Dodging Question

Ian-Barber

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I have this negative of a single white Tulip flower and stem photographed against a darkish background.
I have established that 24 seconds is good for the background and 6 seconds is good for the white flower.

Question
Would you give the whole paper a 6 second exposure and then a further 18 seconds exposure and dodge the whites of the flower for the 18 seconds?
 

Ian Grant

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That's quite a difference in exposure seems to indicate an exposure/development issue.

Ian
 

martin-f5

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I'd expose for the Tulip and burn blacks afterwards, probable with a slightly vignette.
 

David M

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Ian has a point. These times sound as if you have a dark tulip on a light background and want to reverse the tones. We can't make useful comments on an image we haven't seen. The issue may not lie in the printing at all.
This is like showing us a picture of a piano and asking how to improve your playing.

Why not post a scan from a straight print and and a further scan of your attempt at dodging and burning? If you haven't made these already, how can you possibly know that your proposed times are valid? Can we see a screen-grab of the unadjusted Levels palette?
A straightforward subject like this should print quite easily if exposure and development were satisfactory. Perhaps a little vignetting, as Marin says, but nobody can tell you that until we have seen something. The whole point of photography is what it looks like, not a list of numbers.

If this is an unrepeatable and unique negative, one solution would be to make a reversed unsharp mask. It might be easier to get another tulip.
 

David M

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Higher grade, dodge the flower, burn in bottom left corner. Use film for better control.
 
Last edited:

Alan Clark

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Ian, there is a very nice ethereal quality here, which I suppose partly comes from the paper negative. Can you give us more details? Is the original paper negative 5 x 4?

Alan
 

David M

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Alan, you're right. The flower shouldn't look like a light bulb. A little more contrast would bring out the texture of the petals. I'm not sure why Ian would want the background darker than this. I do think that the stalk and leaves shouldn't compete with the bloom itself. A little less exposure overall perhaps?
 

Ian-Barber

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Ian, there is a very nice ethereal quality here, which I suppose partly comes from the paper negative. Can you give us more details? Is the original paper negative 5 x 4?

Alan
Yes Alan, the original paper negative is 5x4 which I exposed in my 5x4 camera at ISO 3. The paper is Ilford MG RC Glossy.
I would like to see more texture creeping through from the paper but I just don't think RC can produce that so I am investigating another type of paper, maybe Ilford Art paper or Ilford FB if that has sufficient fibres to show through.
 

David M

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I know it might be called cheating but would it be easier to make a paper texture negative (perhaps digitally) and sandwich that with the paper negative? You could make a variety of textures at different scales, which would give creative freedom to match texture and image.
If you were making a series, this might become obvious and perhaps not so desirable. I find that the messy edge that EfX (?) can generate looks lovely in one print but is distracting when several prints are seen together.
None of this is a recommendation. It's mere curiosity.
You could of course, go the whole hog and make calotypes.
 
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