A Light Proof Box / Pinhole Photography (Part 8)
I hope you have been enjoying my pinhole series so far. In this post I wanted to address paper negatives again.
One reason why many do not like to work with paper negatives is because of the high contrast it produces. Today, I wanted to share with you a technique called, “pre-flashing technique”. Flashing is a method of controlling contrast by pre-sensitizing the paper with an exposure to white light that overcomes the paper’s inertia. This technique can also be applied after an exposure has been made, “post flashing”, (known as fogging).
-‘pre’ which is done before the paper is exposed.
– ‘post’ which is done after the paper has been exposed, known as fogging.
How pre-flashing works.
All photo sensitive papers have a built-in inertia to light, this means that the paper has to absorb a certain amount of white light before it starts to tone or show detail. Pre-flashing is quite simple but it does need a bit of experimentation. Basically what you need to do to achieve this is to add exposure to your paper but not too much to alter the pure base white.
Looking at the above example, we can see that a pre-flash at 1 second is too little and a pre-flash at 3 seconds is too much. We can clearly see that a pre-flash of 2 seconds would be the correct pre-flash exposure time.
This is a visual example that I found online to give you a clear sense of pre-flashing. Just to take note, exposure times will vary with the enlarger you have or may be using as well as the distance to paper and enlarger settings.
In a follow-up post to this one, I will be giving you a live example and comparison of a paper that is pre-flashed to one that is not.
Still to follow: A Light Proof Box/Pinhole Photography (Part 9)