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  1. #1
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    First bit of Dodging and Burning, comments and advice needed

    Hello,

    So I got an image not an interesting one but one thought would be good to practice some darkroom magic on, one image is the original and the other is what I did.

    Please guide me in my work and what else can be done.




  2. #2
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    The burning in the sky looks good, but I would up the contrast of the print to separate some of the midtones in the foreground.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

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  3. #3
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    I did a little from 2 to 2.5 i tried 3.5 but that looked awlful, i lost lots of the sky, i wondered if more local dodging is required, just not sure how much to do?

  4. #4
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    The bottom definitely needs a bit more contrast. If the sky is good, change the overall contrast and do the sky burn at a lower contrast......or just burn the sky more depending on the look you want. I'd also try dodging the buildings slightly to get them to pop a little....although that may not be necessary once you nail the contrast. Getting the contrast right is 80% of all good printing if you ask me.

  5. #5
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    Ok cool i will try that, can i do the sky at one and then everything else at another?

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    Sorry to step back a bit, but I think you should first think about what you would like to see, how you picture this image in your mind. Maybe you want it somewhat soft. Personally, I like the foreground in your second print. Focusing too much on making things crisp and punchy all the time can be misleading. Many people print lanscapes with generally what I now consider to be too much contrast. I think most of us start out that way, and we sometimes confuse soft tonality with flatness. But when I eventually discovered George Tice's prints, I was blown away by his lower contrast style (versus the more "west coast" styles of Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, and their disciples). It totally changed how I printed. Before that, I had always second-guessed myself, first coming up with a print I liked, but then often boosting the contrast a little more to what I thought was more "correct".

  7. #7

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    for years i have become a big fan of
    split filter printing. there is some info on it on les mclean's website
    http://www.lesmcleanphotography.com/...ull&article=21

    you might want to see if it works with your print

    have fun!
    john

  8. #8
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    What is the focal point of the picture? What are you emphasizing with the dodging and burning? Is it the houses? The stone wall? The trees? Once you figure that out, you have the first important piece to planning your printing.

    The print is very flat and definitely in dire need of contrast, especially in everything below the tree line. You also have some problems with film developing on the right side of the frame, so some cropping might be in order to cut out those uneven densities. The sky needs some Grade 4 or 5 burning. The tree line and above could use a small amount of Grade 1 or 2 normal exposure, and then a Grade 5 on top of that. The scene really needs some black!
    You might wish to dodge the houses and the stone wall a bit during the low contrast exposure, and the grass in the foreground doesn't do much for the picture, so if that part was burned in more, your eye would be led into the picture better.
    The right hand side of the print, and the upper left could also be burned in.

    Good luck, keep trying. But ask yourself before you do anything else what elements of the picture would you like to bring focus to! Then plan and experiment.

    - Thomas
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  9. #9
    Shaggysk8's Avatar
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    Interesting thomas thank you, i will get to work i have no idea what i wanted really i just took it for something to work on, but i would like the main focus on the houses i think

  10. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggysk8 View Post
    Interesting thomas thank you, i will get to work i have no idea what i wanted really i just took it for something to work on, but i would like the main focus on the houses i think
    You may find it useful, therefore, to start with a print of just that section of the negative. Adjust your contrast and exposure so that part comes out the way you want it to. Once you have got that in hand, print the entire image using those settings. Most likely, some parts will come out with the wrong exposure and some parts will come out with the wrong contrast.

    Evaluate each part and adjust the exposure and contrast for each part (you may need to do prints of just those parts).

    What you end up building is a picture of how much exposure and how much contrast each part of the scene needs. When you have determined that, put it into the form of a diagram. Then you need to figure out how to put all that different exposure and contrast manipulation onto the same print, using dodging, burning and variable contrast manipulation. It is usually easiest to do that by printing in "layers" - e.g. a basic brief low contrast exposure of the whole, plus low contrast burns of certain sections and higher contrast burns of other sections. For some negatives, it may be easier to get where you are going by dodging parts rather than burning other parts.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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