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  1. #1

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    I loathe spotting prints.

    It seems inevitable no matter how careful I am about dust.. there's always a reason to have to get the itty bitty brush and ink out. In fact, I'm taking a break from doing it to a 20x20" print right now. I hate it. I'm not good at it. There's a particularly large white blob that I wish I could take a sharpie to. The frame is sitting eagerly to the side, just waiting to be complete. I'm feeling some pressure because I need to mail it out by Friday. Sigh.

    I'm just ranting.. nothing to see here. Carry on
    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Condenser head?

  3. #3

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    Yeah..

    I have a 45V-XL just waiting for a light source so I can put it in the darkroom. Definitely staying away from a condenser.
    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  4. #4

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    Not doing so bad with dust at the moment, cold light head. But I am going to hire out my spotting, especially when I get higher volume going.

  5. #5

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    I learned from one of the best. It's definitely an art within itself to emulate the grain structure with the proper density. A lot of factors have to be considered such as the brush, ink, dilution, paper base tint, etc. I found myself oddly enjoying spotting and thus, became very good at it and spent many hours doing it. It's one of the few things in photography I know I can do very well ...not trying to rub it in or anything.

  6. #6
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I've NEVER been able to get a single one done right. I just remake the print. I'm fastidious enough that I usually don't have dust but... when I do, all I've ever been able to do is get a darker ring around the spot. The spot pens are the worst in this regard. All they've ever done for me is make the spot look worse. I thought it was because they didn't work well on RC paper until I went to FB and found that works no better.

    I think this is something I'd just have to have personal instruction in and watch someone do. I've been trying off and on (between just giving up and re-making my prints, and of course not for the decade off from photography) since the late 70s and if I haven't managed it yet...

    It's impossible. Some people only manage because they don't realize it's impossible, so they manage to succeed.

  7. #7
    rince's Avatar
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    Hehe, I guess I have ruined more prints trying to spot or knife them than I did due to anything else...
    I seem to have a lot of patience in the darkroom, but none whatsoever in this post-darkroom zen exercise.
    ---
    There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
    ~ Ansel Adams

  8. #8

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    I would normally reprint but it's on the new Ilford Art 300 in 20x24, thus, I cannot afford it!

    I managed to get a presentable final print. My saving grace is that it's a Holga photo with lots of deep tones. Spotting lighter tones is more difficult in my opinion.

    Hiring out spotting isn't a bad idea! Jordanstarr.. wanna swing through Kansas City and make a little extra cash?? I'm also willing to pay extra in good beer or KC BBQ

    Anyone know a good source for spotting technique? The info I've come across is, well.. spotty.
    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  9. #9

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    One way to avoid getting a darker spot than desired is to have a piece of the same paper with no image (processed and toned if toning was done) using a sable 00000 brush and working the ink on to that paper until it matches the tone for the spotting then apply to the actual print. Spotting inks can be mixed to get the correct hue. Use magnifying loupes. It can be a slow process but with some practice you will get excellent results.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    I always sort of enjoyed spotting. Mostly because it was so great to see a print slowly clean up and become "perfect". I used a 000 brush -- I found anything smaller to be a PITA and the tip of the 000 was small enough for anything I came across. But I was spotting 16x20's, so I suppose a 4x5 enlarged to only 8x10 would have smaller spots. I have an image from NZ that needed a couple hours of spotting, as the negative was hit by high humidity static while being stored with other exposed negs in a box for several months while touring by bicycle. That was a bit much, but the image is worth it.

    Don't over-harden one's print in the fix -- that will make spotting more difficult as the Spotone (yes, I still have a nice stash of it) resists going into the emulsion.

    I always used a condenser light source. Now I do mostly alt processes and rarely need to spot.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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