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  1. #1

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    White easel discovery... problem?

    I have a white easel I have been using for enarly 30 years. Well recently I drew some composition lines on it, a simple thirds grid using a magic marker.

    Last night I was making some prints and noticed faint white grid on my prints. It seems the light is passing thru my paper and reflecting back up thereby fogging my pics but I have never realized or noticed this before.

    I am painting my easel flat black tonight but I'd like to know if anyone has ever had anything like this?... any thoughts about it?

    I'm using Polymax DW Fiber, cold light 23C, 6x7 BTW...

  2. #2
    gma
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    This is a really good discovery to share. Fogging like this could go undetected or attributed to other sources. I suppose single weight and RC are more translucent and maximize the effect. My easel is bright yellow and I am not aware of paper being fogged by reflected light, but I will place a black tape stripe on it to check for a reflected image. Thanks for posting your discovery.

  3. #3
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    This is not neccesarily a problem since normally you are only reflecting back the image that you are printing. However I have always covered the enlarger base with black card to eliminate the effect.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  4. #4

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    I glad this post is here as mines getting a little scratched and the one I got with the enlarger is about the same. It never occurred to me to think about reflected light (Doh). Think I'll follow Dave's idea and get some black card before my next encampment in the darkroom.

  5. #5
    noseoil's Avatar
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    I guess you could always put anti-halation backing on all of your paper. I think you may find that your contrast will change a bit when you go to a black background.

    This may be one reason why my azo prints have a bit more contrast than my enlarged prints (aside from the nature of the paper itself). Azo is a single weight paper and I use a sheet of black neoprene as a cushion for contact printing. My enlarging easel is also yellow. Will try printing with a sheet of black interleaving paper under 1/2 of the print, but I don't think a double weight paper lets much of the light through.

  6. #6
    titrisol's Avatar
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    never thought of that bfore....
    I guess enlarging times will change, same as contrast and sharpness?
    I have a few stains in mine I'll have to look clooser
    Mama took my APX away.....

  7. #7
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    Thanks for bringing this up. I think I better do a test as well. I purposely bought a white backed easel because it was easier for me to see the image, but I can see that this could cause problems, especially with single weight paper.

  8. #8
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Hmm... I have, in my portfolio, a print from my "Carpe Errata" series. This was produced as a result of placing the color paper "wrong side up" on the easel. On exposure I immediately knew it ... color paper emulsion is gray - this was white. I came extremely close to dumping the print without development ... and out of curiosity, put it back on the easel "right" - emulsion side up and, exposed it again, and processed it.
    *Interesting* effect - there are a number of diagonal lines in the image... and there is a "cross-hatching" effect.... another "tool in the box" for the future.

    I'll check it out ... I've estimated that the paper itself (Ilfocolor) will attenuate approximately one - one and a half stops. I'll check it with the ColorStar.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  9. #9
    gma
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    Does the white easel cause the print darker tones to bleed into adjacent lighter areas as a result of reflecting from the easel? The reflected image would pass through the paper at a different angle than the original projected image incident angle and the effect would be more pronounced at the borders than at the center where the projected image is straight down into the paper. Very interesting. This could explain loss in edge sharpness that has been attributed to poor lenses.

  10. #10
    titrisol's Avatar
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    I have to try the black background!

    How did you compensate for focus?
    Mama took my APX away.....

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