Dodging Methods - S.O.S
I've got this beautiful portrait of a young girl. Exposure was set at 30 sec, contrast #2. There were however 3 areas on the print where dodging was required. After numerous work prints, I determined optimum dodging times to be as follows:
Area A: 15 sec
Area B & C: 5 sec (each)
Area D: 5 sec
Total Dodging Time: 30 sec
I found myself scrambling to juggle dodging wands during the 30 second exposure! I thought about increasing the aperture but dodging time relationships would remain unchanged. I also thought to break up the base exposore into 3 or 4 bursts - but then thought that might change my tones.
I'm sure with some practice I can hone my dodging want juggling skills, but I'm thinking there's gotta be an easier (and less nerve racking) way to go about this. After all, what do you do when you've got more then 4 areas to dodge? Grow more arms?!
What size negative are you working with?
There is a technique called "dye dodging" in which you use a small brush to apply a dye to the back of the film. The dye functions just like a dodging wand, except that once the dye has been applied, the negative can be printed many times with the same doding effect.
Obviously, this trick works best with larger format negatives - certainly roll film, and preferably sheet film. It also is helpful to tape a sheet of clear (undeveloped but fixed and washed) film to the back of the negative - that way, if you aren't happy with the results, you can simply remove the dyed film to get back to the starting point.
You can use ordinary spotting dyes for this purpose, but it's helpful to use colored dyes instead if you are printing on variable contrast paper. A yellow dye gives a lower contrast dodge, while a magenta dye gives a higher contrast dodge. Dr. Martin's watercolor dyes work well.
No, you don’t need more arms; fortunately, just a little planning.
My approach is to split the exposures to cover the various dodging actions. I have a base exposure followed by whatever number is required to complete the required dodging and/or burning actions required. It may total 10 or more seperate exposures. I try to arrange a base exposure that is around 10 seconds, and, if possible also use this same time (or multiples) for each of the other actions. I find any time shorter than 10 seconds does not give me sufficient time to get into position, although my RH timer footswitch is a great help.
I use essentially the same approach as Dave.
So, translating that to your situation, it might mean a base exposure of 15 seconds with dodging area A, followed by another 15 second exposure in which areas B, C, and D each receive 5 seconds of dodging.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
I reverse everything:
In a case like that, I would reduce the base exposure to 15 seconds dodging nothing. Then 5 seconds more on everything but A&B, 5 on everything but A&C, and the last 5 seconds on everything but A&D.
I might decide to one of the areas with dodging during a 20 second base exposure, but that would depend on the shape of he areas.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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I agree with Ole. I don't think I described my work method too clearly. I tend to prefer burning to dodging. I only dodge small or intricate areas, and then often using acetate or card masks masks. Also I like to work a sequence out that is repeatable.
That's how I'd do it as well. More burn, less dodge.
Originally Posted by Ole
This makes sense, in theory.
Originally Posted by Dave Miller
But how would split-burst printing affect the final print? I know that the important highlights print to my satisfaction when given 30 sec of consecutive exposure. How would these, if at all, be affected by split bursts? (I do recall reading something somewhere on this very issue, can't place it now)
I've replied to Ole's method to which you've subscribed in a later reply. I may not be understanding what Ole's saying as I don't see how that would be possible in this case.
Given the scenario I initially posted to this thread -
Originally Posted by Ole
It seems I'd have an easier time focusing on dodging one area rather then 2 areas simoultaneously. If I had my scanner hooked up this might be a bit easier to explain.
The photo is essentially a "headshot", going down to include the shoulders, collar bones and ending just above the breasts. Area "A" is the corner-and-semi-circle to the left of the model's head. The area was darker then that on the right - dodging for 15 secs serves to equalize the tones.
Areas "B" & "C" are the model's eyes. Everything works well printed at contrast #3 except for the eyes. I have a tiny-tipped dodging want that works quite nicely. Each of the eyes (or rather, center of the eyes) needs 4-5 sec of dodging.
Area "D" is the model's hair as it falls on the shadow-side of her shoulders and top-chest. Dodging for 5 seconds in a straight up-and-down line brings out some textured highlights adding a nice accent.
Given the above, I think i'd be quite difficult (for me at least) to juggle areas simoultaneously.
As for "preffering to burn in", I'm not sure I understand how that works either. I see dodging & burning as complimentary, not either-or. And burning in is cake - no time limits and much more stress-free!
As someone else mentioned, dye dodging the negative solves all of this convoluted maneuvering.