Unsharp mask + Postflash
Kind of my first (actually second) post here. I've just found out about APUG by chance a couple of weeks ago and have so far been lurking mostly
Anyway - the first thing I read, and thought interesting, and tried, and the result totally blew me away, was the unsharp masking technique. I had some left-over orthochromatic continuous tone film and just tried it.
I actually made the mask quite blurry - I seperated the (6x7) negative about 1/4" from the film using a glass plate from a picture frame. Because I didn't have proper "diffusing" material I used an empty sheet of glossy inkjet paper - works perfectly.
Even just the mask made it sooooo much easier to get really good shadow tonality/separation/whateveryoucallit, and instead of a foggy grade 1,5 print I could suddenly make a punchy grade 3 print and still maintain details in the highlights ... well, I still couldn't do without burning, but everything was that much easier.
And - the reason for this thread, anyway - I found out that postflashing works very well if you leave the unsharp mask in place and take out the negative ... obviously, because you're now effectively dodging the appropriate areas during the flashing!!!
And another thing - to make registration of the negative/mask easier, I found it best to
(1) blue-tack the unsharp mask to the top (or bottom, whatever you want) of the negative carrier
(2) now registration of the negative is a piece of cake
(3) and the blue-tack nicely holds the mask in place in case you need to post-flash.
I just thought I'd post that because I haven't seen this bit of info anywhere ... considering the size of APUG it probably is somewhere to be found but maybe somebody else will get something out of this info just as I did when I found out about the unsharp mask.