B@W Diffusion Printing

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I have recently found interest in the photographic works of Michael Crouser. Apparently he uses Tri-x in 35mm / 120 and uses some sort of diffusion during the exposure of the print. It creates an interesting creamy effect and yet there is still pleasing contrast. I am curious how one might attempt to duplicate this effect while darkroom printing.
 

adelorenzo

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You can use a piece of glass under the lens with some texture to it for all or part of the exposure. If you expose during the print itvis mostly the shadows that become diffused. If you want the highlights diffused you need to do it during the exposure.

Eddie Ephraums books are a good reference for this.
 
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You can use a piece of glass under the lens with some texture to it for all or part of the exposure. If you expose during the print itvis mostly the shadows that become diffused. If you want the highlights diffused you need to do it during the exposure.

Eddie Ephraums books are a good reference for this.
What would you use to texture a piece of glass?
 

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Various types of screen/ mesh have been used over the years - everything from various fine metal meshes to stockings stretched over a wire hanger, or cinema diffusion filters. The lower percentage of exposure that uses the screen, the less effect on your contrast. Eugene Smith used one to break up grain that he felt was excessive.
 

removed account4

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when you print you can use a piece of cellophane you run it across the print under the lens during exposure
you can also use a dirty skylight filter when you take the photograph.
i went to his website and couldn't see any of the style you mention
do you have a link to a specific photograph ?
he might be using a specific type of lens that has
a signature bokeh like you mention .. when shot wide open
 
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when you print you can use a piece of cellophane you run it across the print under the lens during exposure
you can also use a dirty skylight filter when you take the photograph.
i went to his website and couldn't see any of the style you mention
do you have a link to a specific photograph ?
he might be using a specific type of lens that has
a signature bokeh like you mention .. when shot wide open

I read an interview with him where the diffusion was mentioned. I believe it was the Mountain Ranch project. probably not on every image, but he does have a way of creating a very unique look to Tri-x in many of his images.
 

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thanks for the info,
not sure if this page helps **
https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/pantyhose-enlarger-lens-diffusion.9358/

look at the posts by charles webb, he's a retired pro trained in the 30s/40s

i've had pretty good results by harvesting meniscus lenses off of junk box cameras
and enlarging through them. can't remember the brand but there used to be under the lens
print-through softness filters ... from time to time you see for sale. they might have been called
"soft focus enlarging attachment" or something equally as obvious..

good luck !
john

ps. ** i couldn't find the actual page i was looking for but at one point a handful of years ago
there was a multi page discussion on using pantyhose ... white and black, in different ways because
the highlights bled into the dark and light part of the prints differently depending. also read you can take a
glass filter blow cigar / cigarette pipe smoke on it to get it like that, and make the center a clear "spot"
kind of like a smokey imageon sink strainer enlarger filter .. have fun :smile:
 

David Lingham

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An example of a recent print with below enlarger lens diffusion. Using an old Multigrade below lens filter holder, I removed the gel from one of the filters and replaced it with a square of black stocking. The neg is 35mm FP4 processed in D76, and printed onto Ilford FB Classic at grade 5. The neg was a little over exposed, and the diffusion helped to break up the harshness of the grain.
Sker point.jpg
 
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An example of a recent print with below enlarger lens diffusion. Using an old Multigrade below lens filter holder, I removed the gel from one of the filters and replaced it with a square of black stocking. The neg is 35mm FP4 processed in D76, and printed onto Ilford FB Classic at grade 5. The neg was a little over exposed, and the diffusion helped to break up the harshness of the grain. View attachment 206346
That is a great image. My Beseler 23c has a funky little below the lens filter holder with a red filter that has probably been there forever. It might be interesting to wrap a black stocking around a thin clear piece of plastic sized to that holder. Also read that Vaseline coated glass has a similar effect. Wouldn't it be fun to buy Vaseline and womens stockings at the same time?
 

tedr1

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In case this hasn't been mentioned already two different diffusion effects can be obtained. Diffusion of the camera exposure, by adding a blur filter, grease or a fine mesh of some sort, in front of the lens produces the effect of spreading the highlights into the shadows.
In the darkroom under the enlarger when making a print adding a diffusion filter produces the effect of spreading the shadows into the highlights.
While both techniques introduce blur they produce different effects that each has its own subjective quality.
In addition to blur by diffusion there is also blur by defocusing of the lens and also blur by use of a lens which has deliberately elevated levels of optical aberrations (chiefly spherical aberration) and these are termed "soft focus lens". There are many available.
 

AgX

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Various types of screen/ mesh have been used over the years - everything from various fine metal meshes to stockings stretched over a wire hanger, or cinema diffusion filters. The lower percentage of exposure that uses the screen, the less effect on your contrast. Eugene Smith used one to break up grain that he felt was excessive.

Basically many out of the range of effect filters for taking can be used for enlarging too.
 
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