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Burning and Dodging

Tips and Tricks
Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2013-06-21

Burning and Dodging

Burning and Dodging simply means that you add or remove exposure on certain parts of the print.
And you do this by blocking the light source to add or remove exposure.

This is what I find most fun but also the most challenging in most cases.

One common and often easy example would be that you have a nature image with sky and ground.
Expose the whole image after the ground and you often get a very bright sky and a very dark ground if you expose after the sky.
You can in this case expose the ground till it looks good and then add more exposure to the sky while you block the ground.
You often don't want a sharp edge from there you added the extra exposure.
This can be avoided by using some distance between the paper and the tool you use to block out the light source.
Moveing the tool during the exposure will also make this smoother.

Tools to burn or dodge your print are often very simpel or you can just use your hand.

Burning and Dodging
One thing I have found very useful during this is to have a metronome.
A metronome is a tool that makes a beep noise once every sec or whatever you set it to do.
This is something a musician more often use and you can usually buy these where you buy music instruments.
But this is very helpful to keep track of the time by counting the beeps while your doing this.

That was all for this, but I also have some related posts about darkroom use:

Develop B&W Film or Paper

Enlarging Print Basics
Burning and Dodging
Controlling Contrast
Contact Printing

Writing down what you are doing

Print examples

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