View Full Version : Dodging/burning with a cut up print?

29-Jan-2008, 19:05
Anyone ever cut up a test print to make a mask for dodging/burning? I've never done it, but it seems like it might be useful, particularly for difficult subjects.

David A. Goldfarb
29-Jan-2008, 19:11
Yes, I've done it. It's not as precise as contrast masking (so it's easy to get halos), but it's more precise than using your fingers.

Sheldon N
29-Jan-2008, 19:53
I've used the same method, but won't lay the mask directly on the print. Rather, I'll hold it above the print and move it around while exposing to get smoother edges.

Paul Metcalf
29-Jan-2008, 20:16
all the time

Nigel Smith
29-Jan-2008, 22:04
two issues (although I do use this method) is the paper is usually not 100% light proof, so the area your dodging can get extra unwanted exposure and as mentioned above, you still need to hold the cutout up and jiggle it about. This means the picture you've based your mask on is not the right size and therefore won't actually mask the desired area accurately. What I do to combat this if warranted (definitely need an accurate mask as opposed to "close enough will do"), is to either make a smaller print by raising the paper up (refocus enlarger) by sitting it on something and cutting that one out OR using a reject print, position the paper (upside down) in under the enlarger up to the height you need and sketch the shape you need and cut that out. 1st method is more accurate, 2nd is cheaper and quicker!


Brook Martin
29-Jan-2008, 22:35
what they said. works really good for contact printing.

29-Jan-2008, 22:42
I did it for a funny shaped area in one corner. I taped it to a bigger piece of cardboard so it wouldnt bleed over the opposite side. Of course, I moved it while I burned like always. Worked great!

phil sweeney
29-Jan-2008, 23:41
all the time

All the time for large contact prints.

Chuck Pere
30-Jan-2008, 06:17
Also good for flashing selected areas of the print.

Neal Wydra
30-Jan-2008, 07:50
I cheat a bit. I scan the test print and reprint it half size so that I can hold it high enough to keep the edge fuzzy.

Neal Wydra

Kirk Gittings
30-Jan-2008, 08:27
If you do some testing with this I think you will find that the bleed thru can cause some generalized exposure much like fogging. At least when I tested it it did, but I burn and dodge allot, and burning in particular with a light cutout mask caused some dulling of the highlights outside the burn area. I took to spray painting the back of the cutout flat black.

30-Jan-2008, 11:54
Here's an extreme example
I borrowed a historical negative that had been overdeveloped, plus, on of the major areas of interest was coated with aluminum paint, and much of the rest was black and or in shadow- although the shadows were detailed. I spent hours trying to burn in the boilerplated area to no avail, and in desperation tried this:
I made and processed a print that was pretty good except for the detailless highlight.
I carefully cut that zone out- simplified by the fact that the edge of the aluminum paint was also the edge of the object.
Then I registered the maskprint and taped it on one side to the Speedeasel and got a heavy burn of the bad area after only a coupla more tries, without the obvious " look what youuuuu did" areas of slop over burn, or other objections.

evan clarke
30-Jan-2008, 14:04
Yep, do that for flashing...Evan Clarke

domenico Foschi
30-Jan-2008, 14:51
I place the negative on a light box and trace the shape I need on vellum, then I cut that up to shape and I draw the outlines on a pice of black paper that then I cut.
That gives me more diffused edges easier to control.
I have a box where I put envelopes filled with all the custom masks I need for a specific print with the title of the image on the envelope.
Very rarely I use hands or standard shape cut out.
I find that by having custom made masks the dodging and burning comes out better.

Alan Rabe
31-Jan-2008, 14:28
I have two specail burning/dodging tools that I use.
1. I have an 8x10 black metal frame that I have created a set of movable cross hairs on. I use the slidey hanger tabs with the tabs pointing out, across these I have ran some clear fishing line. I djust them so the position of the crosshairs is above the spot to be dogded. I then cut a small piece of matt board to the size I need and then tape or glue stick to the cross hairs. Work nicely.

2. I have a 16 inch long conture gauge that I use for dodging or burning horizons. It has 3 inch long slidable vanes that I can adjust to any horizon I have come across. I also attach a piece of cardboard to it with velcro so it covers the whole bottom half of the image. It can be used for burnig forgrounds also.