Cool. Glad you guys got permission.
Originally Posted by Les McLean
The general idea of Bruce's method is that you inspect the squeegee'd print under a dimmer than normal inspection light. You want to print your highlights until you can just barely see detail in the highlights. Then, when the print dries and you inspect it again under normal lighting (whatever that may be), the highlights should look the same. If the highlights are too dark, then you must decrease the intensity of your inspection light - either use a dimmer bulb, or move the light further away from the print. Likewise, if the highlights are too light, increase the intensity of the inspection light.
This technique is a bit tricky to master, since it relies on your subjective interpretation of the print in the darkroom. However, once mastered, it works quite well.
Near as I can tell, Bruce's 'wet up' is the same as 'dry down' - the difference is in the perspective. Either way, care must be taken with fibre prints since the highlights do darken when the print dries. This is illustrated with Bruce's technique since you are planning on viewing the final print under much brighter lights than the inspection lights. Likewise with Les' compensating timer - you may view the print in the darkroom under bright lights, but the timer forces you to print the highlights lighter. Different routes to the same solution, I say.
I had originally thought about purchasing a compensating timer to help out with this, but then thought that it would be difficult to use with dodging and burning. For example, when burning in an area, there's no guarentee that the burning tool is positioned exactly over the area I want to burn, so I can't be assured of getting an accurate burn using the exact time set in the timer. Instead, I set the timer for a longer time, block the entire print, turn on the timer, positoin the tool using the projected image, and while listening to the audible beeps, uncover the tool and burn for the allotted time.
If my understanding of how the compensating timer works is correct, then this technique would not work. Or would it? Les, care to comment?