Charlie, thanks for the answers. I tried thinning the opaque but it was difficult to get it to adhere to the base of the negative. The scratches in the neg are bad. They are in the water of a landscape shot. I think I will try to lightly etch the neg to see if that helps. I'm going to attach a print so you can see what I mean. I don't seem to have much success spotting an image when there is a lot of white. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all of your help and expertise.
Last edited by Jim Fitzgerald; 11-02-2008 at 12:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.
This is a tough one! Your best bet in my opinion is to work on the print. With the soft background of the flowing water it is nearly impossible to get the sharp scratches to blend in. If this negative was mine and I absolutely had to print it, I would make the best possible an enlarged print and then go back to how we did it fifty years ago. The AB air brush and Winsor Newton water color black and white paint. Reproduce the tones surrounding the scratched area and try to get the light and darks of the flowing water to match as close as possible. It is not too difficult, but is time consuming. Once I felt that it was a pretty close match and you had to really look close to see your paint work I would make the best copy negative of the print I could. And make a new print with with the copy neg. You can do several things to soften and hide the retouching on both the copy neg and the new print. This is one area where digital is supreme, with a few minutes using the cloneing tool on the print and you would be done. Remember that anyone viewing the print will most likely never see your air brush work, unless he/she knows in advance that there are blemishes to look for.
Another approach would be to crop the bottom of the print exactly at the top of the first scratch. I know, it's not what you want, but it would be the easiest way to get a display print from this negative. No one but yourself will know that there is a bit of information cropped out. If you are one of those that think your print can only be "Pure" when you include the ugly rebate border, well I will drop it here.
I can't really remember a more difficult negative in all my years playing the picture making game! Good luck!
Last edited by Charles Webb; 11-13-2007 at 12:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: I wanted to add another thought.
Well, Charlie at least it is nice to know that when I blow it I do a really good job! I thought that cropping was the easiest answer but thanks for the air brush ideas. this is an 8x10 contact print and I think cropping would for me be the easiest thing.