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  1. #1

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    Multiple layers when printing?

    Ok, I am coming from the digital world and need help. How do I stack negatives to create one print or develop two negatives on one print?

    What techniques are there and what photographers do this?. I don't know what to search for in Google.

    I basically want layers from photoshop "in the darkroom". Thanks all!
    David Savkovic

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  2. #2

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    Usually multiple printing. One neg at a time try a google for the master. Jerry Ullesman(sp)

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by g0tr00t
    Ok, I am coming from the digital world and need help. How do I stack negatives to create one print or develop two negatives on one print?

    What techniques are there and what photographers do this?. I don't know what to search for in Google.

    I basically want layers from photoshop "in the darkroom". Thanks all!
    You can stack two or more negatives together - the problem is that density and, therefore, exposure time builds up rapidly and you don't have discrete separate areas but overlayed images that mix with each other.

    You can print negatives separately onto a single piece of paper. Jerry Uellsman is probably the best example of doing this type of work. He has a darkroom with 5 or 6 enlargers, and will put separate negative in them. After determining the correct exposure for each image, he then moves the paper from enlarger to enlarger printing only that part of the negative he is interested in.

    Since paper is not sensitive to red light, you can register the paper with a second or third negative, by using a red filter placed between the lens and paper. You can do this in a single enlarger by sequentially putting the negatives into the enlarger. The easiest way to do it is to purchase multiple negative carriers so you can rapidly swap them.

    Another technique is to make a dry run of the whole thing on a white sheet of paper and draw out the edges of the important areas on the sheet of paper first. Once you dry run the sequence onto the paper, swapping negatives or carriers and registering the images with your dry run paper drawing is quite easy.

    You can block areas in negatives in a number of ways. One way is to use film "opaque" which is a dense red water based "paint" that you put on the backing side of the film to block light coming through. It is easily washed off the film when you are through.

    Another way is to use a product of the printing industry product like Zip-A-Tone or Ruby Lith film. This is a red film used in the printing industry for film masking. You cut out the shape you want, and stick the masking film to the backing side of the film. Either masking technique is easy on sheet film - nearly impossible on 35mm.

    Or, if you're faint of heart about attacking your negative directly, you can use a separate piece of clear mylar or acetate - paint the opaque or stick the Ruby Lith to the clear film and put it over the top of your negative in the film carrier - just register them to each other carefully.

    You can also block the paper not to be printed using simple dodging techniques. Make a cardboard cutout of an area somewhat smaller than the area you want to block but of the same general shape. When you expose the paper, interpose the dodging tool between the lens and paper to block the light. Move the dodging tool around slightly to "feather" the edges. Think of that like PS where you set an "aliasing" amount at an edge.

    Other masking techniques can be used with lith film or even standard sheet film developed in a high contrast developer. This is a bit more difficult as you have to decide on how to get only the area you want onto the film mask - and with roll film it's really hard to do. If you're good with a retouching knife, you can very carefully scrape away the emulsion on the areas you want to let light through while leaving the blocked areas opaque. You then put mask on top of the negative and register it with the image. If you're not good with a retouching knife - stick to other methods. Unsharp masking really has no application - that's used for contrast reduction, but if you have no idea what you're talking about - it always sounds good to say it.

    Another way to do what you are thinking about is by printing separate images, making a paste up and photographing the paste up for the final image. Look at Joel Peter-Witkin's work. He uses multiple printing and very intricate paste-ups that are then copied to get his images.

    Ain't no rules. You just have to get into the darkroom and use your imagination.

  4. #4
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    You can do either way.
    Stacking the negatives is called sandwiching and has the disadvantage that small negatives (35 mm) are hard to align, and that some density differences may appear.

    The second technique is called multiple printing and steve has given you fantastic details about it.
    Mama took my APX away.....

  5. #5

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    Steve et al, thank so much for the info! I was also looking into this book as I started my GOOGLE searches from the info from the group.

    Any thoughts on this one?
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...178518-2295665

    Seems to get great reviews, I just don't know what edition to get there are a ton out there from 1995 to 2004 and they don't list what the chages are...
    David Savkovic

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  6. #6

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    The two basic ways of doing composite printing with conventional film and paper are:

    1. Printing the image using a series of enlargers. Each with it's own negative and with it's own easel. The single sheet of paper is moved from enlarger to enlarger. This is the technique that Uelsmann uses.

    2. Using a pin register easel in which the subsequent negatives are changed in the same enlarger. This is the technique that Misha Gordin (www.bsimple.com) uses.

    3. Using sharp masking (not unsharp masking). This allows individual segments of the paper to be printed without exposing other segments. This requires an enlarger with pin registration capability as opposed to pin registered easel as described in number 2 above.

    Of the three techniques, from what I have seen, Misha Gordin does the most seemless job of combining images. Even though Jerry Uelsmann is acknowledged as being the best known. I think that Misha Gordin rivals him in many ways.



 

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