I´m getting weird lines in my prints when I mask..

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by totifoto, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. totifoto

    totifoto Member

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    I was making some prints tonight and got these weird lines in them when I tried to darken the sky a bit. Do you have any idea what is causing this?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    It's either in your negative, or an artifact of your print development.

    First take a close look at your negative, the sky area, to see if these streaks are present. If so, this may indicate improper agitation during film development.

    If you're sure the negative is good, then you may not be properly agitating the print sufficiently during development.

    ~Joe
     
  3. David William White

    David William White Member

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    I'll assume a straight print doesn't exhibit this. When you burn in the sky, what contrast filter is present? A higher number contrast filter will bring out any present unevenness in the negative. A lower contrast filter will reduce it.

    How about your paper developer? Powder (Dektol, etc.) or liquid concentrate? If a fresh batch of powder, might not be disolved sufficiently.

    Do you see the unevenness after development but before the fix, or does it come out after the fix, after the dry-down? If insufficient fix, and this shows up after the drying print is exposed to roomlight, you will get this fogging in the highlights.

    In your title, you said 'mask'. Are you using a litho mask (high contrast version of the same print), to block out the shadows and burn in the highlights? If so, your mask might have this detail and contrast in the highlight (sky) portion.

    Offhand, without much to go on, that's a couple of things I can think of.
     
  4. totifoto

    totifoto Member

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    I´m using Ilford liquid paper developer.
    I can see this right away in the paper developer.
    By masking I mean I´m burning in the highlight using the same filter as I used for the rest of the photograph.

    This is a 8 sec exposure adding 4 sec to the sky, same filter the whole time. Then I put the paper in the tray with the developer and this apears with in 10 sec.
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    How long is your print in the developer?
     
  6. totifoto

    totifoto Member

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    about 30-40 sec.
     
  7. applesanity

    applesanity Member

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    I think i had this problem once. It has to do with how you put the print in the developer (dektol for me). It was caused by the print not being evenly covered in developer. You gotta make sure the print is entirely submerged. Lift one side of the tray up and down periodically to agitate. Also, I have it dektol for about 3 minutes. 30-40 seconds just seems too short such that it would cause volatility.
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I think there are two contributing factors here.

    1. With the short exposures you're using, you stand a good chance of uneven exposure because you have so little time to do your burning. Stop your enlarging lens down a stop or two to give you about 1 minute total exposure with 30-40 seconds being your main exposure and your burning/dodging 10-20 seconds. This gives you a lot more room for error, because errors you make will have less significance and impact on the total exposure.
    2. Extend your developing time. An RC print is probably not fully developed until after one minute. I always develop prints two minutes or longer. Some fiber papers, like Fotokemika Emaks I let develop for 3 minutes or even longer.

    Also, what do you use to burn the sky? Do you cut a piece of opaque material to shape? Or do you use your hands or other tools? I think the way you burn the sky might be a contributing factor, but I don't know how you work.

    Good luck, I hope this helps.
     
  9. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I agree with thomas about lengthening your printing times by stopping down a stop or two. Then try inserting the paper into the developer emulsion side down for the 1st 30 seconds. Then turn it face up and process as normal for at least a minute. Then place in the stop bath for at least 30 seconds before placing in fix.

    If it's still there, then it's a neg issue or if the neg is clean, you are getting reflections projecting onto the paper during exposure somehow. Enlarger flare can be a problem in some instances. If your neg is clear, check the lens mount and inside that area for shiny metal or anything that could reflect light. Even external to your enlarger!... Or this batch of paper could be bad.. Unlikely, but not unheard of.

    Can you let us know what enlarger you are using as well? Condenser, or diffusion?
     
  10. David William White

    David William White Member

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    I agree with the others that you need to slow down your printing time, but you're probably developing the print okay, so the problem is probably in the negative. It would be hard to see on the light table, being mostly black.

    You didn't say what filter you were using, but I'm guessing 2 or up. So because you've got this unwanted density in the negative, I'd suggest laying down some uniform low-contrast density with 00 first, then go to your higher contrast filter for the foreground detail, instead of burning in your sky with a high contrast filter.
     
  11. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Did you try another neg??..Evan Clarke
     
  12. totifoto

    totifoto Member

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    Thanx for all the info guys. :smile:

    Seems like I have been doing some errors.

    I´m gonna start by taking my exposure time to 30-40 sec. I was using F11 on my enlarger so I have 2 more stops to work with. But I have always been told that I´ll get the best sharpness at f11-16.

    I think I might also agitate the tray to fast and unevenly, gonna work on that as well :wink: Also give it more time in the developer.

    When I burn out the highlights I dont change the filters, gonna give that a try also.
    I´m using AGFA C66 color enlarger and usually use filter strength 3 1/2 - 4.
    I use my hands mostly but sometimes I use a little pin with a paper taped on the end for dodging.


    Back to the darkroom :D

    I´ll let you know how goes.

    Again thanx alot guys :wink::wink:
     
  13. keeds

    keeds Member

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    Can always try an ND filter to increase exposure time
     
  14. totifoto

    totifoto Member

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    Yea I do that when using my Hasselblad but never use on on my Leica.
     
  15. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    You don't need to stop down the lens too much to get longer exposure times. This stuff works great, and is very inexpensive. It's easy to subtract one or more stops of light with no color shift stacking a single or multiple layers of this material in with your contrast filters above the lens. If you're using below the lens filters, simply stack one or more layers on top of the condenser. If your enlarger has a diffusion type head, slip it below the light mixing chamber. I do this regularly with a small Omega B600 that I use for making small prints from 35 mm. negatives.
     
  16. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Are you "sliding" the paper into the print developer or are you just plopping it into the Dektol and pushing it down with your tongs?

    I opt for uneven development in the Dektol as an explanation, if the uneveness is not on the negative.

    And, yes, your exposure is too great. You should begin to see the print beginning to gain density at about the time you are pulling it. Cut the exposure back.

    Do you time your print development? I use a gravity-powered-discreet-silicate analogue-timing device to measure the time in the print developer. Other people call it an egg timer.
     
  17. totifoto

    totifoto Member

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    I slide it in, and I dont have a timer. I just count in my head :rolleyes:
     
  18. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *********
    With most papers, and most paper developers, 90 seconds in the developer is about right. My timing goes longer because of my use of the egg timer.
    One must avoid the temptation to pull the print when it "looks right."

    I like a "gutsy" neg; so my exposure times in the enlarger run ca 30 seconds at f/11. This gives me plenty of time to do any dodging I wish to do.

    I would suggest using a single grade of paper or a single filter until you get the feel of what you are doing. Make test strips through clear film until you get the minimum exposure needed to give the maximum black of which your paper/paper developer is capable through clear film. After that, expose for that time and soup the print a full 90 seconds or more. Make adjustments from there. You need to establish baselines for your exposure and development.
    Have fun.