Two bath developer decision...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by batwister, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. batwister

    batwister Member

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    I understand many printers, John Blakemore being the most notable I know of, use two baths. It's inherently part of their practice. What confuses me is how the judgement comes about. When is flashing not enough? When does one say "right this isn't working, time for two baths." What is the real, perceivable difference between moving the print between two baths and flashing, that compels you to mix two solutions?

    I'm of course not making fine prints, so forgive me, but is this just a finicky habit concerned with neglible subtleties? Is it a delusional disorder that you catch after being in the darkroom too long? It also strikes me as a paper wasting guessing game.

    I'm not ignorant of the importance of subtlety in a great fine print, don't get me wrong, I'd just like to know how important this method is in getting there.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I've never had a need of it myself, but then I use VC papers. With graded papers, it could be useful for fine-tuning contrast.
     
  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Its only important if you feel the need.

    I used this method when I was printing with Ilformar and Ecktalure graded papers.
    As Peter mentions with VC and split printing this would be a very subtle addition to the workflow.

     
  4. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    Flashing works to reduce highlight contrast. Shadows remain the same. Sometimes you can flash and use a higher contrast paper. This will help shadow contrast. Two bath is really to get between grades with graded paper. It changes the overall contrast. Not sure why you would need two bath with VC.