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Thread: Unsharp masking

  1. #21

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    Re: Unsharp masking

    Thanks again for all your comments and especially the links to Photo Technique magazine.

  2. #22
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Unsharp masking

    Howard Bond did a series of masking articles for them as I recall.

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Unsharp masking

    Guess I never kept those issues. But I did find a brief article by Ctein in the Oct 97 issue which gives his Softshot dev formula. I think you can also download this from his site. I think he later switched to my own masking formula which gives a straighter gradient on TMax and FP4.

  4. #24

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    Re: Unsharp masking

    This includes at least one article on masking from Bond.

    http://phototechmag.com/author/howard-bond/
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  5. #25

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    Re: Unsharp masking

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulophot View Post
    This includes at least one article on masking from Bond.

    http://phototechmag.com/author/howard-bond/
    interesting link, thanks

  6. #26
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Unsharp masking

    I don't have any first-hand experience, but people were divided over whether the bump in edge sharpness/contrast was a good thing or not. A friend took a workshop with Howard, and he (my friend) generally preferred the non-masked prints, which was disappointing, as the workshop was pricey. I imagine whether it was a good thing or not would depend a lot on the subject.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  7. #27

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    Re: Unsharp masking

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    I don't have any first-hand experience, but people were divided over whether the bump in edge sharpness/contrast was a good thing or not. A friend took a workshop with Howard, and he (my friend) generally preferred the non-masked prints, which was disappointing, as the workshop was pricey. I imagine whether it was a good thing or not would depend a lot on the subject.
    The unsharp masking effect is parallel to the photoshop unsharp masking feature, one may like it or not, one may like a harder setting of softer, and some shots may benefit from it and some not.

    With Ps with a couple of clicks we can test more or less radious, and more or less % in the blending, so it's easy to adjust the good level, but with maks each time we want to test a different radious we have to place a thicker or thiner diffuser layer and to develop a paper, and for the % we have to make a different mask, so with masks it is labour and materials intensive to adjust for a better result.

    Problem is the same, excess of artificial acutance looks unnatural and even nasty.

  8. #28

    Re: Unsharp masking

    How about coming at this issue from a divergent angle.

    Rather than force a commitment to learning the iterative and elaborate procedures such as masking to fix troublesome negatives, how about spending that time intelligently on the front end of your photography to fine tune your exposure and development procedures so you consistently produce bullet proof negatives? Then the fix exercise becomes a rare if ever event.

    Lessons I have learned the hard way toward that objective. Only change one variable at a time in fine tuning your exposure and development process. Each sheet of film needs individual development. Use your eyes more and your meter less. Take an iPhone snap of your composition to evaluate produced tonalities in the final product. Lastly, take good notes and stay disciplined and on track as long as it takes to produce a no dodge/burn final print.

  9. #29
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Unsharp masking

    It can "fix" certain things. But well-controlled masking can do things none of those other procedures can, including the digital mimic going by the same name. I just finished printing two masked images today. I need reading glasses to sell all the detail, but it almost looks mico-etched 3d. The print surface almost seems alive. Howard Bond never took it to the next level, but he could bring out a greater range of tones than otherwise. I don't think I've ever masked a b&w portrait. But for the right subject matter it can yield stunning results. Like anything else, don't expect consistently high results overnight. There is really quite a bit to doing it well. But it's not hard to get started. Today I was combining it with a number of other tricks: split printing, dodging & burning, very subtle split toning, but no bleaching this time.

  10. #30

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    Re: Unsharp masking

    Another good source of masking information and registration equipment is Lynn Redeka. http://www.radekaphotography.com/maskingkits.htm

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