Contrast Masking Gallery
Images From Contrast Masking Workshop Participants
Roy Pope


Final Print (after masking)
Point here to view final print after masking
Lockett Meadow, Arizona. Copyright © Roy Pope. All rights reserved. This image of Lockett Meadow, Arizona, is one of my newer images. On my first print I felt that the bright birch trees did not separate from the surrounding values very well, and some of the dark trees tended to merge with the background mountains and other values. I used a Highlight Mask to bring out the diffused birch trees and rain drop patterns in the pond. I then used a SCIM to separate the shadow detail in the pond and add shadow density amongst the dark pine trees. The negative was processed using Lynn's SLIMT approach for contraction.


This image is a good example of how masking can be used to selectively enhance various areas of an image without affecting other areas. I like how Roy used a custom highlight mask to affect only the birch trees and raindrop patterns without affecting the bright sky values and mid-tone values at all. His use of a SCIM to enhance the pine trees gave the print a rich and tactile feel and prevented the dark values from going "muddy". Simply resorting to a higher contrast paper would have the unfortunate effect of increasing contrast in the midtones as well, distracting from the essential elements.With the judicious use of masking, Roy produced a very eloquent image. Lynn Radeka


Final Print (after masking)


Saguaro, Apache Junction, Arizona. Copyright © Roy Pope. All rights reserved. I was photographing late in the day during the winter season in the desert. Foreboding storms had been rolling in and out all day. When printing "Saguaro," I want to reveal this ambience, to show the characteristics of the storms, and to convey the experience I had as I was making this photograph.
While attending Lynn Radeka's Contrast Masking Workshop I selected "Saguaro" as the image to work on. During the workshop, the image was discussed and analyzed with Lynn and the workshop group in order to determine which masking solutions would hold the integrity of the stormy day, and reflect my involvement with the image.

One of the challenges in printing this image was to simultaneously take advantage of a higher paper grade to add separation between the dark storm clouds and the sky, and to manage the inherent contrast of the photographic paper so as not to affect the overall balance of the image.

The final photograph created during Lynn's masking workshop has kept the inherent visualized qualities I conceived at the time the image was made, offering a photograph that is a joy to print, and pleasure to view.

A benefit when using the masking process is that it makes it possible for the photographer to explore post visualization potentials when making the fine print that would otherwise be unattainable in the traditional darkroom.

We worked on Roy's Saguaro image at the October, 2005 workshop. Roy's primary concern was that the clouds were not standing out against the overcast sky. The other concern was that the values were fairly harsh. Resorting to a higher grade paper would help the separation in the sky and cloud areas, but would have an adverse affect on the overall contrast of the image, taking away from the delicate forms of the saguaro. We decided to make a Contrast Reduction Mask, which had two nice effects: it softened the contrast in the cactus and foreground areas creating a more uniform tonal balance, and it enhanced the sharpness of the print. We were then able to make a print on a higher grade paper (about 2 grades higher than the straight print without the mask) which helped separate the clouds against the sky. The dark detail in the print still looked a bit flat and gray as a result of the fairly strong contrast reduction mask, so we made a Shadow Contrast Increase Mask (SCIM) to bump the deep black accents back down to create a rich and tactile feel to the image. Lynn Radeka



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