I know you can get spotting dyes for ADDING density to prints, where there are white spots. It's easy...you just draw on the print. But is there any nice, predictable way to bleach prints back? Say I have a black spot I want to get rid of. In my case, I have one of those construction lights that they place at roadsides in my picture, and it is not very readable. I want to lighten the lightbulbs that are 'on' so that the sign is more readable. It would be simple for me to darken the ones that are off, but is there a good way to bleach the ones that are on? Do people ever add catchlights to portraits using bleach?
You should check out iodine : a drop on a toothpick will bleach back to paper white in a few seconds.Clear the brown spot in fixer and re-wash the print.
It's not very controllable though -kind of an "all or nothing technique.
back in the day, they would do just the opposite ..
abrade the negative to physically remove the catchlights --
I guess if you have a lot of time on your hands you could do the iodine trick and then add density back to the value you want. I've been experimenting lately with the removal of complete sections of a photograph with household bleach and a cotton wad, household bleach works great!
You can use the bleach, from a 2 part sepia kit, or straight Potassium Ferricyanide should do the trick.
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To solve the OP's problem, he could very carefully spot the negative. By adding density to the negative it will make his highlights (sign lights) brighter. Very hard on 35mm, easier on 8x10.
Originally Posted by jnanian
I considered spotting the negative, but it's a very small section of a 35mm negative.
I think you should have a look at the video linked in the first post of the thread below. Narration is in French, but that is not a problem, as the work of the female photographer in the darkroom speaks for itself. At one point, you see her working with both a brush and a running water hose to bleach back in a controlled way some to dark tones, most likely using a ferricyanide bleach (don't forget to re-fix your photo after this!). The photo is placed on a sloping angle above a sink at that point, to catch the running water. Gives some impression of how it can be done. You actually see her lighten up the white part of eyes using this method and cotton sticks:
Originally Posted by BetterSense
"The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true.
" - William M. Ivins Jr.
"I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White.
" - David Burnett in 1978
"Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?
i didn't realize it was a 35mm negative ..
you could make a master print the size you want the final print to be
and contact print a paper negative from it ( no writing on the back + FB paper )
work on the paper negative with pencils and a knife &C and graphite dust ..
and then contact print a positive print from it. i have retouched negatives for a while
but nothing smaller than 4x5, mainly because the enlargement factor ... and if you aren't
really good it sticks out like a sore thumb ...
Ok so that answers my question to you.
People do use red coccine on larger negs, to lighten areas , this method goes back to the late 30's or even further back.
I am printing a portfolio right now that has a few images damage at time of exposure , creating black scratches and spots.
I have made the prints to my best ability, but not selenium toned, I am sending them to a retoucher in town who specializes in this, She will bleach back the spots, refix the image , send the image back to me , I will selenium tone the print and wash as all the rest of the portfolio, but send the print back to her for final retouch. Lots of work , she is the best I know and I trust her work.
The specifics of chemical formula she uses I cannot speak.
I have spot bleached with pot F , many times to bring up areas, you need to be good and fast and make sure you fix. I will do this on certain images where I feel regular printing just isn't enough, be prepared to use the round bucket alot so print extra prints.
Originally Posted by BetterSense