U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: dig negs

Re: dig negs

Hi Joe,

The images on that web site are jpegs of the images that were turned 
into hand-coated platinum/palladium and pigment-over–platinum. The 
actual prints were much nicer (richer and with more charm) than the 
reproductions. I don't find any virtue in photographing (or scanning) 
prints and then turning them into jpegs to put on the web. In my 
experience, photos of hand-coated prints almost always look dull and 
lifeless unless you alter them in Photoshop anyway. Heck, back in the 
old days when we had to submit slides for juried competitions and such, 
I'd always "cheat" by shooting slides of a silver gelatin prints 
instead; a slide of the "real" pt/pd print would look like gray mud in 
comparison. I never had final prints rejected because the print didn't 
look like the entry slide that I'd submitted. Make sense? In the next 
workshop in which we print alt images, I'll get a group shot of everyone 
(with a big smile on their faces) holding their lovely prints!

What students find so exciting is that they are making exhibition 
quality prints on the first day of a workshop. The laborious optical 
projection negative methods sometimes had students finally making their 
first print on day three of a five day session.

About curve tweaking. Yes, if you are making digital negs you will have 
a much easier time if you get comfortable with Photoshop's Curves dialog 
box. The good news is, everything you learn about using curves (while 
tweaking your negative contrast) will serve you well in digital 
photography in general. I tell students the Curves dialog box is worth 
1/2 the purchase price of Photoshop!

I applaud Mark's and every one else's contribution to the digital 
negative discussion. More information is rarely a bad thing. We're all 
basically designing a wardrobe for a seven year old. Nothing we tailor 
today will fit in a couple years. That's the nature of the beast as our 
medium goes through this incredible chemo-optical to digital conversion.

Hope this helps!


Joseph Smigiel wrote on 10/2/06, 10:32 PM:

 > But these images aren't in any instance alternative process prints from
 > diginegs generated using your system, or are they?  If any of the images
 > posted represent something like 4-color gumprints, gum/platinum prints,
 > or pigment/platinum, etc., from diginegs, I'm amazed at the quality.
 > Otherwise, I don't see the relevance of referring to them in the
 > discussion at hand or citing the experience as "ample evidence" that
 > your system works.  Just because negatives were generated at the
 > workshop "on the spot" doesn't mean they were adequate to produce fine
 > prints.  Can you point to some print examples from those negatives?
 > FWIW, I have both your original text and inkjet companion and have been
 > able to successfully create some technically proficient VDB, gum, and
 > cyanotype prints using the latter with the provided templates, an Epson
 > 2200,  and a bit of tweaking of the curves (which IME and those I've
 > corresponded with on the subject, is always necessary).  I think the
 > inkjet technology advanced sufficiently just previous to the release of
 > your inkjet companion so that good inkjet negatives could finally be
 > made.  Before that, I would have to relate that the ink density just
 > wasn't there for processes like VDB and that other paths were adequate
 > for gum diginegs.  Ag, Pt/Pd - dunno - never tried those until recently
 > and so I lack sufficient experience to comment in that arena.  I will
 > say the handy templates alone are probably worth the price of admission.
 > The curves OTOH have to be tweaked for good results, at least in my
 > experience.  (Maybe it's the water around here...)
 > Thanks in advance for any clarification you can provide.


  • References:
    • dig negs
      • From: "Weber, Scott" <sweber@mail.barry.edu>
    • Re: dig negs
      • From: Dan Burkholder <fdanb@aol.com>
    • Re: dig negs
      • From: Joseph Smigiel <jsmigiel@net-link.net>