Selective Masking

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by PhotoBob, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. PhotoBob

    PhotoBob Subscriber

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    I read an ol' article on masking, but I'm still not too sure about the process or how it works.
    Can anyone recommend good detailed literature or step-by-step CD/video on the process?
     
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Lootens 8th Ed. that I have provides a chapter with details and pictures of the process. Chapter 12 on combination printing.

    It details a the process of selecting negatives, making the masks, and determining exposure times.

    You can find it at your library, or a dollar or two online as a used book. Not sure if there is an electronic copy available. Try google too.

    Also, though I haven't gotten to that section yet, in Way beyond Monochrome, Cedar Falls section details masking for selective burning in.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2011
  3. DarkMagic

    DarkMagic Member

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  4. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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    Lynn Radeyka has a kit/book and gives masking classes. I have the kit and went to a class; it was very informative.
    http://www.radekaphotography.com/
    then click the "Masking Kits" button on the left
     
  5. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    My opinion, don't waste your time with Barnbaum's book (on any topic actually). It gives no detail or methodology on masking. If you want to learn about masking without necessarily taking a workshop, Lynn Radeka's kits (which also include information compiled from others such as Mark Jilg and Dennis McNutt) have good explanations and step by step techniques. Howard Bond's articles are also a good source. For selective masking (pencil shading etc) Alan Ross is a great source. There are of course master printers such as John Sexton who teach masking but it's part of their workshops.
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Subscriber

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    I appreciate the heads-up on this. I was looking at his book on amazon last night after reading this thread and saw that his section on masking was a listed as a single page in the table of contents. It can't be very informative if he only devotes one page to cover the topic while other people use entire chapters and even volumes to cover simpler techniques than masking.
     
  7. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear PhotoBob,

    Post Exposure has a detailed description of contrast masking (unsharp mask).

    Neal Wydra
     
  8. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    It has a few paragraphs and a diagram, which gives the reader a bit of an overview on what masks are and what they might be used for. But if someone wants to get a real understanding of how masks work, the various applications, different types of masks and how to actually make them (materials, procedures etc), Barnbaum's book doesn't have any of that. Radeka's masking kit is excellent for this. And for selective masking, pencil shading etc, Alan Ross's selective masking kit tells you all about how to do that. And I might add when I had additional questions or thoughts on things to try, both Lynn Radeka and Alan Ross were very helpful and responsive by email. This is definitely a plus.
     
  9. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Subscriber

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    Does anybody know if Radeka sells or distributes the articles without having to purchase the kit? I have the equipment, but I am interested in the information.
     
  10. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    The "kit" is actually just the printed material. It doesn't include equipment/hardware unless you add that stuff to your order. I bought just the kit. It's all available on Lynn's website: maskingkits.com. After I bought the literature I decided I wanted to buy a few hardware odds and ends (registration pins), but not a full registration carrier kit. I contacted him and he sold me the pieces I needed. He's very helpful and graciously answered my follow-up questions too.
     
  11. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Masking can be either as simple or complex as you want it to be. For anything serious you need a
    registration contact frame and matching punch, but rarely a registered carrier. The problem with
    older literature is that all the relevant films have since changed. One of the best kept secrets which
    hasn't changed for basic work with just black and white printing is neocrosin red dye. A tiny jar will
    last you a lifetime and allow quite a bit of experimentation without even the need for masking if what you are interested in is simply automated dodging and burning. For enhanced microcontrast or
    improved edge effect you need real unsharp silver masking.
     
  12. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    The nice thing about Radeka's kit is it shows you how to make your own contact frame/carrier if you don't want to buy one. This is particularly useful for people who want to try it out but not necessarily invest in expensive equipment at the outset. The pins he sells are really convenient because they are large (not condit-type pins) and fit snug into the holes made by the 2 1/4" hole punch from office depot. I assumed the punch Radeka sells in the registration kit was some special device but when I asked him about it he told me which one to buy.
     
  13. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Lootens also stresses this new cocine as well for painting on negatives, the effect which from his images can be small to dramatic.

    Where can this be purchased currently?
     
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  15. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Way Beyond Monochrome has a chapter on masking written by Lynn Radeka.
    Alistair Inglis has a masking system that was reviewed in View Camera magazine several issues back.
     
  16. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I've not personally used either, but based on everything I've read both the Inglis and Radeka precision registration carriers/contact frames are excellent, although they don't work the same way. They are different systems.
     
  17. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    The dye comes in powder form so you can dilute it way down and layer it up for very good control.
    The old timers would use it like Photoshop to add clouds to an empty sky or cigarette smoke to a
    portrait, back when that nasty habit was fashionable yet they didn't want real smoke in the studio.
    I'd just post an ad on this forum etc looking for it, or hunt Fleabay. It was a standard Kodak product
    for decades and is more versatile and less messy than shading pencil. You could probably buy bulk
    dye and make your own, but a pound of the stuff would suffice for a hundred darkrooms.
     
  18. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Subscriber

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    I reread Ctein's section on masking for color negatives and I have a question for those of you that do this regularly: Do I need a special film developer to get neutral color masks? I plan on using Delta 100 film since it is easier to get and cheaper than T-Max 100, and I can get the chemicals necessary to mix the SoftShot formula that Ctein describes; but if Xtol or HC-110 will be neutral, I would rather use one of them. Thanks.
     
  19. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Not sure I can really help as I don't do color printing, but in my experience most general purpose developers like XTOL, HC110 etc are neutral, unless you get into certain compensating procedures. A high degree of physical development in non-staining developers can lead to a brownish emulsion color but that happens more with developers like Microdol. For film, not sure if this makes enough of a difference or not, but Delta's film base has a slightly blue-ish cast.
     
  20. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    For color neg masks I would choose either FP4 or TMX. Delta 100 might be OK but has a very long
    toe to it. You can try Ctein's Muir Softshot or my own tweak which he has also tested and is
    simpler, consisting of very dilute HC-110 with a tiny added pinch of benzotriazole as a toe cutter.
    And whatever film, you need to be sure any antihalation dye is thoroughly removed during washing.
    For color negs you want a very low contast mask, preferably with a straight line response. Once you
    figure this out for basic contrast reduction masks you can make interpositives and then mask them
    for contrast increase masking. But you need to carefully balance your colorhead in order to get a
    consistent response to all colors in the original. More involved than masking black-and-white originals.
     
  21. markrewald

    markrewald Member

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    How difficult would it be to use this process with medium format negs?
     
  22. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Subscriber

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    Please be more specific for the developer. What is the exact dilution from stock solution and how much benzotriazole? I am not dead set on Delta 100, I am just looking for films that are of good quality with fine grain and good reciprocity, yet available in 8x10.
     
  23. DREW WILEY

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    Greg - you will obviously have to fine-tune things to your own workflow, but my formula for basic
    contr masks FP4: Mix HC-110 to "stock" 1:3. Add 20ml of 1% solution of benzotriazole (more predictable weighing out tiny amts of powder). Then dilute this down 1:31 for use (note: this is 1:31
    from STOCK, not from concentrate). Try 10min at 20C. The final mask should be quite weak, with
    a DMax rarely above .30, yet a tiny bit of density even in the shadows; otherwise you risk crossover
    . Exposure and interpositives are a bit more complicated. I'll do a followup post in a bit.
     
  24. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I only do 4 sheets of 8x10 at a time in an oversize tray. Have to be very careful not do get any
    surge marks on this kind of subtle very low contrast work. Two problems with exposure. You have
    to balance the mask for the depressed green sensitivity of the FP4 pan film, and you have to null
    out the effect of the orange mask. After considerable testing what works best for me is to balance
    the color head to 5000K or thereabouts using a color temp meter, then add a light YG filter (Hoya
    XO) to cure the pan effect, then a pale orange (G) to "see through" the mask density. But color
    balance can change with recip effects, so I aim for about a 10 sec exp under the enlarger in the
    contact frame.
     
  25. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Subscriber

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    I appreciate the tips. I will be in San Francisco this coming March for the national conference of the Society for Photographic Education and would love to visit your lab and talk with you in person about masking for color negatives if that is OK with you.
     
  26. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I'd be happy to give to a demo Greg, but it's still too far away to know what my travel schedule will
    be like in March, so just email me a couple weeks in advance. Seeing how this is done in person is
    indeed more useful than an entire volume of notes.