Unsharp Masking in Black and White Printing by Donald Miller

Unsharp Masking in Black and White Printing by Donald Miller

  1. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Donald Miller submitted a new resource:

    Unsharp Masking in Black and White Printing by Donald Miller - Unsharp Masking in Black and White Printing by Donald Miller

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2016
  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    comments from the previous article system:

    By Maine-iac - 01:17 PM, 10-15-2004 Rating: None
    Donald,

    Thanks for a helpful article. One question: I presume that the function of the unexposed, but washed and fixed sheet of film in the sandwich is either a) to create the unsharp feature of the mask by separating the negative from the lith film and/or b) to provide some neutral density. Is this correct?

    Larry
    By Sjixxxy - 07:06 AM, 10-21-2004 Rating: None
    Thanks for this. Usually when I read an article on unsharp masking, they are so loaded with tables of densitometer readings, and talk of expensive registtation systems, that I get turned away from the process. This one is nice and simple, without the overwhelming science, and will probably make me give it a shot for once.
     
  3. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Pin registration on the cheap

    I use this method on 120 - and 35mm. In full illumination, a frame down from the negative of interest, push two push pins through the film to have the unsharp mask made if it. (Trim back any molding ridges from the undersides of the pins to ensure that they are not a surface that could scratch the emulsion, and work wering cotton gloves to keep fingerpints off the film. Pierce the procesed piece of film now as well if you use it (I haven't to date, but will try it now)

    Use a black foam core board piece for the baseboard.

    Under safelight conditions push the pins into the lith film and into the foamcore basebard ( I use a half sheet of 4x5 for each mask, since smaller sizes are a beast to handle when developing.) Top with the weigh down glass, and diffusion material, and expose. Pull the pins after exposure, to process the unsharp mask.

    After processing I trim the lith film to the width dimension of the negative carrier, and re-register the original neg with the unsharp mask by matching up the existing pin holes. Usually the pins hang beyond the end of the neg carrier, and I just push them into a small piece of foam core a half inch wide by film width tall. If the pins interfere with the neg carrier, I tape, and pull the pins.

    35mm is a challenge to realign, due to the curl of the film. Pin register, and flatten between two weight glass peices over a light table surface with only an edge hanging out where the two bases are to be taped together. Then re-shift the weigh glass pair to expose the other edge for taping.

    So pin registration is available for almost zero dollars with this method.
     
  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Thanks for this Donald , this is a very useful key to enhancing images and a backbone of current PS methodology.
     
  5. MarkL

    MarkL Member

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    I would recommend Lynn Radeka's masking kit. It comes with a punch for making alignment holes and an alignment contact printer for making masks, which is itself the negative carrier you use for printing. Just tape a strip of scrap negative to the extreme edge of the negative, punch alignment holes in the strip, and any masks you make are automatically aligned perfectly by punching them before contact printing to them. Plus unsharp masks only scratch the surface of what you can do with masks and the masking kit pretty well illustrates the options. There was a series of articles several years ago on these techniques, I think in Darkroom Techniques magazine.

    I got interested in masking and attended his workshop and got an eye-opener in print control I didn’t know was possible! There are before/after comparisons on Radeka’s website.