B&L Lab Professional Editing Services

Preserving History Every Day!

The Value of Professional Editing and Printing Your Memories

In today’s world where everyone has a camera in their cell phone it’s a popular misconception that the photo is done after you hear the click of the shutter. This is far from the truth. Taking the photo is only the first step in creating a photograph. This first step is very important, without the first step the idea of the photo would not exist. But this raw image is not complete, because every raw image needs to be refined and defined. The next step in the creation of a photo is done by an experienced printer using the techniques found in Professional Editing and Printing. 

Professional Editing & Printing is what makes the difference between a raw image and a photograph. Professional Editing & Printing is cropping the raw image so that the subject of the photo is apparent. Professional Editing & Printing gives the raw image its correct color, contrast and density. Professional Editing & Printing is the manipulation by burning-in and dodging of the raw image to balance shadows and highlights. And finally Professional Editing and printing makes sure that all elements of the image compliment the subject of the photo and make the subject the center of attention. Professional Editing & Printing is what is done to a raw image by a master printer like Bob at B&L Photo.

When Bob prints a photo from a negative in the darkroom, or works with a digital file on the computer, he applies his 45 years of experience in making other people’s raw images into display-worthy photos. Your display-worthy photo can be a wall size photo or a 3”x5” photo for your desk.

B&L Photo will remove unsightly items from snapshots, like tree trunks or awnings and even your husband’s boss. Turning a simple snapshot into a nice group photo.
B&L Photo will remove unsightly items from snapshots, like tree trunks or awnings and even your husband’s boss. Turning a simple snapshot into a nice group photo.

Work with Bob

Bob is happy to discuss your image with you and explain his editing plan as to what he will do to enhance your raw image. Bob’s passion is taking a raw camera image and producing a photograph to match what the photographer saw in her or his mind. If you want to take the second step in creating a photograph, please contact B&L Photo and speak to Bob. He’ll be glad to assist you.

Check out our work

To produce the best print possible, Bob will crop, dodge and burn your image to his own precise standards; or he invites you to submit detailed instructions or a proof print.

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Photo Editing Example

On your last family outing at the lake you took a picture of your sons sitting on a dock, feet in the water, looking serenely out over the water. It’s a moment you can never repeat. You love this photo; it touches you at your very core. Unfortunately there’s the mast of a boat growing out of Jimmy’s head, or there’s a neon purple towel drying on the fence behind Timmy, or there are any number of distractions that ruin this beautiful photo of your boys.

What do you do?

Slip it into the family album and forget about it? Or do you have the photo corrected or edited to remove the distraction. So you choose the latter, and now you need to find someplace where you can have the photo edited/retouched. The important thing about having a photo edited is to find the right person to do the alterations. Anyone can smudge out the mast on their cell phone or use a filter to blur-out the background. But to make a display-worthy photo, you need to find a person who understands photography and has experience using photo imaging programs.

The distractions must be removed by replacing them with an appropriate substitution. After this is accomplished it is time for additional photo manipulations. By simply darkening the corners of the photo you add a bit of a 3-D effect to the photo. By selectively darkening or lightening areas of the photo it is changed from a snapshot into a portrait.

This is a perfect example of where B&L Photo can help turn a snapshot into a lasting memory for your family. Bob and Lauren’s combined 75 years of photographic experience will be applied to changing a simple snapshot on your cell phone into a 20x24” portrait to hang on your wall.

How We Help

At B&L Photo you can sit down with Bob, view your photo on the computer monitor, talk over your concerns and desires for the photo and discuss any proposed edits. After the photo has been edited you will be invited to view an electronic proof on screen and approve the production of a final print. But you are not done yet. Now is the time to dress the print in a mat and frame. Lauren will be happy to guide you through this final step that will complete a photo that just needed a little help.

Adding People to Photos

Miss Mayo was your favorite teacher in grade school. You had the mumps so you missed picture day. But B&L Photo can add you to the group picture so you can be with your classmates and your favorite teacher.

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Correcting Facial Flaws

The correction of facial flaws is perhaps the hardest thing that can be asked of an artist. The question for the artist is ‘how much correction is needed’? When is it too little, too much or just the right amount of correction? To be able to deal with these questions the artist needs to have learned the following: knowledge of lighting, (how & why highlights and shadows are formed), knowledge of optics, knowledge of anatomy and an understanding of the person you are doing the corrections for. The knowledge of a computer program and the physical ability to do the work are the smallest part of the equation. At B&L Photo there are two people that fit the above requirements.

Between Bob and Laruen there is nearly 75 years of experience in photography and photo retouching. The aim of doing correction to someone’s face is to make them look better and in effect feel better about themselves. Bob & Lauren do this by bidding those pesky little lines or spots goodbye. Retouching is gently making changes that make you look as you would like, but not making you look like someone else.

Bob or Lauren will be pleased to meet with you to discuss the digital editing/retouching that you would like done to your photo or the photo of someone dear to you. When leaving our shop one of our customers once said, “Why can’t you come to my house and make me look like this every morning”? We’ll be happy to do the same for you.

Print Services

As a photographer and lab technician, Bob understands the importance of the lab in creating an excellent final image. B&L Photo’s job is to make the work of the serious fine art photographer and the thoughtful amateur look great.

B&L Photo’s Black & White prints are made on Silver Gelatin Fiber Paper (from either Black & White or Color negatives). B&L Photo’s Silver Gelatin Fiber Prints are produced with stringent archival processing techniques. B&L Photo’s Silver Gelatin Fiber prints are printed by enlarger and processed through trays in the traditional manner. All Black & White Silver Gelatin Fiber prints are made with ¼ inch white borders. Black & White  prints are available in standard size or in odd size prints. Black & White prints are available up to 16x20 inches in size.

B&L Photo’s color prints are composed and manipulated on the computer screen just as they would be if printed under the enlarger. They are then printed on an Epson P7000 printer using archival metallic inks. All color prints are made on luster surface paper. (This is the only paper B&L Photo stocks.) All color prints are made borderless.

What can color prints be made from?

  • Color negatives 35mm through 8x10”
  • Color transparencies 35mm through 8x10”
  • Color slides
  • Color stereo slides
  • Glass mounted slides and transparencies
  • Lantern slides
  • Digital files
  • Autochromes
  • Color photographs—any size
  • Hand oiled photographs—any size
  • Flat artwork—any size
  • Documents
  • Maps
  • Even crayon drawings

Why does B&L Photo use silver gelatin fiber paper?

We believe that all black and white prints made by B&L Photo should last as long as possible. Silver gelatin fiber paper is the only photographic material which can claim a true archival life; archival means 100 years or more. Silver gelatin fiber paper is made by coating a sheet of fiber paper with an emulsion of silver halide salts. Silver gelatin fiber prints made with B&L Photo’s rigid processing procedures will have a life of 150 years or more. See B&L Photo Lab’s Archival Black and White Print Process below. Other photo labs provide black and white prints made with RC black and white paper, color paper or as ink jet prints. These materials have a limited useful life.
 
Only silver photographic papers produce true blacks. Blacks made by combining dyes as is done in color papers and ink jet prints are never really black. There is always a color cast to the black. This problem increases as the dye based print ages and begins to fade. This is why color dye processes are not good enough for black and white prints made by B&L Photo.

Can B&L Photo make color prints?

B&L Photo can make color Epson Ultrachrome Ink Jet prints up to 24”x30”. B&L Photo makes Epson prints rather than type C prints because of the projected 80-year life of the Epson prints compared to the shorter life of type C prints. B&L Photo’s color prints receive the same attention as its black and white prints. They are cropped, dodged and burned-in and corrected for color and density so as to produce the finest print.

What is digital colorization?

Digital colorization is using the computer to add color to faded color photos or black and white photos. A lasso is drawn around an object in the photo, let’s say a shirt, and a wash of color is laid over the object. This wash of color adds color but allows the detail of the photo to show through. On faded color photos this process is used to enhance the colors already present. On extremely faded color photos or on black and white photos this process can put down any color requested by the customer. The difference between a hand oiled photo and a digital colorized photo is the expected life. Oiled photos have a life of 150 years. Computer colorized photos have an expected life of 30–50 years.

Can B&L Photo make black and white prints only from black and white negatives?

B&L Photo can make black and white silver gelatin fiber archival prints from all kinds of photographic media. Black and white prints can be made directly from negatives by exposing them onto black and white papers. Prints or slides will need to have a black and white negative made by first digitizing them either by photographing or scanning. Digitized images or original digital files are then converted to 4x5” black and white negatives using B&L Photo’s PCR8 Film Recorder.
Silver gelatin fiber prints can be made from:
  • Digital files
  • Black and white or color negatives 35mm through 8x10”
  • Black and white or color transparencies 35mm through 8x10”
  • Black and white or color slides
  • Black and white or color stereo slides
  • Glass mounted slides and transparencies
  • Lantern slides
  • Autochromes
  • Color photographs—any size
  • Hand oiled photographs—any size
  • Flat artwork—any size

What is print toning?

When black and white prints are made, they are black and white. Print toning is done for two reasons. The most popular reason is aesthetic. Changing black and white images to a warm red-brown or soft yellow glow humanizes the image. The second is that toning chemically alters the silver in the print to a more stable form, lengthening the print’s life. B&L Photo offers three tones. Brown tone and spilt tone are sulfating processes, and selenium tone is an ion replacement process.
  • Brown Tone: A warm red-brown tone that lends a rich look
  • Selenium Tone: A cool purple-brown colored tone
  • Split Tone: Blacks remain black but highlights take on a warm yellow glow

What we can do

We can make black and white prints from 35mm through 8x10” negatives, including glass plate negatives, color negatives and chromogenic negatives. Digital photographers can make silver gelatin fiber prints since B&L Photo can convert digital files to 4x5” black and white negatives using its PCR8 Film Recorder. 
 
Photographers can rely on B&L Photo for digital artwork. Digital (computer) artwork can be simple or extensive, e.g. moving heads, changing backgrounds, removing a tree growing out of someone’s head or removing a hand on a shoulder. 
 
B&L Photo’s lab services include hand oiling with Marshall’s Transparent Photo Oils and print toning.

B&L Photo Lab’s Archival Black and White Print Process—Technical Data

A strict regimen is followed when producing B&L Photo’s fiber prints to achieve maximum print permanence. The time the print is in each chemical, as well as the number of prints put through each chemical, is closely regulated. The process is as follows:

Developer 1.5 minutes with constant agitation

Stop Bath ½ minute with constant agitation

1st Hypo bath 2 minutes with constant agitation

2nd Hypo Bath 2 minutes with constant agitation

Density correction of each photoRinse bath 2 minutes with constant agitation

Hypo Clearing Bath 2 minutes with constant agitation

Wash bath 45 minutes with constant agitation

50:1 Selenium Bath 10 minutes with constant agitation

Final Wash Bath 10 minutes with constant agitation

Drying 1 to 2 hours

*Only 20-8x10 prints or equivalent are processed through 1 gallon of each of the above chemicals. The chemicals are then discarded and replaced with fresh stock.

B&L Photo’s black and white prints are hand printed

 These prints are fully manipulated, i.e. cropped, dodged and burned-in. Our stock paper is Ilford Multigrade FB Warmtone Semi-matte. Prints can be made with white borders, black borders, traditional sizes or odd sizes. Add 20% to the prices below for prints made from color or chromogenic film. If a different paper stock is requested, the customer will be required to pay for the box of paper as well as the prints made.

Black and white silver gelatin fiber archival prints

 All of the below prices are for orders of 1 to 5 negatives. Pricing for 6 or more negatives will be quoted when the work is presented.

Print SizeFirst PrintAdditional Prints
20" Long$150$120
14" Long$85$65
10" Long$55$45
7" and smaller$45$35
Wallets (set of 8)$55$45

Black & White Print Toning

 All of the below prices are for orders of 1 to 5 photos. Pricing for 6 or more photos will be quoted when the work is presented.

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Brown ToneSelenium ToneSplit Tone
$25/print$25/print$50/print

Epson Color Ultrachrome Ink Jet Prints

B&L Photo’s color prints are given the same handling on the computer monitor as if they were being printed in the darkroom under the enlarger. B&L Photo’s print are made on luster surface paper. Prints are made borderless, but can be printed with a white border if requested. (Borders greater than ¼ inch may place the print in a large print size and increase the cost.) Color prints are available in standard size or in odd size prints. Color prints are available up to 24 inches in width.

Print SizeFirst PrintAdditional Prints
36" Long$260$210
24" Long$230$190
20" Long$150$120
14" Long$85$65
10" Long$55$45
7" and smaller$45$35
Wallets (set of 8)$55$45
Locket Size cut to fit$85$85

Digital Retouching

$95.00 per Hour

Digital retouching can be used to soften or remove bags & circles under eyes, crows feet, laugh lines, lines around the mouth, on the neck, acne and minor hair correction. Digital retouching can also be used to correct glass glare, red eye, sagging jowls, tuffs of hair and gaps in hair etc. Digital Retouching can also move heads, remove or add people to groups, change backgrounds and open shadows or brighten dark faces etc.

Print Mounting

 All of the below prices are for orders of 1 to 5 originals. Pricing for 6 or more originals will be quoted when the work is presented.

Print SizeMounting Costs
30" Long$40
24" Long$35
20" Long$25
14" Long$20