Question about burn-dodge execution plan

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by dim, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. dim

    dim Member

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    Hi to everyone.

    This is my first post in the “Darkroom” area and I would like to ask you through it your help.

    As a newbie in the darkroom I’ve bought Mr. Mclean’s book 'Creative Black and White Photography' and It helped me a lot up to now.

    In the examples area there are some burn-dodge plans. That is the picture to be printed separated in different areas where burn-dodge should be applied noted with times/f-stop. I’ve count up to twelve different areas having most of them different instructions (i.e. burn ½ fstop). How is it possible to execute such a burn-dodge plan? Do you break the total time in small chunks and execute on each one a certain instruction? How do you approach such a task?

    I’ve searched the site but nothing found. Any answers will be of great help.

    Thank you,

    Dimitris (Dim)
     
  2. Silverprinter

    Silverprinter Member

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    If you are going to learn how to dodge and burn, I'd suggest you start out with a simpler negative. Usually, it's easier to either apply a base exposure to the entire print and then burn in one or two areas - or expose for the shadows and dodge the highlights. Both techniques work; it's usually the negative that decides which way to go.

    Yes, there are some really complicated schemes that are sometimes needed to print a negative and, with some experience, you can work out a plan to give each part of the print the exposure it needs. Sometimes, it can take several minutes to work out all the dodge/burn combinations needed.

    I read somewhere that if you want to lean to be a good printer, start with lousy negatives - I think this is good advice, but don't start with the most difficult ones. After all, the Last Supper wasn't the first painting by Michaelangelo - and the published prints you see are usually the result of a lot of trial and error that ends up in the trash bin!

    Good Luck
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    would agree with Jim, start with something simple, a negative that needs just dogding for instances, or perhaps burning; begin with the basic exposure and dodge out the last >>>>>>>fill in times>>>>>>>>. With a burn, exposue for the basic time, then just burn in the necessary area after that.

    As you begin to have more complicated prints, it is critical to keep carefully records for each step. Some of my students take the first test print, sit down and with a sharpie, mark off the areas with the adjusted times that may work, then use that as a guide when they begin to work on the print; making changes on a mapping guide that will end up with the changes.

    When all the testing has been completed and all changes have been decided they take the test print with the changes and have it next to them while printing , checking off the areas to be sure they have covered the "field".

    After all is done, they keep the "mapping record", manner varies with style of the owner.

    Start with small steps first, then build on each step. Becomming a good printer let along outstanding one is practice, practice, and more practice.

    One additional tip. the better you make the negative the easier the work is in the darkroom. For every hour you spend thinking and making the decision before pushing the shutter will save several hours of work at the printing stage.

    Have fun and realize, you will need to fill the "learning bin", regardless; it is just part of the process
     
  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Dim

    something that I keep in mind when making a print. First , the print is two generations away from reality or the scene you have photographed.
    In all photographic applications you will lose detail at both ends of the scene ie the highlights and shawdows. There fore I always assume , that I will need to dodge in some detail in the shawdows and I will need to burn in some detail in the highlights.
    There fore every image I have ever made has some dodging and burning.

    After this first stage I will then decide if I need to burn or dodge, specific parts of an image to accent subject matter. This is where more complicated plans are needed.

    I think in your beginning stages, practice burning and dodging the obvious areas due to the generation step loss from original scene.
    After a few hundred negatives the more complicated , dodges and burns will become obvious to you and you will know how to move your hands over the easel with the practice of a few hundred negs.

    I hope this helps
     
  5. dim

    dim Member

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    Thank you all for your informative answers. Now i can understand better the whole idea of marking the areas that need manipulation and also i realize that i should begin with smaller tasks comparatively to a very detailed dodge-burn plan.

    Thanks again :smile:
     
  6. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sorry to be picky, but the most famous "The Last Supper" was Leonardo.

    As said before, start simply, and practice how you move your dodging and burning tools. I usually try to stick with just burning in hightlights, and get the base print exposure for the shadows. I always find dodging shadows a little harder to do successfully. Of course, the best advice is to make good negatives!

    Good luck.
     
  7. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Jim,

    All the responses above are good ones. I usually try to follow the basic plan suggested immediately above by Suzanne; sometimes it's more convenient to do it in reverse by printing for mid or high tones and dodging as necessary toward the end of the print exposure. I would also suggest that a piece of cardboard cut to the approximate shape of a dodge can be useful. If you're careful about your film development, manipulation at the printing stage can often be minimized.

    Keep it simple until you've had some practice!

    Konical
     
  8. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    "Sorry to be picky, but the most famous "The Last Supper" was Leonardo. "

    Suzanne, the one the Monty Python sketch was about (with the kangaroo, remember ?) was Michelangelo's.