Flashing With Green And Blue Light

David M

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Steve is the man in the orange shirt in the platinum video. It's worth hearing about his process, even if you don't adopt it.
 

Alan9940

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One important thing I've learned after extensive playing around with EMA and Steve's way of printing is that his enlarger light source along with his blue/green filters doesn't necessarily equal some different light source. For example, my Aristo VCL4500 doesn't print the same when using max blue and max green for split-grade printing vs Ilford 0 and 5 filters. No idea exactly why this might be, but that's what I've seen in my darkroom.
 

mpirie

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That's interesting David as i saw one of his video's on split-contrast printing and i'm sure he was using the Ilford Multigrade 500 system on his enlarger?

Maybe i was wrong?

Mike
 

Keith Haithwaite

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Mike, in the video he says that the enlarger he is using is pretty well dedicated to flashing so you could be right that he uses the Ilford Multigrade 500 system for his printing work.
 

Alan9940

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He doesn't use normal filters. He uses Rosco gels, placed above the neg.
Yes, I know. A couple of years ago, I got very involved with Steve's methods so I'm pretty familiar with what he does. My point above is that, overall, his process may not work the same in your darkroom; especially as it relates to the use of VC papers. Depending on your personal paper choice(s) and the makeup therein, your paper, in your darkroom, with your enlarger lightsource, and your filtration may not produce the mid-tone contrast in exactly the same way. As a matter of fact, I'd venture to bet that unless you use specifically FP-4+ and develop it in Pyrocat-HD, using EMA, you're already "dead in the water." If you develop with PMK, ABC, or any of the pyrogallol-based formulas, you've already got a totally different negative that will react to VC paper in a totally different way, due to the color of the stain. Even within various pyrogallol-based formulas, you will see different stain color. For example, I've been playing around lately with PMK and ABC. Would you believe those two formulas produce not only a difference in stain color, but, also, a visual difference in the look of the stain? I'm no chemist...so, no idea why this would be...but, viewing identical negs on the lightbox is teaching me a lot!
 

David M

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Well, I've watched the video a second time, but I'm afraid I can't see much difference between the green and blue examples on my 27" screen. It answers a question I used to ask myself in my darkroom days. I never got round to testing it.
Nor am I quite sure about subtracting a few seconds here and adding a few seconds there. Why not simply do a fresh test? My heretic's mind keeps telling me that a couple of clicks in Curves would do it all, more simply, but that's unfair, because he is giving advice on his system of wet printing.
To be fair, he does say that testing is needed for other people's methods and situation. The changes he's making are very small indeed and would probably be overwhelmed by a slightly different negative.
 

Ian Grant

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Steve needs to do a print workshop with John Blakemore.

I've always found he over complicates issues, don't get me wrong he's an excellent printer but there are easier ways to achieve the same results.

With flashing it helps if you are or were experienced with using flashing to manipulate contrasts and midtones with graded papers. where it's a very powerful tool. With VC/MG paprers you can do the same without split grade printing and it works well, you don't need Green & Blue filters either just use Gd 00 or 5 MG filters instead or equivalent Colour head filtration, or much simpler the normal MG filtration or no filtration. I use a second enlarger for flashing with no filtration, all that really matters is consistency.

In a overly complicated way Steve is saying to expand the mid to low tones by printing with harder contrast filtration (he's decreased his soft exposure and increased his hard exposure), then using flashing to bring the highlights back. It's nothing new.

Ian
 

David M

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Yes, John seems to get his results by very careful attention rather than by cunning wheezes.
 
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