I tried a foot switch a couple of times and found them to be impossible to work with, I move around the easel when dodging and burning and never could find the damm thing.
Also those saying to go longer in time to make it easier should also note that dodging and burning is a % of over all time and not transferable as your time gets longer. ie 4 second dodge on a 10 second main exposure, is not a 4 second dodge on a 20 second main exposure with the same neg.. but we all pretty well know that.
I always count in my head the whole exposure and give each area their oneonethousand , two onethousand.. after time you will be suprised how good you are at at timing a print and giving repeatable dodge and burn.
Also another trick ,, make a big card black on bottom white on top and cut out a big hole, you will be able to see the image as you burn.
Now make a series of smaller cards like the bigger one with smaller holes Then you can lay one on top of the other and for big areas use the big tool and smaller areas use the small hole card on top of the bigger one . This allows you to not flash the outside areas but also get into really small areas.
For burning with your hands, imagine you are distributing water through them, by cupping and allowing a little amount of water onto small areas you will be suprised how simple using your hands to burn can be.. we all know that I am saying to imagine you have water and not really endorsing putting water on your easel.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith