need to block light from areas of the print that one would not wish to expose.

    Taking the sky that you mentioned for instance. This would be, in most instances, a relatively even toned area with very minor tonal variances so I see no real problem in managing this application.

    Lynn undoubtedly has found something that will work. There are often several ways to approach a problem.

    Duratrans would be far too diffusive in this instance, I am afraid.
     
  19. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Good point Donald...I'll have to ramp up my pondering on this one.

    Murray
     
  20. mprosenberg

    mprosenberg Member

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    The printer ink and OHP material do not show up in most cases - depending on the smoothness of tonality. To avoid it either put it above the glass on a glass carrier, or insert a couple sheets of blank film so that it is out of focus.

    I guess this makes this my 3rd reply since joining. There is so much said in these forums that I find anything I could add has already been said. This one technique is one that I have been using since Alan Ross published the basics in View Camera. I have used it to dodge areas that I could not dodge for time or shape of area. Also to do split VC printing, and to make highlight increase masks. I will be teaching a workshop on this technique in Raleigh this fall.

    Mike