Is there any way to desaturate color prints?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by BetterSense, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I don't do color darkroom work right now but I think about it every now and then until I price the startup materials. But for C41/RA4 workflow, is there any way to control color saturation? I understand that you can adjust the white balance or I guess hue with the color filters, and contrast is a fixed property of your film and paper, but what about saturation? Is it also a fixed property of the film and the paper in use, or can it be adjusted?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You can vary hue, saturation and contrast of the color print in a variety of ways, but describing it without having run the process is rather difficult as we have no baseline for discussion of these points. We must first determine if your prints are (to you) low, medium or high in saturation and contrast and what the final hue you want is to be (warm, cold, neutral...).

    Make some prints first and then the discussion will be more meaningful. Otherwise, it is like trying to describe intangibles. That is MHO.

    PE
     
  3. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Contrast can be adjusted with exposure / additives to the developer, you know.
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    No, I didn't know. I was told that while there used to be different contrast grades of paper, now there is only one, normal contrast grade.
     
  5. thisismyname09

    thisismyname09 Member

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    I'm interested in this, as well. I've heard of adding hydrogen peroxide or sodium hydroxide the developer to increase saturation, but I wouldn't know how to decrease saturation. What additives are used for desaturation?
     
  6. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Sulfite in developer decreases contrast and that is visually same kind of effect as lowering saturation at the same time. Try sodium sulfite at about 0.5 g/l first.

    Bleach bypass decreases saturation and increases contrast and density, because silver (monochrome) image is overlapped with dye image. So, use a normal fix instead of RA-4 blix. Or buy your blix from Tetenal :D. You can also do partial bleaching only. Farmer's reducer works also, reducing the silver image and leaving the dyes.

    If you do bleach bypass, you may want to develop for a shorter time to address the contrast and density increase.

    You can also bleach-bypass process the negative. However, many color negative films have filter layer and antihalo layer made of silver and you will need long exposures in printing because the ND filter kind of effect.

    Experiment! There are many things you can do.
     
  7. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    It increases contrast, not saturation. IIRC saturation is a function of the paper design itself.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

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    Ummm, when is the last time you coated a color paper and then experimented with it? :wink: Sorry, just a gentle jibe!

    You can increase both by different methods.

    Increasing or decreasing sulfite or other ingredients decreases or increases saturation. Use of peroxide or other ingredients such as alkali can increase contrast or decrease it.

    Of course, both are linked.

    PE