entered my darkroom at 6 am last Sunday, and crawled out at 6 pm.
I was using your contrast masking kit and carrier
system, and I'm happy to say that I am hooked.
I feel as if a portal has just opened up for me!" Roy Pope
- photographer, AZ
SCIM and CRM mask example
from the Contrast Masking Kit:
|Top left image (straight print - no masks):
Print on grade 2 paper with no masks, only moderate dodging and
burning. Highlight contrast is appropriate, but shadows are dark
and empty, lacking luminosity and vitality. Overall print looks
"gaudy" and harsh. Top right image - With CRM and
SCIM (Final print): Print on grade 2 paper. Print made
from the original neg and CRM sandwich (to open up the shadows and
reveal detail and light) followed by a second exposure using a SCIM
mask to deepen the fine black accents within the broad shadows.
The result is luminous, open shadows revealing an increase of detail
and "life" within the shadows. The final print exhibits
a true sense of texture and light throughout - something that would
be impossible to achieve by standard methods.
FOG MASK example from the
Contrast Masking Kit:
|Top left image (straight print, no masks):
Print made on grade 3 paper without masks. Sky was moderately burned
in, but needs to be much darker to preserve the brooding stormy
feeling. Excessive sky burning would affect the standing rocks which
project above the horizon. Elaborate burning tools could be made
but would likely result in an artificial over-burned look. Background
rocks are of the appropriate value. Bushes and shadow areas are
dark and "lifeless". Going to a softer grade paper makes
the print look very dull in both the shadows and light values. Top
right image - CRM plus SCIM plus Fog Mask (Final print):
Final print made on grade 3 paper. Print made using a sandwich
of the original neg with a CRM, followed by a SCIM mask exposure.
This served to open the shadows, sharpen edge detail a bit, and
reduce the harsh feel of the overall image while maintaining good
crisp contrast within the shadows and darker values. A final exposure
was given to the print using a Fog Mask pin-registered in the enlarger.
The sky was softened and darkened substantially, without any noticable
edge effects near the standing rocks at the skyline. Some additional
burning was done locally with the fog mask in order to smooth-out
some of the distracting areas mostly along the edges of the image.
The improvement in the aesthetic mood of the print is substantial
and the final print has a somber yet eloquent quality.
For more examples, including interactive
mask effects, Faqs, and a commentary on
"digital vs. traditional black and white printing", please visit
To view images and examples from
previous workshop participants,
please visit the Contrast
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Contrast Masking Kit Copyright
© Lynn Radeka. All rights reserved.