Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Flashing a print in the darkroom

I had a chance to spend a few hours printing in the darkroom so decided to make good FibreBase Prints of a couple negatives that my daughter Hannah took while volunteering in Haiti earlier this year.

One of the shots was of a small black child in the shade, he was wearing a white shirt but part of the shirt was in the direct sun. Needless to say, the white splash on his shirt was bullet proof and I couldn't get any detail in the bottom of the shirt.

I tried burning it in, but couldn't get it right. It was just blocked right up. I decided to flash the paper with no negative in the enlarger to get a touch of tone in the white.

The basic print time was 40 seconds. Then I burned the shirt for another 30 seconds, and the other areas of the print that needed love received an additional 30 seconds.

I then pulled the negative out and gave the whole print 3 seconds of white light.

Way too much.

So I repeated the printing steps but this time I stopped the lens down two full stops and hit it with two seconds of light. It seemed to work. The white shirt was the only true white part of the photo and now it had a slight/light gray tone. Just off-white.

The paper was Ilford Multigrade Fibrebase Warmtone. One of the nicest traditional papers on the market and certainly one of the best sellers at bigcameraworkshops.com.
If your looking for traditional photo supplies I keep the paper in stock from 5x7 to 20x24 and also stock a number of other fine Fibrebase products. You can find my store at bigcameraworkshops.com

Rob Skeoch

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