# tilting easel during printing equates to rear swing and tilt

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• 12-08-2003, 08:02 PM
frank
Driving home from work today I was thinking about photography, like I usually do, particularly about my printing session the previous Sunday afternoon. I used the trick of tilting the paper easel on 2 of the 12 prints I made in order to render a portion of the image relatively smaller. (In one case it was a child's feet in the lower portion of the frame which were sticking forward as he was sitting on a bench swing. The other print was a group shot with a largish woman on the end, that will, I'm sure, like her image better that way.) I conceptually made the connection between tilting the easel during printing with rear swings and tilts (that I don't have on my 4by5 Speed Graphic) during the exposure of the negative. Am I correct in the assumption that each gives the same result and that the movements of rear swing and tilt on the camera can be duplicated by tilting the printing easel?
• 12-08-2003, 08:06 PM
David A. Goldfarb
Exactly! If you have an enlarger with a tilting lens stage, you can also compensate for the easel tilt to render the whole neg in focus using the Scheimpflug principle, so you don't have to stop the enlarging lens down as far.
• 12-08-2003, 08:32 PM
Thomassauerwein
I do this all the time It works for stretching and compressing element along the edges really well. Also if you want to throw things out of focus while maintaining a sharp point of interest. It's a cool trick.
• 12-09-2003, 04:04 AM
Thilo Schmid
Well, it is not exactly the same. The problem is, that while taking a picture, you render a three-dimensional space on a two dimensional film image. Objects that are closer to your camera will be "distorted" different from objects that are farer away. While enlarging, all "picture points" receive the same transformation. So on a WA Image, you may either correct the foreground (e.g. a tree) or the background (e.g. a building).
• 12-09-2003, 06:53 AM
Ed Sukach
I've been "chewing" on this for some time, now. I'll agree that the so called "brick trick", tilting the enlarging easel to modify ... It's not exactly "distortion", more accurately, "perspective"... is not *quite* the same - but just how "quite", I'm not sure.

I once used this "tilting" to correct (11) rolls of 35mm film - photographs of artwork - paintings - taken by someone who did not have a clue about positioning the camera at a right angle to the center of the work. Took a bit of sweat ... but it was successful.

The main problem is in focusing. I usually use a grain focuser in the enlarger... but here, it is necessary to use a lot of estimation ... and the smallest enlarging lens apertures.

Certainly, a useful "tool".
• 12-09-2003, 09:13 AM
frank
Thilo,
Interesting point you make about the difference between the recording of a 3-d world versus the projection of a flat negative.
I'm still thinking that the result is exactly the same though because the 3 dimensionality of the real world during picture-taking versus the 2-D of a negative during printing only has an effect if the camera lens is moved. That movement would cause spacial relationships of objects in the real world to change, whereas during printing, shifting the negative would only change the framing, not the spacial relationships of the objects already on the negative. I stand and wait to be corrected however as I have been wrong about a few things before!
By the way, I was born in southern Germany.
• 12-09-2003, 11:01 AM
Thomassauerwein
This is an easy little trick I use it almost every print and even keep track in my notes as to what direction. Theirs another variation also. By stacking under the paper in the easel shims you can reduce the size of certian componants within the image. You guys can teckno talk this simple thing to death but it works easly and well.
• 12-09-2003, 02:45 PM
Ed Sukach
Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomassauerwein
You guys can teckno talk this simple thing to death but it works easly and well.

It's got to be about as "low tech" as it gets. I've used JOBO bottle caps, a container of X-acto blades, bona fide *bricks*, film reels - anything to get the easel to tilt as I want it.
• 12-09-2003, 05:38 PM
frank
Okay, another drive home (30min.) and some more thinking about this and Thilo's post, and now I can see that with a wide angle lens on the camera, rear swing and tilt will produce a different effect than tilting the easel during printing, but only because of the differnce in focal length of the lens on the camera and on the enlarger. If the lenses are the same, then I think the effect, achieved either with rear swing/tilt or easel tilting, would be exactly the same. The only advantage I can see to doing it in-camera would be that if you're making contact prints, it could not be done during the printing stage.
That was an enjoyable mental exercise, and now I don't need to worry about the lack of rear movements on my Speed Graphic.

(Thomass, yes I know it works easily. What was new to me was equating easel tilting with rear camera movement.)
• 12-10-2003, 05:02 AM
Thilo Schmid
Frank,
shift and tilt are totally different things. While it does not matter whether you shift the negative carrier, the front or the back standards of your camera, tilting the camera front or back standards or the easel are three different things. The focal length of the enlarger lens does not matter. Enlarging is a simple projection of a two dimensional source on a two dimensional target and is totally independent of the focal length of the el-lens. El-lenses do have different focal lengths in order to archive different image circles without the need of distorting WA lens designs.
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