Quote Originally Posted by Helen B
Back in '73 or '74 I worked for Jock Sturges for a short time. He showed me a printing technique that he called 'chemical dodging'. I used it occasionally, but I've never come across anyone else who has even heard of it, never mind used it.

Here, briefly, is the basic process:

Soak the unexposed paper (FB is OK, RC doesn't work so well) in water.

Squeegee the paper down on the easel (helpful if it's a vacuum easel - I got one just for this).

Make the first exposure.

Sponge developer over the print and let some development occur before squeegeeing it off lightly.

Make subsequent exposures until you have the image you require.

Stop, fix and wash as usual.

There's lots of potential for variation. Has anyone else come across this?

I have used a variation of this technique in the past.

I use a glass plate as an easel. I focus the enlarger and frame the print on a throw-away piece of the chosen enlarging paper. I make position marks with strips of masking tape on the glass.

I soak a sheet of paper in developer, allow the excess developer to drain off then place the paper on the glass plate and lightly squeegee.

With the safe light off, I turn on the enlarger light and timer. I carefully watch a critical highlight/shadow interface in the print. When the densities appear to merge, I turn off the enlarger light/timer and note the exposure time.

At this point, I turn on the safe light and examine the image. If required, I sponge on more developer, squeegee and expose again (if needed - sometimes all that is needed is more developer).

As you might expect, you can use split development with this technique, as well.

I learned this trick from my old and dear friend Al Mandl, who learned it in the early 1930's in Czechoslovakia.