View Full Version : Printing down a phone line...

Scott --
3-Aug-2007, 19:30
Man's encroachment on history bit me today:
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j185/bliorg/th_ChristLutheran01a.jpg (http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j185/bliorg/ChristLutheran01a.jpg)

Short of a black Sharpie on the contact frame glass, is there a way to print down or eliminate that stinkin' phone line?

3-Aug-2007, 19:37
Photoshop? ;)

I like it, by the way

Dan Schmidt
3-Aug-2007, 19:42
keep it

without the phone line that corner would be empty, and it plays off the cable in the bottom right.

It is a stronger image with the phone line, but it would be even stronger with something in the upper right.

David A. Goldfarb
3-Aug-2007, 20:10
Pencil on the neg.

Sylvester Graham
3-Aug-2007, 20:43
When you said "printing down a phone line" I thought you meant like a phototelegraph.
As in a fax.

Andrew O'Neill
3-Aug-2007, 21:10
It's a pity as that black line is very distracting. Can you reshoot the church? If you can then perhaps moving the camera either left/right or slightly forward would move the wire out of the image area.
If you cannot reshoot, then previous suggestions such as touching up the negative with a soft pencil (back side) would work and then spotting the print as required.

The dark tree on the bottom left also helps to balance out the composition once you remove the cable.

John Kasaian
4-Aug-2007, 01:02
If you're a good shot with a .357 and there aren't any cops around you might try shooting the phone line before you re-photograph the church ;)

4-Aug-2007, 03:55
I'd leave it in the print.

If your book publisher wants it out then let them sweat it. ;)

Greg Lockrey
4-Aug-2007, 06:26
Man's encroachment on history

What is history without man?:)

Gene McCluney
4-Aug-2007, 08:51
Traditionally, stuff like this was retouched on the negative with pigment, or pencil to become a white line in the print, then the print was retouched using spotting dye such as spotone to dye the white line down to match the sky.

4-Aug-2007, 10:51
One could give the print rounded upper corners, like the prints of the 1800's -- or photograph with stacked polarizer and red filters to give a black sky.


Scott --
4-Aug-2007, 11:03
Darkening the sky is an interesting idea, Vaughn. I live near this church; I need to go back with filters. And on a day with clouds. :rolleyes:

Thanks for the help, everyone.

Ted Harris
4-Aug-2007, 13:01
It will take some careful and painstaking work in Photoshop but it can be done. The church below had a similar tangle of phone and power lines. Took me a couple of hours to get rid of 'em. I left the one line linking the two chimneys since it shows on pictures from a century ago.

Donald Qualls
4-Aug-2007, 18:26
It will take some careful and painstaking work in Photoshop but it can be done.

Actually, I could invisibly remove Scott's upper left wire in about ten minutes with the Photoshop 5 LE that came with my scanner. Unfortunately, that's not much help with the contact prints Scott likes to make...

erie patsellis
4-Aug-2007, 19:42
Oh Donald,
It'd take about 30 sec in CS2 with the bandaid tool. (healing brush) and would be imperceptable, even at 1:1.


Brian Ellis
4-Aug-2007, 22:12
Here's the photograph with the phone line eliminated in Photoshop. I timed it, it took 14 seconds.

5-Aug-2007, 06:20
How exactly does one use a pencil to mark the negative? I bought the softest pencil I could find, and it didn't work at all - no mark at all.

Jorge Gasteazoro
5-Aug-2007, 08:50
Since you are talking about a contact frame I will assume you are using a big negative. If you want to keep the qualities of the negative without having to make a new "negative" from photoshop I would make a "mask" out of a transparent material same size as the negative in photoshop and then sandwich the negative with the mask. You can do this with darkroom technqiues but it becomes a bit cumbersome.

Instead of making the mask with a black line, use different colors, like blue or green (specially if you are using VC paper), make some tests and see which color blends the line with the sky. If you register the mask and the negative properly you should be able to remove the line.

Greg Lockrey
5-Aug-2007, 11:33
How exactly does one use a pencil to mark the negative? I bought the softest pencil I could find, and it didn't work at all - no mark at all.

I refer you to the Kodak Technical Publication E-71: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/e71/e71.jhtml#51554

5-Aug-2007, 13:21
Should be easy to retouch out. If you're not good at it yourself, just send the negative to a good retoucher. Probably cost $10-25.
In fact, I'm not sure that a black sharpie on the contact glass isn't the easiest way to fix it -- good idea, I'd never have even thought of it. Use a diffuser when printing that corner to smooth it out.

Dan Schmidt
5-Aug-2007, 13:35
Like i said before I like the phone line, but if i wanted to get rid of it i would use a black sharpie on the base side of the negative. Sharpie ink sticks well to the base side (no extra tooth needed) and you can remove it if you make a mistake. Use a really pointy sharpie. You will then have to spot the print.

Some people use retouching ink on the emulsion side, but i find the base side a little safer.

Scott --
5-Aug-2007, 14:14
How would you remove the Sharpie from the base (or pencil from the emulsion) if you wanted it gone?

Dan Schmidt
5-Aug-2007, 14:35
to get sharpie from the base side i use a little isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) with a q-tip. I use these sharp q-tip like objects i'm not sure were they are from.

Sometimes you have to rub pretty hard, but it does not matter much since you are on the base side.

The main weakness of the sharpie is that you can not get as fine a point as you would with a pencil, but i find it easier to apply, esp on the base side.

Glenn Thoreson
5-Aug-2007, 17:02
Extremely fine artist brush and Spotone or Opaque. I even use a very fine pointed flat tooth pick, as you don't want to "paint" the stuff on, but apply a series of fine dots. It will not completely hide the wire, but will make it imperceptible, which is the point. To completely spot it out will make it stand out even more on the print. The final step is up to the printer. If it's going to a publisher, they will digitize it anyway, so I would let them do it. Good luck. :)