I was skimming through some back issues of "B&W" magazine (October 2001 page 96) and was reading the spotlight segment on Larry Wiese. In it, he briefly mentions the process of split printing in combination with a "diffusion printing" technique. I'm interested in knowing what that process is, if anybody could elaborate in a somewhat detailed fashion I would appreciate it, since there is no real explanation of it in the article.
"The difference between a very good
print and a fine
print is quite subtle and difficult , if not impossible, to describe in words."
---AA (The Print
I think I read that article. If I remember Larry Wiese's work properly then I think what is meant is to diffuse the light from the enlarger during part of the exposure. There are different methods to do that. Some people use a soft focus filter under the enlarger lens, others smear vaseline over a clear filter... anything that diffuses the image can be used. I personally use a stretched nylon stocking close to the enlarger lens when I want to diffuse an image.
A method you can try is as follows
Using the 00 and the 5 filter only
Black nylon stocking
1. negative with striking blacks
using the 00 filter establish a good density, slightly lighter than normal
using the 5 filter placing the black stocking over the lens blast exposure untill you have an effect you like
2. negative with striking highlights
using the 5 filter establish a good black exposure, print will be extremely contrasty .
using the 00 filter placing the black stocking over the lens blast exposure untill
you have and effect you like
In both cases one element of the image will be sharp and another element will be diffused and ( dreamylike)
# 2 method is used alot by fashion printers to smooth out skin detail but still keep the eyes sharp
try both methods and have fun
What bob said...although note that not all black stockings are alike...I had to mess around a bit (well you know what I mean) to find a stocking that had the transmission properties I liked. I settled on "victoria's secret, black essence". You also might want to try a water tray development as well as a way of gradually fine tuning the contrast. My approach with this has never been to overtly create diffusion but to create a kind of other wordly feeling...In essece one of the methods (kindly described by Bob) above, creates a feeling of the blacks folding into the highlights and the other method kind of creates a glow in the highlights while maintaining convincing blacks. This technique is one that has become a way of working for me, especially recently with my pinhole and zoneplate work.
please explain more
i am sorry i find this very interesting but i am not really sure i understand the steps of the method you are both describing, i'm sure it is simple for most people here but i dont quite get it.
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What I am describing is a method to produce prints with an effect that the blacks spread/diffuse/cream/ and the highlights remain sharp
an effect that the highlights spread/diffuse / cream and the blacks remain sharp
This is done with two filters and using a stocking, diffusion sheet, vaselineon glass or pictrol diffusion unit.
the print exposure is divided between two separate exposures
Using the two very different filters 00 or 5 place the diffusion beween the lens and paper for one of the exposures. This will create an effect some photographers and printers find charming.
The effect will be different depending upon the filter the diffusion goes under.
does this mean that you make two diffeent exposure on the one piece of paper (one with 00 and one with 5) that together is adding to make density that you want or only one exposure with either the 00 or the 5 filter, each having different result depending on what you are trying to do. sorry my english is tired tonight.
you are correct the two different exposures are on the same paper and combined you adjust the densitys to get a print you like
Well done Katja...once again what Bob said... BTW...Another person to checkout if anybody here like's Larry wiese's work...is Czech Photographer Pavel Banka...his portfolio from his stay in Oregon is very nice.
what about if i am using graded paper,which i mostly use. is this only working for VC papers or can i do something like this with also graded papers? also i went to look at website for larry wiese and i love his work, i would like to see more of it up close.