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  1. #1

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    Help with burning in sky

    I need help with burning in nearly non-existent sky....

    I have an image where bottom half is properly printed using 2 1/2 at 18 seconds. When I do this, the sky is nearly a featureless patch of highlight. I tried burning this in quite a bit using the same filter and I got a little. I need more.

    Question is....
    Do I burn this in using less contrasty filter or more contrasty filter? Or - does it make any difference and is this just a function of time I spend burning this portion?

    My understanding is, higher numbered filter defines darker black and this sky is white, so I should go lower? But this is counter intuitive....

    HELP!
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    The filter that would give you the shortest burn time would be the one that exposes both VC layers equally, or no filter at all. However, IMO you should not worry too much about burning time, and think more about what sort of contrast you want in the burned area. For the burning, you should use whatever filter gives you the desired contrast there. This is one of the beauties of VC paper; you can use different filters to print different parts of the picture. Do some test strips for just the sky, using your initial exposure with the 2.5 filter, and following with second exposures, starting by using the 2.5 filter. If you do not like the contrast when you finally get the exposure where you want it, keep making test strips using different filters and times, never forgetting to give the initial exposure with the 2.5 filter. Eventually, you will find the perfect combination, and make the full print using the same times and filters.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 11-28-2010 at 09:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

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  3. #3
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    Considerably AWOL at the present time...

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  4. #4

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    David,

    Will you please elaborate on your advise of using 00? I've tried using #4 and the effect was less than that of #2.5 so going opposite makes sense but I would like to understand why.

    2F/2F

    This is pretty much a featureless sky with just some cloud. So contrast isn't really a problem in this particular instance. I just burned it in for 4 minutes and got something.....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #5
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    The reason the 4 filter takes longer is because the four filter exposes the high contrast layer more in relation to the low contrast layer (and the filter is also just plain darker), so you lose some overall paper speed. In addition, the increased magenta blocks more light overall than a 2.5; this would require an exposure change even if there was no speed change. The same would apply with lower filters. In that case you would lose speed by cutting the high contrast layer's exposure in relation to the low contrast layer's. The effect is not as extreme in this case, however, because reducing magenta lets more overall light through, which tends to compensate.

    If you like what you are getting with a 2 or 2.5 filter, try the burn with no filter, and opening up the lens for the burn if necessary.

    No matter what you do with filters and such, the most sensible step number one will be to make a test strip that gives you exactly what you want in the sky.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  6. #6
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    Wide open enlarger lens at f/2.8, no filter will burn the fastest. Test strip/exposure mask as said above is the best way to know.
    Harry Pulley - Visit the BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE FORUM

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  7. #7
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    Photo Techniques magazine had a good article on this in the latest issue.
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  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    1) try flashing the paper; and
    2) burn using the lower contrast filter.

    If you don't see any detail in the sky when you print the negative normally, it is most likely that there isn't much recorded there anyway. So in essence, what you are doing mostly is making it darker, not causing the sky and the clouds to be more differentiated.

    As a matter of comparison, if you have a good negative with lots of detail and differentiation in the sky, but it isn't showing in the print because of how you are dealing with the rest of the subject (e.g. something backlit) than you can effectively use higher contrast in the burn, if you wish.
    Last edited by MattKing; 11-29-2010 at 12:00 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling
    Matt

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  9. #9

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    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
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  10. #10
    ROL
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    I doubt contrast adjustments alone will get you far. Burning skies to desired tonalities frequently requires anywhere between 100 and 500 (or more) percent of your base exposures, and is almost always the major part of your time under the enlarger. Assuming the negative was exposed sufficiently to actually contain printable information, try opening up your enlarger's lens aperture along with increasing time.

    Also see this.
    Last edited by ROL; 11-29-2010 at 12:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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