Thursday, May 15, 2014


This is a scanned image from one of my darkroom prints.  The original print is a 11x14 and it was selenium toned and dry mounted before scanning.  There is always a lot of noticible dust and image quality lost with the scanning process.  The scanned image usually requires a lot of work in Photoshop to get it to look close to the quality of the original.  I also work with a fluid mount scanning process of my large format negatives.  It renders a better image quality but still requires a lot of work to process the image to get the final image.  When working with Black and White images, controlling the contrast (tonal range) and tonal balance (evenness of tones) is one the most important part of the process.  In this image the light is contrasty and uneven.  The subject is defined by the shapes and shadows on the sand.  The low angle light is both direct and reflective creating a difficult image to balance the tones. Back in my darkroom days when I was close to a having a finished print I would always flip the wet print upside down on my viewing board to look for the overall tonal balance of the print.  I found that looking at the print this way let me focus on just the tones and not the subject matter of the image.  I could easily see where I needed more dodging or burning to the print to help balance the overall look of the final image.  I still do this as a final step with my Photoshop work today.  I process the image using numerous tools and layers to get a satisfactory image and then as a last step I rotate it 180* to check the overall tonal balance to the image.  I am usually surprised how out of balance the inverted image can be. 

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