A burning question....

Rich M

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In the STIDG (Straight Talk Image Discussion Group....hehehe...dontcha love acronyms??) ....a question was asked about burning as it relates to digital post-processing. My son asked the same question last year and was surprised (and probably bored) to hear my lengthy response.

So for all of you out there who have worked in B&W darkrooms before..please don't think I am being pedantic. I just figured there may be someone here who might be curious as to the origins of the terms dodging and burning.

Back in the darkroom, light from a photo enlarger passed through a B&W negative to expose photo paper....through a loupe, you would carefully focus the enlarger lens, so your print was as perfectly in focus as you could get it.

The more light falling on the photo paper, the darker the print, the less light, the lighter the print.

Just like in today's digital darkroom....there are certain areas in your photo you wish were lighter....and certain areas you wish were darker. Dodging and burning were techniques to manipulate the exposure of certain parts of your image.

Dodging means that you are decreasing the amount of light falling on a selected area: you’re making that selected area lighter. You would do this in many ways from waving you hands back and forth while the print is being exposed under the enlarger....to making cardboard cutouts and attaching them to thin wires and waving the cardboard so light is diminished to that area of the print you want to be lighter.

Burning does the opposite: you are increasing the amount of light, darkening the exposure of a selected area. You might make a hole in a large piece of cardboard and add additional light only to those areas while protecting the rest of your print from the light. (Routinely while making prints, the darkroom veterans would say "Burn the edges.".....meaning darken them...so your eye would be drawn to the middle of the print and not wander off to the sides).

You would never really know the results of this under the print came out of the developing bath.

It was wonderful....it was peaceful ....it was magic.

Today, we have all these incredible ways to digitally manipulate images...and some of the old nomenclature still exists.

Sorry if I rambled....(hey....didja know we used to "push" film....:smile:)

R
 

goldenlight

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In the STIDG (Straight Talk Image Discussion Group....hehehe...dontcha love acronyms??) ....a question was asked about burning as it relates to digital post-processing. My son asked the same question last year and was surprised (and probably bored) to hear my lengthy response.

So for all of you out there who have worked in B&W darkrooms before..please don't think I am being pedantic. I just figured there may be someone here who might be curious as to the origins of the terms dodging and burning.

Back in the darkroom, light from a photo enlarger passed through a B&W negative to expose photo paper....through a loupe, you would carefully focus the enlarger lens, so your print was as perfectly in focus as you could get it.

The more light falling on the photo paper, the darker the print, the less light, the lighter the print.

Just like in today's digital darkroom....there are certain areas in your photo you wish were lighter....and certain areas you wish were darker. Dodging and burning were techniques to manipulate the exposure of certain parts of your image.

Dodging means that you are decreasing the amount of light falling on a selected area: you’re making that selected area lighter. You would do this in many ways from waving you hands back and forth while the print is being exposed under the enlarger....to making cardboard cutouts and attaching them to thin wires and waving the cardboard so light is diminished to that area of the print you want to be lighter.

Burning does the opposite: you are increasing the amount of light, darkening the exposure of a selected area. You might make a hole in a large piece of cardboard and add additional light only to those areas while protecting the rest of your print from the light. (Routinely while making prints, the darkroom veterans would say "Burn the edges.".....meaning darken them...so your eye would be drawn to the middle of the print and not wander off to the sides).

You would never really know the results of this under the print came out of the developing bath.

It was wonderful....it was peaceful ....it was magic.

Today, we have all these incredible ways to digitally manipulate images...and some of the old nomenclature still exists.

Sorry if I rambled....(hey....didja know we used to "push" film....:smile:)R
....and sometimes even "pull" it too! :wink:
 

Streetshooter

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Push/pull, ya can still do that in raw.....I do it all the time with the exposure slider.....
Of course I don't need FG-7 with 9% Sulphite....but the result is similar.
 

OzRay

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Ray, not Oz
I despised nothing more than darkroom work. The horrid smells, dermatitis and likely self-poisoning were what drove me completely away from such stuff. The digital darkroom is sheer heaven in comparison.

Cheers

Ray
 

goldenlight

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I despised nothing more than darkroom work. The horrid smells, dermatitis and likely self-poisoning were what drove me completely away from such stuff. The digital darkroom is sheer heaven in comparison.

Cheers

Ray
I took 99% colour slides and had them commercially processed, so no darkroom for me either.
 

BBW

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I have to agree about the chemicals from the days of yore, but I did love the hours I spent in there... Just today, I was explaining to a friend, who is an artist, how immersed I've become again in photography. I'm afraid many other duties are falling by the wayside...as I slowly find my way in the digital darkroom. To me it's a kind of meditation. Time goes by and I'm oblivious.

Thanks so much Rich M. for your thread because I'm sure there are quite a few who haven't lived in the darkroom and don't know the origins of these terms.
 

Streetshooter

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I enjoyed all facets of the darkroom. Processing film was my favorite.
Then when I started Non-Silver a new world opened. I love Platinum Printing my 8 x 10 negs....no darkroom needed....Pyro developer for film....
ahhhhh, the good old daze.....
But to tell the truth, I don't miss it at all. Light Room is a gas......
 

Rich M

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Messages
315
I did love the hours I spent in there... Just today, I was explaining to a friend, who is an artist, how immersed I've become again in photography.

To me it's a kind of meditation. Time goes by and I'm oblivious.
BB....that's the thing I miss the most about the darkroom....time would stop...and I would become immersed in the creation of the print.

It's different in the digital darkroom....not better....not worse...just different.

R
 

Brian S

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Panatomic-X in Microdol. ASA 32


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JoepLX3

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Thanks, two nice BW pictures, I really like #1

But how about a pre/post comparison?
- I like the atmosphe, but can't see well what actually did "burn"...

Sorry for asking so much...
 

Streetshooter

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Can you show examples? (please without the smell)
Joe****

Open a raw file in LR. Quick develop WB and Auto Tone....
Open the image in the Develop Module.......
Slide the exposure slider + or - and pay attention to the tones and the separation of tones..... this is giving you
N+ and N- development.....
 

Vidar

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On a sidenote, two days ago I developed a film for the first time in my life. Was no problem doing it home without a darkroom. Scanned the film. Great kick to see that there was something on the film when I hung it to dry:smile:

Camera:
Leica M2, Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4

Film: Fomapan 200 developed in Fomadon LQN, 5 minutes at 20C:

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vidargrov/4700287109/" title="Cube#3 by VidarFoto, on Flickr">
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"500" height="332" alt="Cube#3" /></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vidargrov/4700921706/" title="Bryggen by VidarFoto, on Flickr">
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"500" height="326" alt="Bryggen" /></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vidargrov/4700922766/" title="TV by VidarFoto, on Flickr">
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"500" height="331" alt="TV" /></a>

I just love B&W film and the slow process in shooting film, compared to digital. And think I can learn alot using a fully mechanical camera like the M2.

But offcourse loves digital too, and will never stop using my E-P1:smile:

Think there will be a place for film besides digital in the future too.
 

JoepLX3

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Joe****

Open a raw file in LR. Quick develop WB and Auto Tone....
Open the image in the Develop Module.......
Slide the exposure slider + or - and pay attention to the tones and the separation of tones..... this is giving you
N+ and N- development.....
Oh, I expect a "model" of more heavy chemistry/physics (non-lineair / non-homogene).
- Sorry for being "less-smart"...

On a sidenote, two days ago I developed a film for the first time in my life. Was no problem doing it home without a darkroom. Scanned the film. Great kick to see that there was something on the film when I hung it to dry:smile:

...

I just love B&W film and the slow process in shooting film, compared to digital. And think I can learn alot using a fully mechanical camera like the M2.

But offcourse loves digital too, and will never stop using my E-P1:smile:

Think there will be a place for film besides digital in the future too.
Haha, I love BW too, and see Film is indeed not same as digital, but you didn't fully burn it...
- All three nice picture, but don't know if #2 or #3 is my favorite, too cifficult too compare and both great atmosphere
 

Brian S

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Notes on he first print: shadow area of the eyes required some "burn-in" to lighten. Second shot: sky was the same story. I scanned the negatives and used "Curves" in photoshop to duplicate the look acheived over 30 years ago in the darkroom, when printing the negatives.
 

JoepLX3

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Notes on he first print: shadow area of the eyes required some "burn-in" to lighten. Second shot: sky was the same story. I scanned the negatives and used "Curves" in photoshop to duplicate the look acheived over 30 years ago in the darkroom, when printing the negatives.
Thanks Brain, very informative, guess I will have to do some post processing in the future myself as well, because it sounds pretty interesting to really add a "dimension" to a photo like that. Did I already tell you I like the first picture a lot? If it were somebody I know I would frame it and give it to her and for me one more reason to buy m43 camera icw with a 40-50 mm prime to get some shallow DOF portraits of my daughters (and keep the frames).
 

Brian S

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That little girl was 9 years old in the picture, that was in 1978. "Zoey".

We used the picture in the yearbook. It was an open house for the University, and she was the daughter of a student. She saw me with two cameras, came up, and I gave her a quick lesson the F2a. She did quite well, the lens was a 24/2.8 and I set it at F8. She got some good photo's, and was a real natural.
 

JoepLX3

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That little girl was 9 years old in the picture, that was in 1978. "Zoey".
Then she is about 5 years older than I am, but my parents didn't have such a nice Nikon those days...
- Here are my daughters on the beach last Saturday (still a little younger), taken by a colleague of me with his Nikon D700 and XY mm Sigma 1.Z prime.
 

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