Masking Help

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by PeterDendrinos, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. PeterDendrinos

    PeterDendrinos Member

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    I am trying to print a negative that has very deep shadows and very bright highlights. Printing conventionally using dodging and burning is very tricky, and not all together successful.

    I would like to make a mask that effectively dodges the shadow areas, so the highlights can be printed down. There is enough detail highlight that making a mask with marker wonk work. I need to expose a sheet of film in contact with my neg to get the outcome I need.

    This is where I have issues. I have the litho film and the registration equipment, what I seem to be missing is the know how. I have made interneg’s of varying density and tried to us them but he results are like solarization. Is the interneg too dense?

    Any ideas or advice would be appreciated.

    Pete
     
  2. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council

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    It sounds like the mask has too much density.

    Can you use your mask-negative combination for a portion of the prints exposure, take out your negative and remove the mask, then replace the negative for the rest of the exposure and still have the image in registration?

    Murray
     
  3. PeterDendrinos

    PeterDendrinos Member

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    yes my equipment will allow me to do that. And i have tried that, but i get a odd look to the print. I suspect the interneg is too dense. But i see logic in a dense mask blocking shadow areas. seems like it would work better than less dense interneg.

    This is where i get confused.

    Pete
     
  4. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I had the same problem recently. It was suggested I tried preflashing my paper. It worked like a charm!
     
  5. PeterDendrinos

    PeterDendrinos Member

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    problem with the highlights? How do you know how long to flash for?

    Pete
     
  6. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Make a few test strips. Take a handful of coins and lay them side by side along the test strip. Cover with a card mask. Then expose the paper for about five seconds while uncovering each coin in turn. Then develop the strip. Repeat with shorter times until you have a strip where one of the coin outlines is barely visible in the developed strip. That is the preflash time.
    I did this for Ilford MG IV RC Pearle and determined an approximate preflash time of 0.25 seconds.
    Its a little hit and miss because the time you are trying to find is so short, but it worked for me. Fortunately I can set my timer for times as short as 1/10sec.
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    If you wish to pursue the masking method, the mask that you want to make is a contrast reduction mask.

    This type of mask is an unsharp mask as opposed to a sharp mask.

    The method is to place the litho film (emulsion side down) followed by a sheet of fixed and clear film and then the camera negative (emulsion side up) followed by a sheet of diffusion material (such as Duratrans). The mask density should be of approximately .15 -.35 maximum density. It should be very low density and also very low contrast. I use Dektol 1-30 for developing this type of mask.

    The mask and camera negative sandwich are printed in register.

    Masking will have a totally different effect then preflashing paper. Preflashing paper will compress the highlight densities downward while masking will compress the shadow densities upwards.

    The proper method for determining preflash exposure is not to take the first apparent exposure as another poster mentioned. It is instead the exposure that was immediately prior to the apparent preflash exposure.

    Good luck
     
  8. PeterDendrinos

    PeterDendrinos Member

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    Ok, let me see if I got this right. To make the interneg (mask) I do as you say and place a clear film between the lith and camera neg. with the camera neg. emulsion side up. Cover with diffusion material and expose. Looking for a maximum density of .15 to .35.

    I too use dektol as the developing agent but I was diluting it at 1:2

    Now when I get the correct interneg, and am ready to print what is the printing method. Both mask and camera neg. in registry together with the spacer?

    Are you saying the exposure before the exposure that just shows up? The exposure that is to light to show a change? but is almost there?

    Pete
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Dektol 1-2 is too concentrated for this purpose 1-30 will work. If you are not already doing so, you can develop your mask under safelight...provided it is ortho lith film. This makes it easier. Obviously the higher the peak density on the contrast reduction mask, the greater the compression of the camera negative density range.



    Just the interpositive (1st generation) and the camera negative in registration are printed. The spacer (clear film) is only used for making the interpositive contrast reduction mask.



    [quote}Are you saying the exposure before the exposure that just shows up? The exposure that is to light to show a change? but is almost there?
    Good luck. If you don't mind, let us know how this works for you.
     
  10. PeterDendrinos

    PeterDendrinos Member

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    Thanks for the help, i'll post images shortly.

    Pete
     
  11. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Peter, just saw your post. I know it's a late reply however if you're still trying to solve that problem I suggest checking out Radeka Photography. What you are looking to do I think is reduce contrast up to a degree you find appropriate thereby opening up the shadows, however, you then would probably want to bump the deeper values (to your taste) back down. The initial CRM will reduce contrast but the SCIM (shadow contrast increase mask) will then push the "lower end" of the values you just raised back down. The net effect is opening up the shadows. Hope this isn't too confusing. Give lynn a call.