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  1. #1

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    Combining split-grade printing techniques with paper flashing

    Over Christmas I have finally started to understand a little about the two techniques of split-grade printing and flashing paper through trial and error in my darkroom. What I am now wondering is if people use these two different techniques together sometimes or whether they are generally viewed as alternative methods (i.e. mutally exclusive) for dealing with a particularly problematic (i.e. contrasty) negative.

    If the two techniques are used as alternatives, do people try to print the negative first with split-grade printing (trying to get highlight detail with the 0 grade filter) and then resort to flashing if this is not working. Or is it a more instinctive thing and experienced printers spot which negatives will respond best to each technique?

    Being fairly inexperienced myself, I need to learn now when and where to deploy these new techniques.

    Any thoughts and experiences would be most interesting.

  2. #2

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    Paul, I use the two together when I need to. Learned how to from our own Les McLean at a workshop here in Texas last year. If you pick up his book or get a chance to take one of his workshops it will make things a bit easier....and Les is the best just to be around. A very fine person. Send him a PM his is quite generous with his knowledge.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  3. #3

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    Sure, Paul -

    I just used both techniques this past week. A corner on a print would not burn in well, so I flashed it.

    I pulled the enlarger head all the way to the top of its column, closed down the lens, and flashed 6 pieces of Ilford FB WT on the corner in question for 2.5 seconds. I had run a test on the particular box of warmtone that i was using, but with my enlarger, 2.5 seconds seems to work with all my Ilford warmtone.

    Then I exposed, using OO and O5 filters. Worked very well. Flashing is good if you're running very high contrast and you need to control it.

    Tim Rudman says that it's best to have one enlarger set up in a corner just to flash paper. Since I only have one enlarger, that doesn't work.

    deena in ny

  4. #4
    lee
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    I use both techniques together. I have one of those fancy scmancy flashers that RH Designs makes and sells.

    http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/...erflasher.html This makes flashing easy to incorporate into your printing schemes.

    lee\c

  5. #5

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    Thanks Lee, I forgot to mention the flasher...and since the OP is in the UK it will not cost as much for shipping....well worth the money IMO. BTW I found that POST exposure flash worked out better for me, but you can do it either way.
    Mike C

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  6. #6
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    I also learned the technique in Les's darkroom workshop but I use a cup covered in black duck tape except for the bottom and cover the lens to flash. I test to see how much time, usually a few seconds and it really can make a difference. ( I'm too cheap to buy the fancy smancy flasher)
    Prints available in the APUG GAllery
    www.gaylarsonphotography.com

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by photomc
    BTW I found that POST exposure flash worked out
    better for me, but you can do it either way.
    I'd forgotten to mention that. The subject of safelight
    safety a few weeks ago led to, IIRC, Kodak's method
    of testing safelights. They went into some little
    detail of the testing method and described
    pre and post exposure procedures.

    They did point out that post-exposure exposure will, in
    less time than pre-exposure, fog paper and that is to
    be expected with most papers. Dan

  8. #8
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    I have used both together and separately. Both (IMHO) are extremely useful individual techniques for getting a print just to your liking.

    I followed a tip I saw somewhere or other (Tim Rudman's darkroom book?) and hooked the output from my Stopclock Pro to a switchable 4-gang adapter. The enlarger is plugged into the 4-gang and so is the cheapest table lamp I could find (IKEA £2.50, fitted with a 12W bulb and almost completely covered in black gaffer tape!). In this way I can use my enlarger timer to control the enlarger, the flasher or both.

    Not as neat as an RH flasher (on my long-term to-buy list) but adequate, consistant (3.5 secs to DMIN for MGWT FB G) and cheap.
    The destination is important, but so is the journey

  9. #9
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    I've got the RH designs flasher and find it a godsend. I havent ever had to use both split grade and pre/post flashing/ fogging, but I wouldnt hesitate if I needed to.

    I find selective flashing works well to put tone into blocked up highlight areas that are tricky to burn with cards / shapes etc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee
    I use both techniques together. I have one of those fancy scmancy flashers that RH Designs makes and sells.

    http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/...erflasher.html This makes flashing easy to incorporate into your printing schemes.

    lee\c
    Lee,
    now that you have had the flasher for a while. do you find it worth your purchase.

    Mike Andersen
    "Capturing an image is only one step of the long chain of events to create a beautiful Photograph” See my updated website: mandersenphotography.com

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