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Thread: Spotting

  1. #1

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    Spotting

    Wht is te best way to spot. I am now using Oriental Segull paper which has a glossy surface. It is fiber base but it is hard to spot where the Forte semi mat was simple.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Kev

  2. #2
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    Spotting is an easy skill to learn, and causes a dramatic improvement in the quality of prints.

    I use either Spottone (no longer made) or Marshall's dyes. Both come as liquid concentrates. My preferred approach is to place a few drops on a plastic "pallate", allow it to dry, and then use a barely damp brush to pick up a bit of the color for application to the print. I use a plastic makeup kit as a pallate - so I am able to use the same drops of dye for many months. My bottles of Spottone are more than 25 years old and this point and I expect them to last me many more years.

    By the way, an advantage of Marshalls over Spottone is that Marshall's comes in bottles with dropper caps, whereas you need to find a separate dropper for use with Spottone.

    Spottone comes in six colors, and you mix drops to achieve a color that is close to the final image tone of the paper. I was in a workshop many years ago with David Vestal who said that the important thing about spotting is to eliminate the local contrast of a bright white spot against a darker background - if that objective is met, it hardly matters that the color of the spotting dye doesn't match the print color exactly.

    I use distilled water mixed with just a bit of PhotoFlo to dampen my spotting brushes. The PhotoFlo eliminates surface tension so that the water doesn't form drops on the print.

    The objective in spotting is to lay down tiny dots of dye - don't try to brush the color on, but rather use a stippling motion to apply multiple dots. You can blend in additional water to reduce the intensity of the dye - and it's a good idea to use a dye that is slightly less initense than required, and build up intensity through multiple applications rather than trying to match the gray tone of the print in one application.

    You need a bright light for spotting, and preferably one that can be above and slightly behind the print - so that you see reflections of the brush on the surface of the print. If you have a very small spot to address, you can then see the brush AND its reflection - and bring them together at the spot.

    You will also need magnifiers for spotting. I use inexpensive drugstore reading glasses - another Vestal trick. I get them a diopter or so stronger than my reading bifocals.

    Finally, you need to practice - it's easier to do than to describe - something that becomes obvious as you do it.
    Last edited by Monophoto; 10-25-2005 at 07:52 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I use essentially the same technique Monophoto described so thoroughly above.

    About the only thing he didn't mention is to check your brush under good magnification. Most likely, you'll see some jagged tips. If so, try passing the tip of the brush quickly through a candle (or lighter) flame while rolling the brush between thumb and index finger. That will round off the tips of the hairs, making the brush much easier to use.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  4. #4

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    Great information here guys, did not ask the question but appreciate the response none the less.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  5. #5

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    Awesome advice and thank you very much!

    Kev

  6. #6

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    My understanding is that Retouch Methods, the manufacturer of Spotone went out of business in 2004.

  7. #7
    ann
    ann is online now

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    i believe the owner died, which lead to an early closing of the company

  8. #8
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Search APUG on "spotting" there are lots of good discussions on the topic.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  9. #9

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    One more question on spotting. I noticed one of my negs had dust ( clear mark on neg ) so it leaves a black mark on print, ERR. Do I scrape the print with the exacto when it is wet or dry? Or is there another method of doing this? If wet do I soak the whole print all ever scrape that part then let dry again?

    What is the best way to fix this?

    I took a match to on of my brushes. I just realized the thing was made out of synthetic material like a plastic. LOL! I could have sworn is was a sable brush. Well saved it anyway, swoo that was close.

    Thanks again,

    Kev

    Thanks,

    Kev

  10. #10
    KenM's Avatar
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    You etch the print once it's been mounted, or if yo don't mount your prints, when you're ready to hinge-moun it. It most certainly has to be dry.

    You could also spot the negative, and instead of etching the mounted print, you spot the light spot created by spotting the neg.

    Etching is pretty easy, but you do have to be careful. Gentle is the key word, and make sure you take your time. Don't try to dig the spot out of the emulsion; rather, gently scrape the emulsion until you start to lighten the dark spot.
    Cheers!

    -klm.

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