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  1. #1
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Spotting with Sumi?

    Many years ago a Photographer that had worked his entire career from Teenaged Apprentice to eventual Septuagenarian Owner at a venerable old New York Portrait Studio, taught me to spot B&W prints using Japanese Sumi ink. I loved it and have never used anything else since then.
    Tonight, as I am finishing up a few prints, it occurred to me that I have no idea whether anyone else is spotting with this stuff.
    I am just curious, have any of you spotted with Sumi Ink? How'd you like it?
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  2. #2
    roy
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    [QUOTE=Flotsam].
    I am just curious, have any of you spotted with Sumi Ink? QUOTE]

    No but it sounds interesting. Is this a black ink and if so, how would you cope with warm toned prints ? The inks I use are applied virtually dry.
    Roy Groombridge.

    Cogito, ergo sum.
    (Descartes)

  3. #3

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    Just tried Sumi...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    I am just curious, have any of you spotted with Sumi Ink? How'd you like it?
    I have always had difficulty using Spotone to conceal dust spots on my prints. After reading this post, I bought a stick of Sumi ink, roughed up a sheet of glass using sandpaper, and tried it. I really like spotting this way!

    The chief advantage for me was the ability to make a thicker ink which gave me more control over the brush tip.

    Thanks Flotsam for the recommendation.

  4. #4
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Yes, sumi ink is black -- the pigment is pure carbon, aka lampblack, in a uniquely Japanese binder (I don't recall what all goes into it, but there's no other ink like it). I'd guess you could mix it with a little red or blue watercolor to alter the tone for cold or warm tone papers, selenium toned prints, etc.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=roy][QUOTE=Flotsam].
    I am just curious, have any of you spotted with Sumi Ink? QUOTE]
    I mix my own spotting liquid to match the paper or tone using the following transparent Marshal Photo Retouch Colors: Basic Black, Basic Grey and Bright Orange. I assume that since you are using Sumi Ink that you may wish “warm-up” the ink – so, use a mixture of Bright Orange and water. I did not invent this approach, John Sexton did. If anyone wants the chart I made up, I’ll post it.

  6. #6
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I've been a spotting fool lately and am loving Sumi. Very fast once you get the brush loaded just right.

    As far as tone matching, I tend to print on colder, neutral papers and, in many years, I have never had a problem. The fellow who turned me on to it used Elon to adjust contrast on graded papers which can add a pronounced greenish tone and he used it all the time with great success (although if he was spotting a sepia print he used Kodak red opaque). This led me to the conclusion that the importance of tone matching might be over-rated. At least with ink. I am assuming that with warm enough papers, it must start to become noticable and that water color idea sounds interesting.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=



 

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