Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto
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?

There are at least three ways to fix this - maybe four.

1. Knifing (etching) the print to remove some of the offending black area. This is done on a dry print. Knifing works as long as the area to be fixed is small. A major problem with it is that if you go too far, you have to then spot the etched area to match the surround - and because etching damages the surface of the print, it's hard to spot without being obvious that corrections have been made.

2. Bleaching the print to reduce the density of the black. This is a bit tedious, but it does work. I use sharpened toothpicks (use sandpaper to make a really sharp point). Soak them in a ferrricyanide solution. Take the print out of the fix, blow on it to remove the surface moisture, and then touch the end of the toothpick to the offending black spot. After several applications, you will noticed the dot starting to lighten. When you have reduced it enough, put the print back into the fix and agitate vigorously, and then move it to the rinse tray. You may find that the spot lightens too much, but its possible to spot it back after the print dries.

3. If you are working with a large negative, you can dye-dodge the negative. To do this, tape a fixed and washed sheet of film to the back (emulsion side) of the negative. Using a fine brush (your spotting brush works fine) apply spotting dye to this negative over the area of lower density that is the source of the black spot on the print. Actually, I find that it's helpful to use a colored dye for this, and have a bottle of Marshall's magenta retouching dye that I use for this purpose. The dye spot on the clear film acts as a localized dodging spot directly over the area that is too dark in the print. The reason for applying the dye to a separate sheet of film taped to the negative is to get a little physical separation between the image in the emulsion and the dye spot - that helps diffuse the edges of the dye spot. Also, if you make a mistake, you can simply remove the dyed film, rewash it to remove the dye and then start over.

4. The fourth approach is one that I have never tried. These are solutions that you apply to the print with a brush that supposedly removes dark spots. I know that Retouch Methods (the makers of Spottone) used to offer something, and Marshalls may have something also.