Masking techniques : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi everyone, I am an avid and regular reader of this forum, though I've never posted a question here before (mainly because all of my questions have already been answered by the knowledgable contributors).

I have just been blown away by the images on Lynn Radekas web site: and I am now after information on the masking techniques he uses (shadow contrast increase, contrast reduction, highlight, fog, unsharp, dodge and special contrast increase masks). Aside from buying his kit, where else can I find information on the net about masking methods and materials? It is a field of printing that seems to be well hidden.

Regards, The Unmasked Aussie.

-- Graeme Hird (, April 30, 2001


Graeme, I don't know about finding such info on the web, but master printer Howard Bond does regularly contribute to the pages of PhotoTechniques and has done a number of articles on his unsharp masking techniques. I've attended his masking workshop and can tell you it's pretty impressive stuff. There have been other articles in there as well including ones by Alan Ross on his particular technique. PhotoTechniques has a web site and offers reprints of some of their more popular articles as well as back issues as available. Good luck down there, Bob

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, April 30, 2001.

These masking techniques nearly all involve making a low-contrast positive or negative, which is a time consuming way of doing things.
At one time, there was an enlarging system which used a CRT as the light source. The flying spot intensity was monitored by photosensors under the negative, and a feedback system was then used to regulate the contrast or edge effects required.
Results from such a system could easily emulate any masking technique, in 1/10th of the time.

I don't know of any currently available off-the-shelf system, but adapting a computer monitor to an enlarger light source wouldn't be a difficult task, and further interfacing a light sensor to a computer wouldn't be too arduous either.

-- Pete Andrews (, April 30, 2001.

You may find this useful.

Cheers, DJ.

-- N Dhananjay (, April 30, 2001.

Lynne has a very nice grasp of his technique. His masking techniques are really good. It would be worth buying his kit if that is the direction you want to take with your photography. But it isn't a quick nor easy fix. It will take quite a bit of effort to master his techniques. I've been using masking for some time now and think that with proper calibration, masking is unneccasary. There are a few situations that require masking but not many. The McNutt site is a very good starting point. Have a look at it. James

-- james (, April 30, 2001.

Thanks DJ, the link here is exactly what I was looking for.

-- Graeme Hird (, May 02, 2001.

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