View Full Version : Bromide drag?

William McEwen
28-Nov-2009, 09:25
From the book "Richard Avedon: The Kennedys, Portrait of a Family," page 36:

"The halo around Jackie's hair is bromide drag, which occurs when the negative and the developing chemicals are not kept in enough motion. If this happens,there is an excess of bromide created along an edge where darks and lights meet and overexposes the light side."

This is the first time I've heard this term. Have any of you ever heard of bromide drag?

Gem Singer
28-Nov-2009, 10:26
Hi William,

I have heard of bromide drag.

However, it usually appears as brownish streaks in the negative when the agitation pattern is only done in one direction. Hydrobromic acid builds up as a natural bi-product of the development process.

The halo around Jackie's head was probably not a result of bromide drag. More than likely it was done during the printing process.

Perhaps over sharpening in Photoshop.

bob carnie
28-Nov-2009, 11:31
This may not be a technically the right explanation , but Bromide Drag in a print is a halo effect that happens between dark areas of a print and lighter background when using extreme high contrast papers or filters on VC.
Some printers, myself included will print on grade 4, 4 1/2 or even Grade 5 only with no regard for perfect shadow or even highlight detail . This high contrast print will exhibit bromide drag *halo* and I think this is what you are referring too.
I have just finished a series of portraits by Nigel Dickson who loved to create this effect with his prints in the darkroom and has mimiced the effect digitally to print on Lambda fibre.

As Gem points out you can mimic the effect in PS with over sharpening. By using a very high radius, medium amount sharpening a halo's around the subject will be created.

This is an interesting adaptation in digital printing or at least an acceptance of artifacts to produce a visual look. Trying for the perfect print IMHO has never been something my clients have looked for in the darkroom and now I have had the chance to make a series of prints for a museum show that does exhibit flaws..In this case trying to mimic bromide drag digitally with excessive sharpening.

ronald moravec
4-Dec-2009, 20:41
Bromide drag is vertical streaking caused by insufficient agitation.

Overly contrasty tonal changes are different, but the cause is the same.