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Old 11th February 2011, 03:53 PM
Adrian Holmes Adrian Holmes is offline
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Default A couple more spotting tips...

Before you apply your spotting brush (or pen) to the print, try breathing lightly onto the print surface first (as though you were cleaning a pair of spectacles). This makes it very slightly damp, and allows the spot toner to be absorbed into the emulsion more easily. Mind you, I'm an FB man - I can't vouch for the efficacy of this trick with RC papers.

Another tip: when you're holding the retouching brush, use the middle finger of your free hand to steady the brush shaft immediately below the point where you're holding it, as though you were a signwriter. This is the retouching equivalent of using a tripod, and you get far less 'camera shake' as a result.

To avoid having to resort to either of the above, here's a de-dusting trick I was taught: before you make a print, hold the loaded neg carrier just off perpendicular underneath the enlarger with the lamp on and the lens at full aperture. The resulting steeply-angled beam of light will show up every last mote of dust on the surface of the neg, and you can get to work with the blower brush.

Finally, let's hear it again for that great darkroom stand-by: the Incredible Nose Grease Trick. If you have the misfortune to get a tramline scratch down your neg (shiny side only; this doesn't work on the emulsion side), simply rub your finger on the side of your nose, and wipe the resultant slight greasiness back and forth along the tramline. Apparently nose grease has the same refractive index as film base, so effectively 'fills in' the scratch optically. Give it a go - I promise you'll be like one of those delighted mums in a 1960s Daz commercial - 'all those hard-to-shift scratches - they've completely gone!'
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Old 12th February 2011, 08:35 AM
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Roger Cole Roger Cole is offline
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I've done the nose grease trick plenty of times, but I recommend a cotton swab. Using your finger risks finger oil too, which isn't the same. You can then pick off any cotton fiber using the other trick of the angled light beam.

Someone used to make a scratch repair fluid that worked pretty well, but didn't sell so well once folks caught on to nose grease. Vaseline will also work but you must be very careful to use a tiny amount. It's very easy to overdo it into a glob. Nose grease seems to be easiest to control.
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Old 12th February 2011, 10:53 AM
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vincent vincent is offline
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I was shown that using nose grease on your spotting brush helped to keep the point on the end of it.
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Old 13th February 2011, 07:44 PM
Paul. Paul. is offline
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My problem with spotting is that my arms are not long enough for me to see what I need to spot these days. Methinks the need for glasses is here.
My tip is to spot the area and then useing a washed damp brush of the same size blend the spot into the surrounding area. Was taught to dab it with a finger but all I ever got was finger prints, may work if your job lets you have soft clean hands but my grimey calouses did more damage than the worth of it.
Paul.
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Old 27th January 2017, 11:02 AM
John King John King is offline
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Default Spotting Dye/Ink

The price charged now for genuine spotting ink or dye can be drastically reduced by using the contents of an Inkjet 5 colour ink cartridge plus a plain black. The actual make doesn't matter a great deal but for information I use Epsom compatibles which come out at around 12 for both the 5 colour and the black.

Most modern inks/dyes have a permenance almost equal to RA4 prints, so will last quite a long time. They are very concentrated and will only need the smallest amount on a white saucer with quite a lot of water. They mix easily and practically any shade can be reproduced and will absorb almost immediately on a resin coated surface.
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Old 27th January 2017, 01:11 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John King View Post
The price charged now for genuine spotting ink or dye can be drastically reduced by using the contents of an Inkjet 5 colour ink cartridge plus a plain black.
I've never thought of using inkjet (black) ink before John, for my b/w prints, so thanks for the suggestion.

When ever I have tried commercial 'spotting inks', I always found the 'black' ink, even when diluted right down with water on a saucer, to dry more of a blue than a black. However much I dilute it I can never get it to blend into the surrounding tones on the print - to my eyes anyway, as I know where I have done the work and maybe that's also part of the problem?

Terry S
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Old 27th January 2017, 05:27 PM
John King John King is offline
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Originally Posted by Terry S View Post
I've never thought of using inkjet (black) ink before John, for my b/w prints, so thanks for the suggestion.

When ever I have tried commercial 'spotting inks', I always found the 'black' ink, even when diluted right down with water on a saucer, to dry more of a blue than a black. However much I dilute it I can never get it to blend into the surrounding tones on the print - to my eyes anyway, as I know where I have done the work and maybe that's also part of the problem?

Terry S
Quite, however if there are any tones other than pure black or shades of grey this can always be changed with a minute drop of the colour dyes from the opposite end of the spectrum
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Old 28th January 2017, 04:55 PM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is online now
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When my spotting dyes ran out some time ago I switched to Indian ink, and find it works very well. I use Daler Rowney Kandahar Black Indian no 28, simply because this was what I had in for drawing. Other makes would probably work just as well. Less than 5 for a bottle that will last for years.
Common sense would suggest that fibre based papers are easiest to spot, but I have found that dilute Indian ink works surprisingly well on glossy Resin Coated paper, even on exposed sky areas. And when dry the spots are difficult to see because the dilute ink seems to blend into the paper surface.
I dilute the ink with spit, which seems to work better than tap water for some reason, and have three golden rules, which seem to make all the difference to the quality of the work.

1. Don't wet, or even dampen the photo paper surface before spotting. And if you go wrong wipe the ink off immedately then let the area dry before doing it again.
2. Don't just dip the tip of the brush in the liquid. Make sure the brush is well loaded.
3. Before spotting, stroke the brush over an absorbent cloth to remove some of the liquid. Then you can use a semi drybrush technique, which definitely works better than dropping a small blob of liquid on the paper surface.

Alan
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