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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by L Gebhardt View Post
    I've been using a technique developed by Alan Ross (as far as I know) to make masks.
    I've done this a couple times too, and I found it worked really well also.
    Kirk

    For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!

  2. #22
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Hi Larry

    This sounds like a newer version of contour mapping technique that has been around for quite a long time. I have a book from the 70"s that shows this method.
    Contour Mapping as described in a book I have is laying a sheet of frosted mylar directly over the negative and then cutting out other frosted mylar to the shape that needs to be dodged with a bit of practice a perfect balance would eventually be achieved. This was used for printing editions with precise repeatablity. Each cut out piece is laid on top of each other which looks like a contour map when finished.
    The negative and mask is then put into the enlarger and a print is made with no dodging.

    I have been following this thread and did not mention contour mapping as the OP observations lead to the possibliity of burning in as well as dodging which contour mapping or inkjet mask would not allow you to do. You still have to manually burn in the highlight areas for effect.
    I guess you could make the print for highlight only region only and use the mask for dodging out everything else but I think this would not be practical.

    Quote Originally Posted by L Gebhardt View Post
    I've been using a technique developed by Alan Ross (as far as I know) to make masks. Start with a low res digital scan. make selections and fill them in with black on a separate layer. Adjust the opacity to get the right density on the mask. Print on transparency film at actual size. Place above the negative with a thin diffusion layer between. All the benefits of the high tech enlarger approach, but with minimal cost (assuming you own a cheap scanner, printer and computer). You can also print with yellow or magenta to control contrast in small areas.

    I had been making masks for a while with pencil on frosted mylar, but the computer makes this much more precise. It's amazing how well this works.

  3. #23

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    My choice of words was inappropriate. I should not have used the words "dodge" or "burn" because "masking" is closer to the correct terminology. The idea is to make precisely repeatable prints that don't require any physical intervention such as manual dodging, burning, masking, etc., so the methods L. Gebhardt and Bob Carnie outlined will produce similar results, especially Gebhardt's (Ross'?). The difference is that the controls go straught from the computer to the printer light source with no steps in between. Now that I've thought about it I realize it's a far-fetched idea... far too complicated and pricey to fool with. I feel silly mentioning now except this did bring attention to the Ross technique of masking of which I was unaware until now. I'll read up on it though. Sounds intriguing.

    Digi-haters please stop reading... I've been using a similar method of masking on multiple layers for many years combined with multiple adjustment layers using curves, hue/sat, etc. One can create either hard-edged fills or feather any amount necessary. Black fills for burning and color fills for altering hue... some interesting results by using differing layer transparency types... sometimes useful for unhancing sunsets or other colorful areas. At any rate, I never thought of making optical masks this way for use in analog/optical printing. That's just kewl. The only down side I can see is losing the minute detail of the mask. It will take a little different approach than before... keeping the blurring effect in mind.
    Last edited by Mike1234; 12-02-2009 at 09:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #24
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I am not especially fond of the print-to-transparency step used by some methods. Yes it works, but it's quite pricey. Maybe I should try vellum.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #25
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    You can disassemble a cheap old LCD panel so that it's a transparent panel with no backlight or anythng behind it. You can then put that above the print; its height will mean it's just out of focus. That would allow you to do arbitrary contrast masking cheaply and repeatably since old 17" panels are regularly discarded, particularly when their backlight fails...

  6. #26

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    A mini-lab system of about 10 years ago already did what some posters are suggesting. It was during the transition from optical to digital printing exposures that Agfa came out with a "digital mini-lab".

    Basically, Agfa put a transparent LCD image display between the light source and negative. This was used for automated masking, to correct deficiencies in the neg. Basically, it was similar to L Gebhart's method (low res scan, printed onto transparency film, use as mask) except that this mask could be immediately changed for every neg, at normal, automated mini-lab printing speed.

    It seemed like an ideal method, but it became obsolete with the adoption of full digital exposure.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    You can disassemble a cheap old LCD panel so that it's a transparent panel with no backlight or anythng behind it. You can then put that above the print; its height will mean it's just out of focus. That would allow you to do arbitrary contrast masking cheaply and repeatably since old 17" panels are regularly discarded, particularly when their backlight fails...
    Ahh... okay so one uses the monitor as a mask with an external light source. Very interesting... I can see how this would work for contact prints but wouldn't this affect enlarged print sharpness?

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    I have been following this thread and did not mention contour mapping as the OP observations lead to the possibliity of burning in as well as dodging which contour mapping or inkjet mask would not allow you to do. You still have to manually burn in the highlight areas for effect.
    Actually both the frosted mylar and inkjet mask technique do allow for burning. You can cut holes into a sheet of frosted mylar over the areas to be burned, and for the inkjet, you make the mask to have a base grey over the neg and then you add density to the base grey for dodging as mentioned above, and subtract density for the areas to be burned. The amount of burn is dependant on the density of the base grey used.

    Also, if you want to get fancy, you can use yellow and magenta ink to print adjust contrast when using VC paper.

    The only issue I find is that it increases exposure times by several stops.
    Kirk

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  9. #29
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Kirk
    You are absolutely right, why I didn't think of that vexes me.
    Bob
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Keyes View Post
    Actually both the frosted mylar and inkjet mask technique do allow for burning. You can cut holes into a sheet of frosted mylar over the areas to be burned, and for the inkjet, you make the mask to have a base grey over the neg and then you add density to the base grey for dodging as mentioned above, and subtract density for the areas to be burned. The amount of burn is dependant on the density of the base grey used.

    Also, if you want to get fancy, you can use yellow and magenta ink to print adjust contrast when using VC paper.

    The only issue I find is that it increases exposure times by several stops.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    I'm not as worried about pixelation as posterization of the tone emitted by the screen. If the tone curve of the mask isn't smooth then the silver paper will emphasize that for sure. My point is just that with dithering any tone can be rendered, even in the very worst case of only 1-bit white or black screen pixels.

    Anyway... it just has to be tried
    Gotcha, I see what you mean now.

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