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Old 8th November 2015, 08:49 AM
cndnlfartist cndnlfartist is offline
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
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Default can I use what I learned in a b&w darkroom in a color darkroom

I am thinking of trying colour printing in the spring.
However I have one main question.

Can I use what I learned in a b&w darkroom in a colour darkroom?

As in will I be able to dodge, burn, tone, etc?

I may have more questions soon, but those are my main ones at this time.
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Old 8th November 2015, 09:06 AM
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Argentum Argentum is offline
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Location: Sceptred Isle
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yes and no.

Some skills are the same and others aren't.

B+W toning acts on silver in the emulsion. Colour paper doesn't have any silver in it after fixing. All that is left are the dyes and as far as I know you cant tone those. Well you could try but who knows what colour they would end up.

Then you will also need to learn about filtration for colour printing. If you have a dichroic colour head then you already have the filters but if you don't have a dichroic colour head then you will need one or you can buy CC filters from Lee Filters.

I would get yourself a book on colour printing. You should find one in a used book store if you search a bit. Can't recommend one becasue I'm not a colour printer but you will need to be able to see and interpret colour casts in your prints and know what colour or colours you need to add or subtract filtration to adjust it to balanced.

You may find that a colour meter is helpful for balancing colour filters. The colourstar 3000 was very good but there are cheaper and easier ones to find.
An old dog learning new tricks
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Old 8th November 2015, 12:30 PM
JOReynolds JOReynolds is offline
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Location: St Albans UK/Agde France
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Argentum has written most of it. But dodging is tricky unless the negative is dense, since the colour will shift. This will also happen when burning-in, because the three emulsion layers don't have straight curves - they have shoulders and toes, like B&W, which overlay nicely for correctly exposed layers but if, for instance, a highlight is blown and you try to burn it in to reveal detail, a colour shift will occur. This can be corrected by burning in through CC filters but there are no rules or tables - you have to rely on trial, error and experience, which gets expensive.
In the days before VAT, the purchase tax inspector, on the lookout for unrealistic wastage claims, had to be persuaded that it took fifteen sheets to get an acceptable 16 x 20" print of an unevenly-lit stage set.
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Old 8th November 2015, 04:02 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Location: Daventry, Northants
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I have only ever tried burning in once on RA4 and it was a person's face that was too pale. I simply used the same tool( i.e. a hole in a card) that I use for B&W and it worked OK without altering the colour balance. However I should add that the extra burn was very short and as it was a face there was only effectively one colour to be burned.

If it's any consolation I have seldom found ( that instance above excepted) B&D to be necessary on RA4. In that sense and once you have the colour balance correct, it is why RA4 is "easier" but less creative than B&W

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Old 8th November 2015, 04:10 PM
cndnlfartist cndnlfartist is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 52

Thank you very much Argentum,
It is very much appreciated and very insightful.

And thank you JO,
I like your VAT comment, and it instantly got me wondering if they would go in a Bakery and tell the Baker to use and sell everything that hits the floor.
For us it's the same thing.

I will pick up a book or 5 and do some research into it.
Then purchase some chemistry and paper in the spring. Then do some experimenting when I have a little time.
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Old 8th November 2015, 05:28 PM
John King John King is offline
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Location: County Durham
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Default Colour Printing

It used to be said not to burn in or dode a colour print because there will be a colour change, well I do both (with moderation) and so far got away with it.

The main thing to remember is that when printing colour it is like walking a tightrope and all variables must be kept at a minimum. Try to use the same film, exposed at the same index, same C41 developer, so on and so forth and processed at the same temperature. The recommended temp of 38c and 35c for developing the film and paper respectfully, should be stuck with, however a degree either way matter not, so long as all your process temperatures are the same all the time.
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Old 9th November 2015, 01:25 PM
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GoodOldNorm GoodOldNorm is offline
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all you need to know in this book
"Tea is surely the king of all drinks. It helps against the cold, it helps against the heat,against discomfort and sickness, against weariness and weakness". Heinrich Harrer.
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Old 9th November 2015, 06:46 PM
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Rob Archer Rob Archer is offline
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I used to do a bit of colour printing but soon abandoned it. Unlike b&w it's either 'right' or 'wrong' and i found it incredibly frustrating and difficult to get the colour balance right. I also found keeping the temperatures within a degree or so a challenge. You're also working in total darkness! I soon decided it was better to pay a good lab to do it! I don't regret trying though as it thought me a lot about colour and a whole new lot of chemistry. Nowadays though I'd just scan the negs and............but talk about it somewhere else!
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Old 17th November 2015, 02:14 AM
jeanb jeanb is offline
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Printing color negatives is a thing of beauty in my experience. If you're a well seasoned b/w printer, of course your acquired discipline will serve you tremendously in the color darkroom. Fact is, I found it easy beyond my dreams when I start printing Cibachrome at first. But the extreme contrast of the slide/paper process made for dodging and burning, I even resorted to producing film unsharp masks in order to print contrasty scenes. Then I tried RA4. You were not merely enlarging a properly exposed positive image unto positive paper, but had to deal with the orange masked negative, no proper visual clue as to "correct" exposure, and translate it into a color-correct positive image. Filtration now had to be taken backward, wich worried me a bit, but I quickly got the knack of it : with correctly exposed negatives, average to good color temperature shooting, the task is made a lot easier. I very briefly processed in drums and quickly got a tabletop roller transport machine. If you can find a clean one, do not hesitate: loading drums is a real pain imo. A voltage-stabilized color head is obviously an asset, but I did some work using acetate filters under a condenser head as well as a stabilized cold light head ! With a fujimoto 3 baths machine, I just placed the exposed paper on a "slide", the rollers grabbed the paper, I closed the lid, turned on the lights, and whithin minutes, a processed color print came out of it. Picked the print with tongs, and dunked it into the Kostiner washer. All with keeping hands dry ... there was your con·so·la·tion prize for having to work (though not constantly in total darkness. Of course, you could process test strips of paper, you were not bound to use full sheets for tests. I am going to revive it soon after being in storage for 12 years. You just have to know that the preparation of the solutions takes a bit longer than a batch of D-76. When you load the machine, you try to print some quantity, as it still is a bit of work: the solutions can't really be left in the machine waiting, it has to be cleaned after printing. I'd say using 20 8x10 sheets per session was worth preparing then emptying the machine...good luck

Last edited by jeanb; 17th November 2015 at 02:35 AM.
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