dodging / burning
Does anybody know of any books or guides that deal in detail with dodging & burning. Most of the books I 've looked at seem to give the subject 2-4 pages and leave it at that...I seem to plough through sheet after sheet of paper and, though I make progress, I'm never really satisfied with results.
Last night I was trying to burn in some areas of window in order to remove distracting reflections - I'd get one bit right, then another bit would look wrong, and so on...I suppose I'd really need to spend some time in a darkroom with someone who knew what they were doing, failing that soem in-depth literature would be a start.......Any idea ?
Negs are 35mm b/w, using Ilford Multigrade 500 enlarger, variable contrast rc paper....
I’ve never seen any more than you have indicated. Obviously practice makes perfect. One tip is to make sure your exposure times are long enough to give you time to make the burn or dodge.
Originally Posted by lewis
I’m sure you’ll get tons of tips here.
Do some research on Masking. You may find it helpful.
and read up on print flashing...
try larry bartlett's book " Black and WHite photographic printing workshop".
ALso, burning and dodging is all about pratice,pratice, and more pratice.
and post exposure fogging.
Originally Posted by Nige
Have you checked out Les McLean's book "Creative Black & White Photography"?
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Always record your times for areas burned and dodged so the results can be repeated. Also, to save paper you might try working with half or quarter sheets placed just in the areas that needed work until you get a good time for that area, then do the next area. Once you have the time for each area right, you can combine those steps into a full sheet work print and see how it looks. Sometimes this helps and sometimes it does not give a representative result because you can't compare tonal values in the whole print. If this gives you trouble, try making a straight print and place each test paper on the straight print to get an idea of the values in relation to the whole.
Another thing I have found to cause problems is short exposure times. I find that it is easier to work with somewhat longer times when I have to do a lot of burning or dodging. It seems to help to have a 5 or 10 second burn rather than a 1 second burn and with longer total exposure times you can get more manageable adjustment times.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for the suggestions - looks like more practice is in order. One of the problems I had was that I was trying to burn in areas that had 3 well defined sharp edges and 1 blurred soft edge - so I didn't know whether to hold the shape I was using still or not ( if that makes sense).
Then I'd get one area darker - and the composition / balance of the pic looked odd, so I'd try and do another. So, it's what to do and how to do it that I need to work on.
you always move the dodging tool, regardless of a sharp edge vs a blurred one.
Trying moving up and down, i.e towards the lens and away, rather than side ways.
The shape you are using , what is it attached too? ALso, it should have blurred edges as well, not well defined.
Just to confuse the issue a bit more...
Are you using a piece of cardboard with a hole, or holes cut in it for burning small areas of the print? Is the bottom, or the side of the cardboard facing the paper flat black? If it isn't, while you're burning an area to perfection the light can bounce off of the paper to the bottom of the card, then bounce back to the paper to lower the print values around the area you're burning. The area around the enlarger can bounce light back on the paper during a long sky burn as well if it's of a light colour. ARGGGGG!
Some people tear or cut their paper into pieces in the size and shape of areas they're working on. Then you can fit the pieces together like a puzzle and quickly compare the effect different dodging and burning sequences has on the image.
Good luck, and have fun
Although time-consuming, doing an overlay with tracing paper on which you mark the areas needing adjustment and label them with the adjustment factor, may help. Then, looking at the overlay and the + or - times will often suggest a plan of how to approach the sequence.
Another element to remember is that the vertical placement of the dodging/burning tool in relation to the print affects the character of the edges - farther away from the print produces a softer edge, closer makes the edges more distinct.
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