Dodge and Burn (Old School Edition)

As far as modern editing goes, I would have to say we have come pretty far. Now a days if one wants to remove certain objects all one has to do is toss that photo in photoshop...a few clicks here and there... and presto object gone! The same goes with dodging and burning. for those that do not know, dodging is the act of decreasing the exposure in certain areas of a print or image that a photographer wishes to be lighter. On the flip side, burning increases the exposure in certain areas rendering a darker section. 

What you see above is the finished product of what I would call a satisfactory print in my opinion.  That said, this photo when originally printed straight from the negative lacked contrast and therefore needed to be dodged or burned in certain areas. 

The whole process of calculating the exposure of a negative can be daunting, but with a little patience the results are totally worth the effort. As far as technicalities go, This print, for its initial exposure was exposed for a total of 80 seconds, with the exception of our subjects hair being dodged for 20 seconds of that exposure. Once the initial exposure had finished it was time to burn in the remaining highlights in our subjects face and dress; adding another 20 to her face and 50 seconds to the dress. I know this sounds pretty scary, but to be honest, its pretty easy once you get the hang of it. To further explain the skill of dodging and burning in the darkroom, I made a quick video which can be view below. And as always, please make sure to come back...more film goodness to follow! 

William HarrisComment