Do you burn or do you change contrast locally?
I normally dodge and burn my prints, but I have the feeling that when doing so will not improve the print as I want it to.
For instance, if I burn the print, if I use the same filter, the whitness will be more gray on that area (since it will get more light).
I'm wondering how you do it. Do you just dodge/burn and don't care if the whitness gets affected? Or do you change to (if we go back to the burn-example) a higher filter so the burn only affects the dark areas?
Or do you locally change the contrast?
If you are using variable contrast paper instead of making one exposure through a single filter of the correct grade you can make two exposures
without a filter and
with the filter at the other end of the scale
If you burn in and hold back different in the two exposures then one can get more control.
While you figure out how to do this to your satisfaction one can use up a box and it is real difficult to make enough notes.
If you are burning in you do need to stay away from 'white areas', try using two masks.
P.S. it is real difficult to get a print the way you want it.
Usually I change the filtration Marcus. However, be bold, as the effect of raising contrast filtration may be less than you expect, due to the exposure you have already given.
Originally Posted by brummelisa
If you want to locally shift contrast try holding the area back throughout the first exposure and burning it back in with a higher or lower contrast. It's easier than you might think and with little practice becomes quite seamless. You then get the full effect of the filtration you use for the burn in.
Also, don't forget that you can adjust contrast with bleach
I think you'll get varied answers here, burning with a harder grade filter may do the trick for you, likewise using a softer filter for the opposite reason. My enlarger makes it difficult to change filters without disturbing the enlarger, so holding the filter beneath the lens might be an option, or placing a filter over the opening of your burning tool. Also remember that before VC paper came along this technique wasn't possible.
The filter trick is a good one, but maybe now it's time to start playing with potassium ferricyanide, or ferry as it's affectionately referred to. This is a print bleach that eats silver density. The density loss effects all areas equally, but is much more noticeable in the highlights as, obviously, this is the area of least density. You may even find it useful in addition to split grade printing.
There are two separate methods. One is to apply a solution of ferry till just before you see the tone you want, quick rinse, and drop in hypo. The hypo, or sodium thiosulfate, neutralizes the ferry and stops the bleaching action. The print is then ready for archival processing. The second method involves a solution know, under Kodak's proprietary name, as Farmers Reducer, and is available prepackaged from Kodak. It' a FRESH made solution of potassium ferricyanide and sodium thiosulfate together, though you still bleach-hypo-wash, as above. The advantage(?) is that WYSIWYG, the disadvantage(!) is that if you go too far with this bleach the density is gone forever, ie, you make another print. Farmers reducer must be used immediately, because while the hypo in the solution is removing silver, hence the WYSIWYG, it's also neutralizing the ferry, becoming less and less effective.
If you use your ferry separate from the hypo, as I think most people do, you have the major advantage of redeveloping lost density if desired.
Sounds like magic right?
Last edited by MMfoto; 01-11-2008 at 01:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Thanks all. I know that I can hold back the white areas, but usually they can be very small (like grass or something) and then I have to change the contrast locally.
So my main question is really how do you do it (and some of you have already answered me).
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There are a number of ways of burning in at different contrasts Marcus and you are getting a variety of answers already. I understood from your question that you wanted to burn in and at the same time raise contrast, right? A more detailed description of the print and problem might help us here.
Originally Posted by brummelisa
You mention grass. This is a little different to burning in a highlight area like, say, sky. If you want to darken the grass overall, and yet make the light grasses stand out whilst darkening the darker areas, you need to raise contrast in that area.
This will be hard to do by just burning in, even on Gr 5, because you have tones already laid down by the first exposure.
If I have sussed your problem correctly you would be better off holding back the grass during all of the (say) Gr 2 1st exposure and then burning it back on Gr 5.
Alternatively, using a bleach (ferricynaide - it's not as dangerous as it sounds!) which acts on the light areas preferentially. For this application (if I guess your needs correctly) use strongish, swab on and hose off swiftly and repeat as required. this will slowly lighten the lighter grasses without affecting the darker ones, i.e. expanding local contrast. You can't due this by dodging grass stems, they are too fine. It does take a little practice though.
I would certainly recommend what Tim has suggested, and that is bleach the areas that are almost impossible to 'hold back' during printing.
For this I favour an iodine bleacher over ferri.
Iodine Bleacher for prints:
iodine 4 gm.
potassium iodine 15 gm.
water to make up to 1 litre.
Remove the brown iodine stain with 30% sodium thiosulphate (hypo) solution.
Wash print well.
This stock solution keeps for years.
You can always dilute the iodine solution further if it is too active.
For lightening small areas I apply using cotton buds. When the desired result is achieved swob the area with the 'hypo', then wash print well. Practice on spare prints.
Yes, I was going to say ferri as well, or blodlutsalt, as we say in Sweden... I just found out about using it without fixer during last session and it will raise contrast. A good way to use it if you don't have a hose is to have quite a large tray with clean water that you tilt so the print is out of the water. Then you can just set down the tray to wash away the ferri.
I think split contrast printing technique helps alot to naturally take care of these situations without alot of tedium.
For situations like grass, don't forget filters during the film exposure, e.g. using a deep green filter to lighten the values in the print.
Bleaching is fun but slow and sometimes difficult to reproduce in multiple prints.
Yes, 'Xmas' raised this point too. Split grade printing is great for getting your filtration and exposure matched to the negative and gives you the best 'correct' starting point, so any D&B manipulations you make thereafter are 'interpretive' rather than 'rescue'.
Originally Posted by jeroldharter
However, it doesn't give you a filtration that you couldn't get (if you knew what it was) by dialling it in, although it will give you more control than half grade filters.
however, it also allows you a second level of control for local contrast adjustment, as you can choose to dodge during either the Gr00 exposure or the Gr5, thus altering the ration of the 2 filters exposed to the dodged area, thus lighteneing and shifting contrast up or down simultaneously.
There really is no point in using anything but the 2 extremes of filtration for this though. It will give you everything in between (this is the basis of the Heiland split grade unit). Using 'no filter' and a filter just narrows the range available to you.
The point about bleaching is that it is a different tool and can do what split grading cannot do, so each have their place and can complement each other.