When my other half was originally studying photography, it was back in the days of dark rooms and weird smelling chemicals that leave impossibly persistent stains in your shirts. He was looking for grittiness in his photography back then, where burning-in was done with a couple of sheets of card, or sometimes a template carefully cut out with a craft knife. The decision over paper and processing grades could spell the difference between a flat, lifeless image, and something that would capture real contrast and depth.
It's tempting nowadays to go for purely digital precision, but sometimes its fun to try and recreate the old school - and definitley keep your hands off the "undo" button! Be bold with your dodging and burning, put the grain back in, boost the contrast as if you were push-processing your film. There are endless tutorials online that discuss this sort of thing, but so much of it depends on your source image that in reality it's more of an art than a science.
In this image we see a left leg futo momo tie, and a right leg wearing a purely decorative lacing. Stripped down to a high contrast monochrome, it seemed to become an almost abstract design. Hope you enjoy! :-)
For more images from this photoset, you might like to check out a roundup of our first playtime with a new batch of rope that we personally prepared with techniques we'd read in the book, Essence of Shibari: Feel the Magic in the Ropes.
In another recent article (Treatment and Maintenance of Rope) we go into a lot more detail about exactly how we treated the rope. It was purchased from a local company, who mainly specialise in nautical ropes, but who also manufacture various untreated jute and hemp ropes.
It's admittedly not quite up to the quality of our Okinawa Jute rope set that you can see featured in many of our previous Kinbaku articles, but it's been very good so far, and represents both great value and the satisfaction of stepping through an entire rope treatment process; from visiting the factory to collect it, through to getting wrapped up naked in the bedroom!
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