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  1. #1

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    Paper flashing question

    I've used flashing to get some tone into blown out areas when the rest of the exposure otherwise looks good, however, sometimes other areas, esp skintones get too depressed and lose the nice modeling effects of natural light.

    Short of making a mask, is it possible (or conventional) to flash for a shorter period of time and achieve a better balance?

    For example, my paper flashing threshold is .9 seconds (where tone first appears on my flashing test strip), and I am using .6 seconds (the strip before the .9 seconds one). Will I still get the effects of flashing (and possibly find a better balance) if I decrease the time of the pre-flash, say, to .4 seconds?

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The simple answer is probably yes. My flashing exposures are always done using a second enlarger, and I use the lens stopped well down & flash for 0.5 seconds, sometimes giving 2 flash exposures. In fact the threshold for my paper is 5 flashes, and the most I'd ever give is 3.

    On that basis you are giving quite a heavy flashing exposure, so try 0.2 seconds and 0.4 seconds.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    A couple of links for you:
    Les McLean on Flashing and Fogging
    and also check RH Designs on the same subject, where there's also additional info in the links provided on that page, e.g. the manual for that device.

    //Bj÷rn

  4. #4

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    It would be good to make yourself a flash test-stip pattern. Start from 0.1 and advance to 0.6 with F 11 for example.

    From there you will be able to judge your flashing better. Remember of course that flashing time wary from different papers.
    Last edited by VesaL; 06-28-2008 at 12:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    glbeas's Avatar
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    It would be good to use a large sheet stepped in one direction with a flash exposure and stepped in small increments the other direction with a suitable image to see how the two exposures interact. Center the image steps around a "proper" exposure for the mid and dark tones.
    Gary Beasley

  6. #6
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    I use a small flashlight with the light diffused with masking tape for flashing small areas of a print.

  7. #7
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Flashing for fractions of a second? I think that the startup and turnoff of the bulb would introduce some error because of those short periods of time. That would account for inconsistency. I use the RH Designs flasher (expensive but works well) and usually have flash times of 10-15 seconds depending on paper and enlarger height (the flasher is mounted to my lens board).

    Apart from the selective flashing with the flashlight device noted earlier, you can dodge parts of the print that you do not want affected by the flashing exposure.
    Jerold Harter MD

  8. #8

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    I have been using fog masks which I learned from a contrast masking kit with great success. It's easy to locally flash very detailed areas of the photograph without affecting other areas. Works beautifully for me. I used to use other flashing techniques but this is much more controllable and accurate. Lyn Radeka has some information about it at www.maskingkits.com. The other kinds of masks are really helpful too. The flashlight with the diffused light works good for very broad simple flashing in a pinch.

  9. #9
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    Flashing for fractions of a second? I think that the startup and turnoff of the bulb would introduce some error because of those short periods of time. That would account for inconsistency. I use the RH Designs flasher (expensive but works well) and usually have flash times of 10-15 seconds depending on paper and enlarger height (the flasher is mounted to my lens board).

    Apart from the selective flashing with the flashlight device noted earlier, you can dodge parts of the print that you do not want affected by the flashing exposure.
    I agree with jerold...

    I was working on a print this afternoon which needed some extra highlight detail. I liked the tones on the face and wedding dress, so flashed the print with a 00 filter for 2 seconds and dodged the face during the flash.

  10. #10

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    Pre or post flash? Makes a difference which you use, and you can even use them in combination to really fine tune your print. Dodging, as Gary pointed out, is very easy to do.

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