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  1. #1
    Peter Black's Avatar
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    Dodging & burning

    I've done a forum search on this but haven't really found the answer I'm looking for, so hopefully you guys will indulge me. I've always been aware that my contact sheets are "better" than the subsequent enlargements, or else the enlargements took a lot of work to get close. I'm now at the stage of pondering a move from 4x5 (just too small, except for postcard prints) to 5x7 on the grounds that 5x7 with a border will give a reasonable size of finished print.

    My concern/question is in respect of dodging or burning a neg in such circumstances, since it seems to me that this would prove to be more difficult than dodging/burning an enlargement where there is more scope for movement of hands etc in the light path between the neg and the paper. Are hands a realistic proposition in such circumstances, or would I be walking into very accurate masks and suchlike? I'm curious to know before making the switch and yes, I understand 8x10 might be better/easier, but no I don't have the money!

    Thanks, Peter

  2. #2
    sun of sand's Avatar
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    I do not have a 4x5 enlarger so last night I just contact printed my first negative
    -my 3rd print overall-
    I used 3 different contrast filters (split grade)
    and used dodge/burn tools which were the same shape of the areas I was working on/excluding (I guess you'd call it a mask)

    I have no timer
    I have a switch that I have to manually click on and off the enlarger with

    I thought it was GREAT! To sit down and plan out the separate steps -of which there were 5
    So much better than sitting in front of a computer.

    Anyway, I don't think it's too difficult with 4x5 so 5x7 should be that much easier.

    I think 5x7 is a nice size. I happen to like smaller prints, though.





    I finally understood the fuss over these large negatives
    A whole new texture/sharpness and feeling of actual space/of being there ..not just a reproduction of the environment
    examining the contact with a powerful loupe I get it
    NOW all that's really left is getting to know camera movements better


    I'll post my contact print for the heck of it

    First 2 are straight prints

    First grade 2 and other grade 3 1/2
    A little variation in exposure

    These were just negative atop paper with tape at corners -Not flat

    For the "final" print I forgot the glass so I just taped the negative to the paper which resulted in a bit of loss in some areas on the final print

    Developed in straight Xtol

    I still have to go back and tweak a bit but it came out well for what I was planning.

    I can only imagine an 8x10 contact.
    Last edited by sun of sand; 10-30-2007 at 06:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    I do not use 4 X 5, but I find it interesting that you have use three contrast filters on a 4 X 5 contact to produce a finished print with burning!! And all I really see here is a different tone on the final print.
    I hope that there are some here who can help you.
    Regards,
    John.

  4. #4
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    You can use your hands, but bear in mind you need to keep them pretty close to the print. It's easier to use a card or lollypop. Also, you may not be able to clearly see the areas to burn or dodge, so keep a reference print handy.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  5. #5
    Marv's Avatar
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    I have printed 4X5 contacts nearly exclusively in the past, literally hundreds. I like the intimacy of the smaller print. It takes a bit more dedication on the part of the viewer but is worth thier time to really look at the images.

    After a bit of practice at making small movements and getting used to the small image it is very easy and effective. It does take practice and the need to relate the straight contact to the one you are working on, kind of an imaginary grid system, to use in placing the tools.

    5X7 would be that much easier. It is a bit difficult to do very fine manipulations but the fact it is a contact print somewhat compensates. I find I need to do a lot less work on a contact than an enlargement. Even printing a 4X5 at 4x5 requires more work than the equivalent contact print.

    It's worth the effort to learn the process and teh rewards are very fine prints.

  6. #6
    sun of sand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Roberts View Post
    I do not use 4 X 5, but I find it interesting that you have use three contrast filters on a 4 X 5 contact to produce a finished print with burning!! And all I really see here is a different tone on the final print.
    I hope that there are some here who can help you.
    Regards,
    John.

    why is it interesting? I chose 3 grades
    Is it wrong to use that many? Some of the reason I used a grade 4 at all -which was only used on the middle area- for 1/5 longer than the goldenrod was to compensate for what's probably my not stopping down far enough
    I used a 2 on the left hand tree which received 4/5 the exposure the goldenrod did cause I liked it softer and smidge brighter
    3 1/2 for the goldenrod
    I burned in the bottom corners for 4 seconds to get detail in the goldenrod which the 3 1/2 blew out but remained with the 2
    I also slightly burned in the trunks of the dead trees in middle right at the same time to raise them above the vegetation they're in

    I dunno
    There is -much- bigger difference than what can be seen on these digital photos, I guess
    Night and day, really.
    the toning is more like that of the "final" print
    I changed batteries for the first two straights and white balance was reset to a colder bluish tone



    Frankly, I don't need help from people after only my first go at it
    There is still some tweaks I -have- to do
    like use glass for starters
    maybe a couple things I can try to separate the two tree subjects which blend into the background a bit

    Overall I'm very pleased.

    I posted here just to show that I on my first attempt did quite a few things the OP was wondering about
    The photos were meant as "proof" that I actually did what I said and not just claiming crap

    You tell me I need help and that's OK
    walking away after doing so really isn't
    not in my book

    Why can't you try helping me, John?

  7. #7

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    g'day Peter

    dodging and burning will work just the same as when enlarging, just a little harder to 'see' the image

    sun, why are you making it so complicated?

    your enthusiasm is great, but making it complex doesn't make it better

    do you need/want help or not?

    your is post is a little confusing

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by sun of sand View Post
    why is it interesting? I chose 3 grades
    Is it wrong to use that many? Some of the reason I used a grade 4 at all -which was only used on the middle area- for 1/5 longer than the goldenrod was to compensate for what's probably my not stopping down far enough
    I used a 2 on the left hand tree which received 4/5 the exposure the goldenrod did cause I liked it softer and smidge brighter
    3 1/2 for the goldenrod
    I burned in the bottom corners for 4 seconds to get detail in the goldenrod which the 3 1/2 blew out but remained with the 2
    I also slightly burned in the trunks of the dead trees in middle right at the same time to raise them above the vegetation they're in

    I dunno
    There is -much- bigger difference than what can be seen on these digital photos, I guess
    Night and day, really.
    the toning is more like that of the "final" print
    I changed batteries for the first two straights and white balance was reset to a colder bluish tone



    Frankly, I don't need help from people after only my first go at it
    There is still some tweaks I -have- to do
    like use glass for starters
    maybe a couple things I can try to separate the two tree subjects which blend into the background a bit

    Overall I'm very pleased.

    I posted here just to show that I on my first attempt did quite a few things the OP was wondering about
    The photos were meant as "proof" that I actually did what I said and not just claiming crap

    You tell me I need help and that's OK
    walking away after doing so really isn't
    not in my book

    Why can't you try helping me, John?
    Hi,
    I can see that you are very enthusiatic about your work and I was somewhat surprised that you used 3 contrast grades to make a 4 X 5 contact together with dodging and burning. I was surprised because contact prints of this size, in my experience, rarely need this degree of manipulation to produce a good print and it must have been quite difficult for you. There may be problems with the condition of the negative or your processing.
    I do not consider the work you posted as crap. My response was an interest in your post with a view to offer any help I could.
    I am a little confused by your reply - "Frankly, I don't need help from people after only my first go at it." and - "Why can't you try helping me, John?", seem contradictory.
    I, and a large number of people here, will offer as much help as we can but usually all we ask is a little civility and patience.
    BTW what is an OP?
    Please keep printing and posting and I am sure you will get all the help you will need.
    Best wishes,
    John.

  9. #9
    sun of sand's Avatar
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    It was just that you said I needed help and then walked away leaving the work for someone else to do ..or not do
    Or so it seemed

    I was asking why you couldn't help me if you knew enough already to be able to say there was a problem

    Passing of the buck


    I said I wasn't looking for help cause I'm not. I never got good at anything by asking for help the moment after I took something up and found out I wasn't perfect the first time out


    The process was simple. It was really only a few seconds with each grade over the standard exposure
    Just enough to produce a subtle difference
    I thought the 2 grade was flat and 3 1/2 too contrasty
    So I split em up where I thought a little more or little less looked good
    -after having done test strips of the areas-
    a grade 2 1/2 or 3 as straight print did not give me what I was looking for in certain areas

    OP= original poster

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sun of sand View Post
    It was just that you said I needed help and then walked away leaving the work for someone else to do ..or not do
    Or so it seemed

    I was asking why you couldn't help me if you knew enough already to be able to say there was a problem

    Passing of the buck


    I said I wasn't looking for help cause I'm not. I never got good at anything by asking for help the moment after I took something up and found out I wasn't perfect the first time out


    The process was simple. It was really only a few seconds with each grade over the standard exposure
    Just enough to produce a subtle difference
    I thought the 2 grade was flat and 3 1/2 too contrasty
    So I split em up where I thought a little more or little less looked good
    -after having done test strips of the areas-
    a grade 2 1/2 or 3 as straight print did not give me what I was looking for in certain areas

    OP= original poster
    but sun, why?

    why did you think this image needed such complex printing?

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