Retouching glossy RC prints

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by BetterSense, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    My main paper is RC B&W paper, usually glossy. I wish there was a good way to retouch it. It seems like there is this gap where you can draw, or you can photograph, but like there's no way for me to put pencil/chalk/etc. to the print and that's really frustrating.

    I have a print right now where a bright white house in the distance is poking out from behind the model. I tried to hide the house behind the model but viewfinder parallax got me and now there is this small white blob sticking out from her shoulder. It seems too hard to burn it out without leaving a black halo and it would be a simple matter to just color it down with a pencil or something but pencils don't work on photo paper. I have some of these dry retouching colors:

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/73400...ck-and-White-Spotting-Student-Kit?cat_id=2504

    but I have only ever used them to spot out tiny spots. It doesn't seem to work well to tone down even areas, because it leaves brush marks. Maybe if I got the print wet and applied some kind of dye to the emulsion?
     
  2. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Yeah, RC glossy is worst case. The obvious short answer is reprint on a paper you can successfully retouch.

    Sometimes it's easier to make an internegative and bleach back the unwanted density instead of adding spotone density to the positive. Apply dilute pot ferry bleach with a fine-tipped brush in little dabs and rinse with water between applications until it's unnoticeable. Also, this way you are not working on the final. I've also used pencil on the backside of paper negatives to add density, and that could be useful too.
     
  3. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    You could also try Spotone on a clear piece of film and enlarge the composite. If you make a mistake, it is easily redone.
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Suggestions?
    But I need to do a burn. Not a dodge.
     
  5. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Any matt fiber is a breeze compared to RC. You dilute the spotone and test on the edge of the paper (or a scrap/test strip of the same paper). I don't try to match exactly, I go lighter than the surrounding and repeat gingerly as necessary.

    However, if its something more than just a small spot or blotch, I would probably choose to fix it on an intermediate rather than a final, either through spotting or local bleaching. You can do it over and over again till it looks acceptable, then have your master to print from.

    Richard's suggestion works if you sandwich his transparency with an internegative, or use your print with it to make the internegative. But if it were me, and I was short on time, I'd throw the print on a light table, pencil in the density on the back, then contact print it twice in succession. The print will also take on the texture of the paper, but that can also work in your favour vis-a-vis obfuscation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2010
  6. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Matt fiber papers are WAY easier to spot. I suspect that matt RC would be easier than glossy, but I've never use them. If the house is of any size, though, I think it would be tough to make it look right.....at least it would be rough for me! This may be a time to go to the dark side and try a d#*(%@l or hybrid solution as much as I hate to say it.
     
  7. Daud

    Daud Member

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    If you are still of a mind to retouch then look at the Spotone range of inks mentioned, although they are no longer made, you may still be able to find them. Otherwise, Marshall's Spot-All can be used, I have not personally used these because my stock of Spotone will last me years, but others tell me they are a good substitute.

    For gloss FB papers, mix the ink with a little artist Gum Arabic to help maintain the gloss, but I find that if using RC paper then mixing with a little photo flow solution will be just as good.

    Best of luck – practise makes perfect and in this case – never a truer word said.

    David.

    http://davidalockwood.wordpress.com
     
  8. Daniele Lucarelli

    Daniele Lucarelli Member

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