Controlling color print contrast by masking : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does anyone know of any publications that provide instructions on how to mask color negative film that have a large contrast range. That is, types of films and methods to use.

-- Stephen Willard (, October 26, 1999


Stephen, I just happened to see a web page with the exact information that you need: This same site has information on Cibachrome/Ilfochrome Classic as well.

-- Ray Dunn (, October 26, 1999.

The nature photographer Christopher Burkett uses masking to control the printing of his 8x10 transparancies. He gives a brief overview of his process in his new book (Intimations of Paradise), but he does not go into much detail. He does say that he uses as many as five masks to print a single image. I've seen his 30x40 prints in galleries and they are the best I've ever seen. In his book he also says that he spends 2 months a year photographing and 10 months printing -- so I don't think it's a quick and easy process.

-- Joel Collins (, October 27, 1999.

The link above has some good information but the Kodak Pan Masking film is only available in 8x10. I use T-Max 100 developed in T-Max RS diluted 1:15.

-- Jeff White (, October 28, 1999.

I used to make a first mask to record highlights only on Kodak orthochromatic film, then with this mask on the slide, I would make a second mask on Pan Masking film. This is to preserve the highlights on the final Ilfochrome print. This method is given on an Ilford technical brochure. The T-Max films have a slight magenta cast that is difficult to eliminate. The two previously mentioned films are neutral. An important issue in masking is the exact positioning of the mask(s) on the slide. I had resolved the problem by building a perforator that placed two 1,5mm holes on the border of the films that fitted two pins placed in the enlarger's frames. A lot of work. I have now abandoned this process for the new digital process.

-- Paul Schilliger (, November 09, 1999.

If your T-Max is properly fixed and washed it will not have a magenta cast. I have read that different developers may cause different color balances so my first choice was to use the technique that I use for black and white masking and for me the T-Max RS gave me a nuetral colored negative. I also use Photographers Formulary TF-4 fixer, it clears the negative better than any other fixer that I have used.

-- Jeff White (, November 09, 1999.

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