Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,288   Posts: 1,535,359   Online: 758
      
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 42
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,025

    Going white tone blind!

    One of the hardest things in printing IMO is to produce subtle high values without them blowing under lighting or looking leaden... while getting all your other values where you want them. I often find I have to go through the hassel of printing a number of shades, quick washing and then drying to allow me to observe the subtle variations that seem to have a huge effect on the balance of the final print.

    When I print a number of slight variations I often find myself becoming blind to the changes in highlihgt density when observing the wet images in the tray. The ability to distinguish the variations in highlght density comes back when I take time away from the prints and the lights and see them afresh. Does anyone else find they become snow blind when working on prints with lots of high key tones, or bright subtle highlights?

    I often find myself printing lighter and lighter only to find that the later, lighter prints, ended up too light. I invariably find the earlier (more dense) prints (printed according to values ascertained from dried test prints) were spot on and I keep getting led astray by what my eyes tell me when the prints are wet. Note that this is the opposite of drydown i.e. my eyes somehow imagine/see more density than is really there with the wet prints.

  2. #2
    hadeer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    172
    Images
    16
    Wirelessly posted (Palm TX: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D050; Blazer/4.3) 16;320x448)

    I have the experience that the one print that turned out to be the best looked too dark when still in the tray.
    Have you seen the light..?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Western Masstts. USA
    Shooter
    Med. Format RF
    Posts
    273
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth View Post
    I often find myself printing lighter and lighter only to find that the later, lighter prints, ended up too light. I invariably find the earlier (more dense) prints (printed according to values ascertained from dried test prints) were spot on and I keep getting led astray by what my eyes tell me when the prints are wet. Note that this is the opposite of drydown i.e. my eyes somehow imagine/see more density than is really there with the wet prints.
    Sounds like a retinal fatigue factor at work. I don't do this type of wet darkroom printing myself but it sounds like if you took more frequent breaks, in low light conditions, or did fewer prints at a time you might correct this. Wearing deep red filter glasses to re-adapt your eyes might also help.

    Best,

    Rudy
    "Get over it."

  4. #4
    Wade D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Jamul, CA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    881
    Images
    3
    I know what you mean about whites being hard to judge in the darkroom. If there is detail in a white area most of the time it will not be evident in the wet print. Only after the print is dry and viewed in room light will the detail appear. The problem is not the eyes but the subtle variation of tones in the light areas. Much harder to judge than mid or dark tones.

  5. #5
    bill spears's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cornwall England
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    565
    Images
    31
    Yes, this is probably the biggest struggle I too have with my prints. As mentioned above, some highlights don't become visible until after drydown, esp with fibre paper. I've come to expect that my first session when printing new negs will not be succesful and I often trash my prints the following morning ! The second session is usually much better.
    A simple trick I use to judge highlight tone is to snip a small corner off the print border - which is paperbase white - then place it right next to the brightest highlight in the image. Its quite suprising how what looks like a blown high value in the print does actually have some tone in it when you see it next to paperbase white. This works on both wet and dry prints.

    The more you compare and the longer you stare the worse it gets !!!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,025
    I guess it makes sense mathematically. The doubling in density of a very, very light tone still results in a very light tone, so substantial variations are still barely if at all perceptible, whereas add even 10% to a mid tone and it is very obvious. My solution is to make sure all my chemicals are at a stable temperature and to trust my settings derived from prints dried in the airing cupboard/boiler closet. The high key prints often look still too dark in the tray, but end up looking fine when dry and under the right lighting. Its one of those instances when I have to over-ride what my eyes tell me, because normally I am pretty good at assessing wet prints for density.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Western Masstts. USA
    Shooter
    Med. Format RF
    Posts
    273
    So if I understand what's being said here, judging the final tone in high value areas is difficult when viewed in the darkroom and while the the print is wet. Obviously there are skills to be learned through experience and one is to have a paper white strip to compare the highest value areas against. Would having a lamp selected specifically for this purpose help? What about having a standard 18% gray background to place under the lamp and beside the print? Would any of this help to standardize the process?
    "Get over it."

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central NC
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    444
    Quote Originally Posted by rternbach View Post
    So if I understand what's being said here, judging the final tone in high value areas is difficult when viewed in the darkroom and while the the print is wet. Obviously there are skills to be learned through experience and one is to have a paper white strip to compare the highest value areas against. Would having a lamp selected specifically for this purpose help? What about having a standard 18% gray background to place under the lamp and beside the print? Would any of this help to standardize the process?
    The only thing that helped me was to finally come to the understanding that it's nearly impossible to evaluate highlights on a wet print. Once you learn that, you learn to keep good notes and dry the print before trying to evaluate the highlights.

    A lot of people really object to this. It does disrupt the "natural" feedback of darkroom work. It becomes more of a methodical working process and less of an intuitive do-what-feels-right exercise. But it's the only way I know to make the print do what I want it to do and look right on the wall. And for me that takes precedence over everything else.
    Bruce Watson
    AchromaticArts.com

  9. #9
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Toronto-Ontario
    Shooter
    Med. Format RF
    Posts
    4,651
    Images
    14
    A method I use is to flip the print over while wet and see the difference to the paper white to tones within the highlights.
    A well exposed and processed negative that includes a lot of white tones should not be far off when the rest of the image looks good.
    There may be some burning in to do but not as much as one would think.
    A good method that I use and I know Les does as well is to not only burn in the whites with normal grade but as well burn in with grade 5.
    What this does is set the dark tones within the highlight regions to create separation.
    Just burning in with a lower filter will basically IMO muddy the highlights.

    Also if a sky is white with no major drama in the original scene , it is best to let the image land as it should , rather than trying to hammer in sky detail that may not be there.

    Also with this type of clear sky, I will always look at the border where the easel overlays the image and if I can see a faint line that indicates the border then I know there is tone when it drys down

    I think a lot of printers try to over work images and the result is the viewer sees the work which IMO not a good print.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    420
    Images
    3
    When still in the darkroom, you can judge white tones against the border or back of the paper, since those areas will always be as white as possible since they've not been exposed at all. The best thing to do is to take it out in the light and look at it. If you're printing on fiber, you can dry your prints quickly in a microwave.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin