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  1. #31
    PeterB's Avatar
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    Thanks for explaining that Patrick. Why would Ross write that "it does NOT work with condenser enlargers" ?

  2. #32

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    The usual technique requires a piece of diffusing plexi above the negative (between the negative and the mask) so that the pencil patterns aren't in focus. That effectively turns your condenser system into a diffusion system.

  3. #33
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    So does that mean this technique works fine with a condenser enlarger as long as you have that plexi glass in place ? i.e. Ross' statement I quoted above needed some qualifying.

  4. #34

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    I have his kit at home so I could check later as I can't recall offhand whether there were other reasons. But you could also drop him an email directly. In my experience he's always been very helpful answering questions.

    He had originally written about all this in a series in Photo Techniques.

    The diffusing plexi allows for more versatility as in addition to pencil/ink dodging you can also stack several plain sheets of mylar/other with shapes cut out in progressive size (think contour map) to do graduated burns.

    You can also apply these techniques directly at the paper plane.

    I suggest getting the articles from Alan if you are new to this technique. He includes detailed examples and tips/tricks.
    Last edited by Michael R 1974; 10-24-2013 at 08:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #35

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    Patrick - good example!

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    But you could also drop him an email directly. In my experience he's always been very helpful answering questions.
    Thanks Michael. I've sent him an enquiry from the bottom of the this webpage of his having the article on selective masking.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Patrick - good example!
    I agree. Really illustrates the technique well.

    Only slightly off topic, but a similar technique can be used for paper negatives. It's been years since I've done them but, I often used pencil on the back of paper negatives, before making the positive, for the same reason.

  8. #38

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    So purely from an analog standpoint. Could you take a peice of frosted mylar (or even thin paper), and draw your mask on the enlarged image, then place your mask directly on top of the paper for your dodge or burn exposure?

  9. #39

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    I would not suggest putting the mask directly on the paper. There are a few reasons. 1) Your pencil drawing/shading is not perfectly uniform in density so any patterns or variations will might show through in the print, even if the medium is frosted - although you can always try it and if it works, go with it. 2) Most frosted media have some texture, blotchiness or non-uniform density anyway. Some experimentation with materials is generally required to find the most uniform, featureless surface. Duratrans and some other materials I've tested work well.

    In the end the easiest way is often to use a piece of diffusing plexi on the printing paper and then put tha mask on top. This gives you some more flexibility in terms of the masking materials you can use. It also provides more diffusion so that the pencil shading is smoother.

    Alternatively, instead of plexi, if you have uniform density masking sheets you can use a plain sheet as a spacer, or several sheets depending on how much diffusion you want.

    There are many ways of doing this and it basically comes down to experimenting and finding what works for you and whatever keeps it as simple as possible.

    Paper plane masking can be done in a variety of ways.

  10. #40

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    It's easy to turn a condenser light source into a diffused one. But you do need scattered light for most masking purposes. For diffusion sheet in contact with film I prefer 5-mil mylar, frosted on both sides. You can buy it in big sheets or rolls. Inspect cut sheets of it on a light box for any blemishes before using them. But don't use acetate or thin mylar, which will easily kink. It's a bit of a pain to register film with masking over the lightbox, but OK for learning purposes. Once you get serious, it is wise to invest in a punch and register system. Large format sheet film is obviously the easiest to work with, and flimsy 120 roll film the worst.

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