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Thread: burn and dodge

  1. #1
    marciofs's Avatar
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    burn and dodge

    These are two of the 5 prints I made on ART 300.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Based on your experience, is it worth trying to reduce the highlights of the first one. It seems that if I try it will not be easy to make it looks nicer and I will end up trhoughing many paper out.

    The second one seems to be easier but I wonder if doing so, the hight lights behind the tree leaves will not match on the highlights of the open sky, which may look odd.

    What would you do?

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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I'd flash the paper to reduce the contrast. Helps keep the highlights from being burnt out.

    Ian

  3. #3
    marciofs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    I'd flash the paper to reduce the contrast. Helps keep the highlights from being burnt out.

    Ian
    Like 1/10 sec flash???

  4. #4
    ann
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    You have to test the paper to see just how much pre flash needs to be done.

    Doubtful 1/1o will do much.

    Have you ever preflashed before?
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

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    marciofs, to do a proper flash as Ian suggests, you need to do a test strip first to determine the flash time. What you are usually trying to do with a flashing exposure is give the maximum amount of exposure without creating any density/tone (ie the developed and fixed paper should still be white) before the main image exposure.

    Another thing you might want to do first is make some very low contrast test prints so that you can see what detail the negative contains in those highlights, particularly in the grasses in the first image.

    Regarding your second question, these are challenges often encountered in printing, and there is nothing wrong with having to do some work. It can take pracitice and time to make good prints from difficult negatives. You need to use burning, dodging and other controls carefully so that they are hidden in the final print.

    You can also learn something from these images about negative exposure/development control, which can help to make future negatives a little easier.

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    Don't give up so quickly if you like the image. See what information is in the negative first, then figure out how to get it onto the print. Start with contrast adjustments, burning and dodging, and flashing. Then proceed to more complex procedures such as masking if required.

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noacronym View Post
    What I see is basically unsalvageable. Presuming the sky was blue, a filter SHOULD have been used. I wouldn't flash the paper--that would only look like a fogged print. Making a masking negative would do the trick better than any burn/dodge. That might get your sky back, unless it's so far over the curve shoulder there's nothing there.
    Quite the opposite, flashing is ideal for images like this. Flashing paper doesn't look remotely like a fogged print either, you need to see the technique in use.

    Ian

  8. #8
    marciofs's Avatar
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    I have never pre flash but I can practice doing small prints on a cheap paper to see how it can helps.

    On the sky there is no information. But if I can make it looks light gray instead of white it would be nicer.

    I actually used a yellow filter to take this photograph, to give some contrast the greens and brown tones of the leaves and trees.

    To be honest, I actually don't know how I could save the sky texture in a such contrasty scene.

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    These lighting conditions are not very difficult to manage. You just need to adjust exposure/development, and practice printing. Most current films can easily accomodate this kind of contrast. Also keep in mind, even if you don't need to get tone in the sky, flashing could still help details which extend into the sky - for example the branches coming down into the frame on the top right side of the second image.

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    Flashing the paper is not difficult and as mentioned making a sheet as a test strip of the paper you intend to use would be necessary. It should be completely processed, washed and dry and kept as a reference. If there is no detail in the negative flashing will not produce any. I don't know what equipment or what your metering technique is but if available a spot meter is helpful. Also there is a filter type viewer (sort of a brownish color) that will eliminate colors so you can see the relative values of the scene and decide whither or not you want a filter. If it was a bald sky the only way to add them would be to build a library of cloud negatives and print them in ala Jerry Ueslmann. If the grass was dry and somewhat yellow that would cause it to be "lighter" in the print. Learning to split print with contrast filters or a variable contrast light source can help in many difficult situations.

    A frequent APUG contributor Ralph Lambert has written an excellent reference book "Beyond Monochrome" that would be worthwhile getting.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
    .

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