Exposing/Developing Paper Twice?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by frXnz kafka, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    This should be a fairly simple question.....

    Here's what I'm trying to do: I want to expose an image, develop it, and then expose the image to white light so I can "paint" on developer to get some black lines. Is this at all possible? Will the second exposure ruin the first image?
     
  2. doobs

    doobs TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I don't think that's going to work.
     
  3. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    You would have to wash it after the first development before it was exposed again. This removes the developer from the parts you don't want to be blackened. Use plain water, and do not fix until after the 'painting' stage. Find out how much washing you need by trial and error. Are you using RC or fibre-based paper?

    Steps:
    1) Imagewise exposure
    2) Develop
    3) Wash to remove developer
    4) Make fogging exposure sufficient to produce DMax (eg enlarger with no negative in it)
    5) Paint on developer
    6) Stop/wash
    7) Fix
    8) Final wash

    4) Note: the idea here is to give it just enough controlled exposure to create DMax where it gets developed, not too much exposure to reduce the silver halide in the highlights (ie to avoid darkening the highlights).

    Many papers have developer incorporated, and I don't know how that would affect the process outlined above, or how easy it is to wash out, nor do I know, off the top of my head, which papers have developer incorporated. I do know that when I used to use a process called 'chemical dodging' simply wetting the paper did not permit any appreciable development, and I used a number of different papers. So try it and see.

    Good luck,
    Helen
     
  4. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    Ilford RC. I assume if I were to put it in the stop after the first dunk into the developer, that would be the end of it?
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    No, you would just have to wash the stop bath out of the paper before painting the developer on at the next stage. No big deal really, especially with RC.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. doobs

    doobs TPF Noob!

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    For some reason, I thought he meant film. O_O
     
  7. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    Yea, film would be a bit trickier ;)
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Film is actually easier. It's just black and white reversal development. The idea is that you develop and wash, then bleach everything out, then flip the lights on, then redevelop. Leaves you with a black and white positive. This is how DR5, the T-Max reversal kit, Fomadon, etc work. Dunno if it would work with papers. It would take a lot of experimenting, and the bleach for this process is pretty nasty stuff. As you can guess, if you succeeded in doing it with paper, it would leave you with a negative.
     
  9. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    It's easier to reverse-process paper than it is film, partly because you usually develop paper to finality. I have used it with large pinhole cameras and camera obscuras (that seems to be the correct plural - I had to look it up) to produce direct paper positives. As an aside, some reversal processes, including dr5, use chemical reversal instead of a reversal exposure. FrXnz could paint on a fogging developer at stage 5 (ref my post above) and omit the stage 4 exposure. It seems easier to use a fogging exposure, but if you want to try other ways I could give suggestions for fogging developers. You could also use a colour developer to paint on colours other than black. The possibilities are endless.

    There is a slightly similar process that I know as chemical dodging. Here is a thread about it.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  10. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    Oh jeez. Looks like I'll be having a lot of fun in the darkroom today :D
     
  11. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    The first questions anyone should have asked here is "where do you want the black lines and why?"
    Whatever the reason, trying to do it by double development is going to cause problems.

    Gelatine, the support medium for most photographic emulsions (including RC), is hygroscopic so it will readily absorb any liquid put on it.
    This isn't much of a problem when the emulsion is dry as there are a number of effects which retard absorption (such as surface tension). But if the emulsion is wet - and no-one suggested drying the paper between processes - then any developer put onto the surface will 'bleed'. If the print has been given a second exposure (as suggested above) then the whole print has been fogged and development will occur wherever the developer goes. The results will be a bit like drawing on blotting paper with a marker pen.
    Secondly, putting wet prints in enlarging easels is ill advised. Water will tend to cause corrosion of the metal (unless you have all stainless steel construction) and any residual chemicals will react with the metal to form salts (stop is very good for this). The net result will be a build up over repeated use leading to contamination and staining of subsequent prints.

    It is always best to keep dry areas dry in the darkroom so an alternative method should be found.

    If you are just wanting black borders around your print then nothing could be easier.
    Cur a piece of mounting board or thick card to a size 1mm shorter and 1mm narrower than the size printed to. The edges are best chamferred so window mount cutting tools work well. Doing this will produce a knife edge to give sharp lines.
    Put the paper in the easel and expose the print.
    Leave everything as it is and carefully place the card on the print (chamfer facing the enlarger). Centre it to get even gaps between the card and easel - spacers can be used for this.
    Give the print a second exposure. The card will mask the image and only the gaps around the edge will be exposed. Putting a diffuser over the lens will help even the lighting but a slightly longer exposure will be needed.
    Process in the usual way.

    If you want lines on the print in other places for some other reason then try constructing a mask from red acetate using ruler, scalpel and a lot of care.
    Expose the print, position mask (make sure it lies flat - a piece of glass on top will do this) and give second exposure. Then process.
    With practice multiple masks can be constructed for complex effects.
    There are other ways of doing this but this is the easiest.
     
  12. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Herz,

    You make a lot of good points, and provide an alternative to my contribution - one of the great things about forums. Your points are worth discussing, so here goes.

    Sometimes people have their own reasons for trying things like this, and there are times when asking 'why?' could provide a better solution (if the aim is technical) and times when it may interfere (when the aim is expressive/experimental). The heart has reasons that reason does not know. Times when it is best to focus in on a good technical solution and times when it is best to open up to possibilities. When answering we have to make a judgment on which way to go. With questions like this I prefer to start the discussion by opening up possibilities without requiring the OP to justify themselves. But it is a judgment call. It often works the other way - everyone else gives what they think is the answer and I'm the only one who asks 'please tell us more'. I guess that another way of looking at it is whether or not you think that the scattergun answers might spark the imagination, or if they will hinder the path to the answer. If my not asking 'why?' in this case was wrong, it was because of my poor judgment not because of my lack of thought. It may not be obvious, but I tend to answer a few questions thoughtfully rather than a lot of questions summarily.

    Oh, and if you don't mind me asking this, is it the right thing to do to tell other responders what they should have done? Why not simply lead by example? I mean, I'm not going to say 'You should have answered this ten days ago while the fire was hot.' No, I'm not even going to mention that.

    I got the impression that frXnz was the sort of person who wanted to try things out, and find out the problems and possibilities for frXnzself.

    I wondered whether or not to mention that, but I honestly thought that it would be self-evident, and that frXnz would quickly discover the different effects obtainable with sopping wet paper and with squeeged paper - going back to the willingness to experiment, which struck me as the essential flavour of this question that needed to be nurtured. In fact, if you have tried it, you will find that fairly fine work is possible with even fibre paper after it has been squeegeed onto an easel. There are some people who like little bits of imprecision and randomness in their process, especially among those using traditional methods, aren't there? Watercolour artists know the effect of painting onto wet paper, and I bet that most other people do too.

    You haven't tried it, or anything similar, have you? It is a lot more controllable than that, especially with RC. As part of the chemical dodging process (see my link to the APUG thread above) you paint developer onto wet fibre-based paper. Experimenting with that part of the process comes naturally - you can't help but try things.

    I used all-metal easels when I began using chemical dodging, so that they could be easily washed and dried afterwards. You are worrying unnecessarily, possibly because you have never done it.

    Well, that's a good idea, but it should not stop you from wandering from the straight and narrow now and then, if you clean your mess up afterwards. This is expression, not lab work.

    I didn't think that is what frXnz had in mind, I saw something more expressive. Maybe that was my mistake.

    I confess that I though that the easiest way that maintained the brushness frXnz seemed to want would be to paint them on in retouching dye, but I didn't dare mention it because it is so damn obvious, because frXnz knows what frXnz wants, but most of all because this doesn't seem to be about doing it the easiest way.

    We do whatever we think is right at the time, I guess.

    Best,
    Helen
     

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