Spotting with Sumi?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Flotsam, May 25, 2004.

  1. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Many years ago a Photographer that had worked his entire career from Teenaged Apprentice to eventual Septuagenarian Owner at a venerable old New York Portrait Studio, taught me to spot B&W prints using Japanese Sumi ink. I loved it and have never used anything else since then.
    Tonight, as I am finishing up a few prints, it occurred to me that I have no idea whether anyone else is spotting with this stuff.
    I am just curious, have any of you spotted with Sumi Ink? How'd you like it?
     
  2. roy

    roy Member

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  3. felipemorgan

    felipemorgan Member

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    Just tried Sumi...

    I have always had difficulty using Spotone to conceal dust spots on my prints. After reading this post, I bought a stick of Sumi ink, roughed up a sheet of glass using sandpaper, and tried it. I really like spotting this way!

    The chief advantage for me was the ability to make a thicker ink which gave me more control over the brush tip.

    Thanks Flotsam for the recommendation.
     
  4. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Yes, sumi ink is black -- the pigment is pure carbon, aka lampblack, in a uniquely Japanese binder (I don't recall what all goes into it, but there's no other ink like it). I'd guess you could mix it with a little red or blue watercolor to alter the tone for cold or warm tone papers, selenium toned prints, etc.
     
  5. hortense

    hortense Member

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  6. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I've been a spotting fool lately and am loving Sumi. Very fast once you get the brush loaded just right.

    As far as tone matching, I tend to print on colder, neutral papers and, in many years, I have never had a problem. The fellow who turned me on to it used Elon to adjust contrast on graded papers which can add a pronounced greenish tone and he used it all the time with great success (although if he was spotting a sepia print he used Kodak red opaque). This led me to the conclusion that the importance of tone matching might be over-rated. At least with ink. I am assuming that with warm enough papers, it must start to become noticable and that water color idea sounds interesting.