Dodging with Stopclock Pro?
I am thinking of buying a Stopwatch Pro from RH Designs but before it do so I want to clarify how useful it is for dodging. I have read the manual and I think I understand burning.
What is the best way for dodging multiple areas? The manual covers a single dodging step, but for further steps it suggests reducing the base time and doing all steps as burns. Is this not cumbersome? Unless I have missed something, if I want to adjust the time of a dodge then all subsequent steps will need adjusting.
Is there an easier way?
Originally Posted by keffs
A dodge can be regarded as a reduction of the base exposure, followed by a burn in of all areas except that to be dodged; the result on paper is exactly the same. When I came up with the original StopClock I thought long and hard about dodging and couldn't come up with a useable method of doing it. It would have required a rather more complicated user interface than I was happy with so decided that it would have only burn-in steps. When we changed to the Pro model, nobody had flagged this as a problem and we still didn't have a solution so we retained the status quo.
If you have two areas to dodge, just set the base time to the time of the shortest exposure and use two burn-in steps, and so on. If you want subsequently to reduce the first dodge by say 1/4 stop, reduce the base by 1/4 stop and increase the burn-in time by 1/4 stop. All subsequent steps will be unchanged. It's easier to do than to describe in words!
Originally Posted by RH Designs
Thanks for your reply. I think that clears it up. My concern was that if I changed the base, as you suggest above, then all the subsequent burns etc would also change. If it is just a case of changing two values than I am happy. However, from a "theoretical" point of view, the idea of changing the base exposure, when I dont really want to, causes me a slight concern. I am sure if I get one I will have no problem with it.
I omitted one important point in my last posting - that is that you can define any step in the sequence to be a "base" by using the Base/Burn function. If the first step in the sequence is adjusted, all subsequent ones will change and that is also the case if you just reduce the base and increase the next exposure to compensate. That's because all subsequent exposures are calculated relative to the first in the sequence. However, if you set a subsequent exposure to be a new base, then the ones after that are calculated relative to that exposure, not the first. Again, easier to do than to explain, but an important point to remember if you are using dodging. I tend not to think about dodging at all and do everything relative to the first exposure - I am easily confused
I use an RH Designs Stopclock Pro and agree that it is easier to use than to describe. It took me awhile (a few hours) to get the hang of it but now I conceptualize prints using the f-stop method intuitively. Also, the test strip mode is very helpful when anticipating the effects of dodging and burning.
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I just purchased a StopClock Pro and I will try to do some printing this weekend.
However, this dodging thing/sequence gets me a bit confused... Can anyone help me through the steps please ?
From my understanding, in the following situation (which I guess is very common) the process should be the following :
1 - I make a test strip. From this test strip I determine that my base exposure should be let say 15s + 1/2 stop (I am new to stopsystem but I guess that means my base exposure should be around 22.5sec , right ?).
2 - I determine that three areas need to be dodged :
- from the test strip I think that the first area should be exposed corresponding to the base exposure (22.5s) - 3 steps.
- from the test strip I think that the second area should be exposed corresponding to the base exposure - 4 steps.
- from the test strip I think that the third area should be exposed corresponding to the base exposure - 1 step.
3 - I therefore set my StopClock ("SC") to the time corresponding to the base exposure (ie., 22.5s) - 4 steps. I program the SC for this first step.
4 - I then need to address the other areas and that's where I am a bit lost. Theoritically, I should progam for the time corresponding to the 2nd more important dodged areas (ie., the one corresponding to the 22.5s - 3steps).
5 - Then, I do the same for the last dodged area
6 - Eventually, expose the remaining areas so that it gets the 22.5s exposure
From a very practical standpoint, how would you program your SC to process this sequence (if I am wrong somewhere, please tell me...) ? How should I play around the BASE TIME function for instance... ?
Ivan - it's actually quite simple, though not so simple to describe! Having determined your base exposure (22.6 sec), reduce the exposure setting on the StopClock by 4 steps. That gives you the exposure for the -4 area which is the area receiving the shortest exposure. Now enter Store mode and set +1 step; the total exposure now gives you the exposure for the -3 area. Press the "Compensate" button to tell the StopClock this is a new base exposure (if you don't do this, the StopClock will calculate the next exposure based on the shortest time whereas you want it based on the total time thus far).
Press "Store" and set +2 steps to give you the -1 exposure and press "Compensate" to set a new base as before. Press "Store" and set +1 step, press "Compensate". The total exposure now is back to your original 22.6 sec, and any burn-in times will be calculated from this new base. For example if you now want to burn in each of the four sides of the print by 2 steps, enter a +2 step four times - each will be calculated from the base exposure and all four will be of the same time.
To make the print, expose the whole of the paper for the base exposure time. Mask the -4 area and expose for step 1, mask the -4 and -3 areas and expose for step 2, mask the -4, -3 and -1 areas and expose for step 3. Now mask one edge and expose for step 4 (the first edge burn), and repeat until all four edges are burned in, and you're done.
That hopefully has explained how the base/burn function works. If you don't set a new base each time, subsequent times will be calculated from the original base exposure. Personally I prefer to establish a base exposure for the lightest part of the print and then make a burning-in test strip from there - it avoids me having to think about burning and dodging. That way I can think of everything as burning-in, which is as much as my ageing brain can cope with these days .
Some people use percentages instead of f-stops, but then it's easy to make the mistake of thinking a 10% increase and a 10% decrease are equivalent. They're not. 10.0 seconds -10% is 9.0 seconds, but 9.0 seconds +10% is 9.9 seconds, not 10.0. The StopClock does the arithmetic for you, helping you to concentrate on making the print, and once you get used to it you'll find it very easy to use.
Many thanks Richards, I think I am starting to see the light out of the channel (typical French idioma, not sure it means stg in English though...) ...
But, I am still confused with one thing :
When I hit the STORE button for the first time (corresponding to the 22.6s -4 stops), I guess the SC makes this first exposure the base time ... no ?
So, when I set the second step of the program and if I enter as you say the "+1 stop", the SC will compute this +1 stop from the first exposure and it will not correspond to the 22.6s -3stops I wish to obtain, am I right ?
Sorry if my questions appear odd but I am certainly failing somewhere....
With the StopClock Pro, printing is an "additive process", whereas dodging is a "subtractive process". It took me about a day to change my methods, but that doesn't stop me from doing the occasional dodge on a quick-and-dirty print. If it's a one-off and I can tell that I need to dodge something just for the sake of dodging it, experience kicks in and I just do it.
But for repeatability and precision, the additive process works extremely well. But it is a mindset change.
With the additive process, you set your base exposure for the most lightly exposed area and then keep adding exposure for everything else. Think of it as exposing in layers.
But, there is still nothing wrong with sticking your hand under the enlarger lens to bop down the exposure on something on the fly. No different than any other enlarger timer in that regard. There is no substitute for intuition.
Thanks again, I have just printed using your instructions and gave a bit more thought to it and it is now ok, I guess it is beginning to enter my brain :-)
It is true it is, as you say Ken, a mindset change.
In any case, I am really happy with the SC, it is extremely well built and convenient ! I am sure it will help me evolve in my printing skills.