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Thread: Flashing Paper

  1. #1
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Something I've been wanting to try is flashing the paper to contract contrast. My idea is to take a small square of transluscent plastic (the type used in lighting fixtures) in the filter drawer of the Beseler. But I have no idea how long to flash for.

    Anyone have any thumbrules or starting advice? I will be using MG paper.

    Second question. Has anyone combined flashing with split contrast exposure?

  2. #2

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    Alex,

    There are several ways of flashing paper. Some even use a device sold by RH Designs. I simply remove the negative carrier from my enlarger and use the enlarger to flash for a time that I have tested and found to be just below exposure threshold. This will depend on how much light leakage you get out of the enlarger with the carrier removed. I don't have much from the Durst. I don't use any diffusion device at all in my preflash work. Since enlarger bulb wattages vary, it is difficult to tell you what times may or may not work for you. I typically find that at F16 and a grade three filter pack in my Durst at 8X10 enlargement that the preflash time will run about 1.6 seconds on JandC Polywarmtone Classic. Other papers are faster then this paper. I would preflash Oriental for 1.2 seconds.

    Insofar as preflashing and split grade printing, yes it would work...I suppose...even though I haven't done it. I typically preflash at a single contrast grade.

  3. #3

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    your diffusion material needs to be below the negative if your leaving it in the enlarger. I use a seperate enlarger with no negative in it but still use a diffuser! For me, that equates to 2secs @ f5.6 with the diffusor on Agfa RC!

  4. #4
    Ka
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    In what circumstance does one "flash"?

    What are the benefits of flashing?

    What will change or be altered?

    I understand how to do it, just not when I should want/need to do so.

    Thanks,
    Ka

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ka
    In what circumstance does one "flash"?

    What are the benefits of flashing?

    What will change or be altered?

    I understand how to do it, just not when I should want/need to do so.

    Thanks,
    Ka
    Preflashing of the paper is a technique that allows one to enhance local contrast and still maintain overall contrast within the parameters of the papers properties.

    I have a couple of images posted in the Critique gallery. Both of those images were preflashed. I wanted to enhance local contrast within the rocks to show texture. If I had not preflashed the paper the ocean would have lost all texture. By preflashing I was able to enhance local contrast and maintain texture in the water.

  6. #6
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
    Anyone have any thumbrules or starting advice? I will be using MG paper.

    Second question. Has anyone combined flashing with split contrast exposure?
    Alex,

    I have dabbled with the flashing concept and MG paper. What I concluded was that with the enlarger lens set 24" above the paper and at f-16 and the lamp (Chromega D II head) at white light, a two second exposure would produce a shade just breaking the surface base white of the paper. You will need to experiment with your own tools but I think you will come out somewhere near my findings.

    When you decide on your flash exposure, make a half-dozen sheets or so and reserve them for use later. Don't make so many that you can't afford to chuck the whole idea later (just my Scottish ancestry talking).

    With a cache of flashed paper it makes no difference what printing technique you use. You are using a 'custom' paper base that will respond to straight printing, split contrast, contact, etc.

    Now, flashing in Texas may be illegal, it is here in NY. Be careful who you flash in front of.

  7. #7

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    I have a simpler method: I use my lighter (zippos or that kind are no good).

    I stand 3m away and lift the lighter on shoulder level. THen I just fire two or three flashes. It works!
    Athens 2004

  8. #8
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    OOOOPPPPS, meant Kansas, not Texas.. sorry.

  9. #9
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    I have an easel densitometer that I use in conjunction with an adjustable light source separate from the enlarger to "while" flash. When I have determined the readings on the easel densitometer for the white and black thresholds for a given exposure time, I adjust the enlarger diaphragm for the shadows and the separate source for the highlight. Both lights are controlled by the enlarger switch, so both are on during the printing exposure, which is why I call it "while" flashing.

    A rather simple light meter should do the trick.
    Gadget Gainer

  10. #10
    lee
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    not Texas.. sorry.


    IN Texas in it legal as long as no one sees it. So in the dark of the darkroom it is perfectly ok.

    lee\c

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