suggestions on a print..

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Sean, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I have a neg that I really want to get a print out of but it is proving difficult. I had my first try last night without much luck. It consists of a large portion of dramatic sky at sunset in the top 3/4 and the bottom 1/4 or so is beach with a gnarly tree on the shore. The problem is the main area of sky is taking 55secs of exposure which makes the beach and tree black. There IS good neg detail in the beach and tree which prints exactly how I like at about 10seconds of exposure. The problem I'm finding is a large part of this gnarly tree protrudes into the area requiring 55sec, and dodging so far has shown in the final print. I decided to make a print at 55secs, and it is now dry, I will then take an xacto knife and carefully cut out a mask of the tree and beach to use as the dodging tool. Would you say this is the best way to go about it? I've never had to print something where two parts of the scene were tangled and requiring drastic differences in time..
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Try cutting the dodging mask and see how it works. If you get a halo effect, then you might try a contrast mask. I think we've had a few threads about contrast masking. Donald Miller uses this technique a fair bit. There is also a good description in Ctein's _Post-Exposure_ (I have the 2nd ed.).
     
  3. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Although only a beginner in printing, I had a similar situation to yours on my last print (in my gallery, 'Aberaeron'}. I had to expose the lower part of the shot for 12 seconds to bring out detail under a bridge, whereas some buildings which were pastel colours and in the dark part of the print and the sky required 24 seconds. I decided to do two 12 second exposures.
    I used pretty much the method you describe, but instead projected the neg onto card (to save on paper) and drew with pencil the shape of the mask, then cut it out and used it with very small circular motions as I did the two exposures.
    After nine tries I was happy! :smile:
     
  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Sean
    you can try the cut out and dodging method , I think it will be hard to do,
    I would suggest a split print 0 and 5 . You may want to combine the dodging tool with the split print.
     
  5. mark

    mark Member

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    PHOTOSHOP :D:D:D:D:D:D

    SOrry, had to say it.

    Dodging masks work but are a pain to get right. From what I have read about contrast masking it sounds like the way to go. Someday, assuming I hit the lottery I will live in a place where I try all of the cool darkroom stuff I learn here.
     
  6. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    try "flashing" the paper.
    have your enlarger risen to the very top. use the smallest aperture you can.
    no negative - plain light.
    make a test strip with some coins on, and make a test strip with one or ½ sec interval for each coin....
    then develop. the coins will appear as faint prints, and you chose the one one step shorter than the one you actually can't see...

    then take your print - pre-expose it at the found timing without neg, and then try the timing for the beach....
    I think you'd be surprised.....
     
  7. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Sean

    Rather than cut a dodging maskfrom a print of the same size that you wish the final print to be I'd suggest the following method. Place a few books or print boxes on the base board with the enlager set to the height that will produce the print size you require. Place a piece of white card on top of the pile of boxes and project the image on to it and draw around the area that you are going to dodge. This area will be smaller than the full size image when projected onto the base board. Cut out the shape you have drawn and when the image is projected on to the paper to make the print hold the card mask at the height of the boxes you placed on the base board, it will then be roughly the size of the area in the print you wish to dodge. When dodging move to mask slightly up and down to soften the edges and prevent a halo.
    I often use this method when I need to dodge a difficult area such as you have described.

    Bob Carnie's suggestion to split grade is also good advice for you can dodge on either hard or soft filtration, or both, depending on the fianl contrast you require in the tree trunk. For example if the trunk is underexposed and lacking in contrast on the negative I would dodge out the soft filtration to increase local contrast in the tree trunk.
     
  8. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Here I was all excited to add something usefull.. and Les beat me to it! I will add that if you want you can make RC print at the smaller size and chop that up if you want to. I tend to draw the shape as described by Les. Remember which half you want if your doing a dodge or burn cause how you cut out your mask can matter (make rough cuts on the bit you really wanted.. I've done that more than once!)
     
  9. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    You may also try dye dodging or even dodging with vellum paper where you have darkened the sheet in the parts you want dodged with pencil. For contact printing of the two I think dye dodging would be the best option. Get a clear piece of film and tape it to your negative, in the parts you want dodged you can fill in with a colored marker like those kids use, you can use different colors to increase or decrease the dodge. You will be surprised how well it works for contact prints.
     
  10. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    sorry guys should have mentioned it's an 8x10 contact print.. But the cutout that I do make I can make it a little smaller so I can get some slight motion going. I am also interested in the other suggestions. I have decided to take my time with this print and keep at it. I may have more questions. Thanks!
     
  11. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    (you can still flash it...)he added, whispering....
     
  12. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    That's a great idea
     
  13. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Or you could go whole hog and make a contrast reduction mask. Make it the same density as the amount the other print is over dense. 8x10 should be fairly easy to reregister by eyeball method. You could go the extra step and make an unsharp mask out of it if you think the print could stand the extra zing.
     
  14. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Make an interpositive that leaves NO density in the area of the sky. Then with that interpositive make another negative. (That will expose just the sky because there's no density there on the interpositive) . Once developed, bleach off any areas other than the area you want masked on that new neg. Then realign the new neg with the original with the new neg on top(use a lightbox). Tape together and use the sandwich to print. Contact Lynn Radeka at Radeka Photography where he has detailed instructions for this type of thing!

    Good Luck
    Bob
     
  15. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    will look into that too thanks
     
  16. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Sean
    another option not mentioned is to make a lith print, heavy on the exposure and pull the print when the black emerges.
    Lith works very well with negatives of contrast

    As Jorge mentioned there is a red powder . sp. *Red Coccine * that can be used to put on the negative.
    I worked with a wedding photographer who used this since the late forties for bringing up detail in a black suit when printed next to a brides white dress.