Burning and Dodging

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Scott7117, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. Scott7117

    Scott7117 TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys. I've been doing a bit of research on processing and printing your own negatives and I read something about burning and dodging. I was wondering what this technique was and how it is performed and applied? Thanks.:D
     
  2. Overkill-F1

    Overkill-F1 TPF Noob!

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    Burning is when you add extra exposure during the exposure of the paper while enlarging. You are basically adding more light to the print on selected areas to darken these areas. Quite often the edges of a print are a little lighter than they should be. So after the image is exposed to give most of the print the right exposure, you place a card between the enlarger and the paper, then turn on the enlarger and expose the edges, one at a time to add more light to the edges. You have to keep the card moving to prevent a noticeable edge.
    Dodging can be as simple as a small circle of cardboard on the end of a piece of wire. During the exposure, you move the dodging tool over the area that is too dark, thus preventing it from getting too dark.
    ...Terry
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The silver halides in silver gelatin photographic papers darken with exposure to light, so your job as a printer is to study your negative and decide how much light you want to hit certain areas of your print. It's fairly easy to get a passable "work print" where you can see what your main subject is. Burning in more light to darken an area, or using a card to block the enlarger's light from certain areas (dodging) can be used skillfully to create images of increased interest and drama. Talent in this area is what separates casual printers from the masters! (With a few other darkroom tricks, too.)

    Practice, practice, practice. I would advise reading more darkroom books on these basics (I recommend reading Henry Horenstein's series and enrolling in a class in a local college or university.

    It's like learning backgammon....you can learn the basics fairly quickly, but it takes some time and practice to become really good at the game. ;) It's a great deal of fun and highly addictive!
     
  4. Scott7117

    Scott7117 TPF Noob!

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    Ok cool. Once I get all of my darkroom stuff I'm def. going to give this a try!

    Thanks!
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    it isn't a matter of just giving it a try, this technique is used on almost every print. It is a matter of learning to do it well so one can't tell where and how much light has been added or taken away.

    it is rare to make a negative that doesn't need tweaking .
     
  6. Scott7117

    Scott7117 TPF Noob!

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    Didn't know that Ann, thanks. I'm pretty new to shooting and developing film.

    I was also wondering it's performed?
     
  7. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ? "I was also wondering it's prerformed"


    i am not sure i understand that statement, if you mean how , several people above me have given you some tips.

    When you where a child did youi every make shadows on the wall in your bedroom while you were trying to stay awake? Well , it is the same thing. you create a shadow (i use my hands for 99% of the burning and dodging) between the lens and the paper.

    take your hand and with it close to the enlarging lens see what kind of shadow it produces on the easel. bring your hand down and now see what occurs. You can create a cone of light by cuping you fingers and thumb and let the light shine beteen that, you can use just a finger , etc.

    there are also wires, think a coat hanger cut into smaller pices , or flora wire which is thinner.

    Someone mentioned cardboard, also construct paper will work, be sure the shape you cut out does not have straight edges, make then burry.

    You always move your hand, or cardboard, or what ever else you may be using to change the amount of light; if you don't , you will leave a halo which is not very attractive.

    If the question is when . then it is when yiou want to change the look of the print. I.E. There are high light arears that are printing pure white. You will need to add light to those areas, and a lot of light. If you want to see detail in the shadows you will need to block some light, with shadows it takes very little time.

    you might try to find a book by Larry Bartlett Called Black White Photo graphic WOrkshop. HE has some great tips and examples they will be helpful for you. there are of course other books that can be helpful including the one's terri recommended.

    just have fun and remember this all takes practice.
    \
     
  8. Scott7117

    Scott7117 TPF Noob!

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    Yup, that's exactly what I was asking. Sorry if I phrased myself poorly.

    Thank you.
     

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