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Thread: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

  1. #1

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    Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask



    I didn't have any frosted mylar on hand but I decided to try creating a contrast reduction mask with some sort of diffusion layer between the b&w film and the colour film. I had some tracing paper and expected the paper grain to show up in the mask but I rolled with it, really just wanting to see if I could soften the mask slightly to make registration easier. I haven't nailed the registration yet but I'm getting closer. I put a pin registration device as one of my expenses for a grant I just applied for; hopefully I'll get the grant and they'll approve the pin registration device (along with $1300 in supplies and $5000 in framing).

    I then put the tracing paper between the positive mask and the negative original for the enlargement.

    Here's a zoom of the print



    It's a neat effect in the open blue sky but it's quite distracting in the shadow regions. I wonder if there's a way to make the texture more noticeable in the mid to high tones and more muted in the shadow regions. I wouldn't use it for my own work but a few friends of mine have raised interest in paying me to print their colour work for them and I think some of them would like the effect.


  2. #2

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    Re: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

    Hi Sean,

    I'm not familiar with your work flow and the use of the B&W film in masking here. What are you trying to achieve? Is creating the mottled texture your goal or you want to get rid of it?

    What do you want to alter and what do you want to preserve and how do you protect the trees if they're already perfect?

    Asher

  3. #3

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    Re: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

    I put a layer of tracing paper between the b&w sheet and the colour negative sheet. Normally one uses something like frosted mylar because it doesn't have a texture.

    I'm trying to figure out if it's possible to have the texture in the mid-range to the hilights but not the shadow regions. I'm thinking I have to tweak the exposure time of the contact print and the development time. I'd want to try to get the shadow regions to clip, I think.

  4. #4
    Bob Farr's Avatar
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    Re: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

    Have you tried graphic arts film that is frosted on both sides??

  5. #5
    matthew blais's Avatar
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    Re: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

    I've used vellum to make a mask to put on top of negative with an opaque glass in between, and shaded with pencil areas I wanted to dodge somewhat..no mottling but longer exposures
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover"
    August Rodin

    My Now old Photo Site

  6. #6

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    Re: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

    Quote Originally Posted by matthew blais View Post
    I've used vellum to make a mask to put on top of negative with an opaque glass in between, and shaded with pencil areas I wanted to dodge somewhat..no mottling but longer exposures
    Matthew,

    Unfortunately, I didn't pay attention to my late father in law's work with masking in the darkroom. I just processed my images and was thrllled with his work. So there's a gap in my darkroom skills here. How do you register the layers? Does anyone productively use a digital B&W negative to aid in masking, as that would allow precise cut outs and gradient transitions.

    Vellum would appear to give uniform changes. That seems limiting.

    Asher

  7. #7

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    Re: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

    This is pretty standard masking technique but usually something acting as a diffuser is inserted btween the mask and the negative

  8. #8

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    Re: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    This is pretty standard masking technique but usually something acting as a diffuser is inserted btween the mask and the negative
    Cyrus,

    Is that mainly to soften the edges of and in the mask to allow more gentle transitions or does it also flatten the micro contrast.

    Asher

  9. #9

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    Re: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

    Both. View Camera did an article or two about this You basically make a mask either digitally or by contact printing a positive or by using a pencil to shade a piece of frosted mylar or drafting tracing paper, to selectively dodge and reduce contrast on mayching areas on the neg. Then you sandwich the mask with the original neg but put a diffuser between them, can be another piece of tracing paper or vellum or even glass so everything is smooth, and you place that in the enlatger. The OP didnt use a diffuser and used plain textured paper so the texture of the paeper mask came through. Anyway making masks is standard procedure. Unsharp masks, hilite masks, or in this case a texture mask. I think Avedon used masks with lipstick to block out backgrounds and get white even backgrounds. Fun to experiment. You need good registration.

  10. #10

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    Re: Used tracing paper while creating contrast reduction mask

    Whos giving grants for analog photogtsphy. I need to get in line

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