U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: smooth gravure tones!

Re: smooth gravure tones!

On 5/9/07, Christina Z. Anderson <zphoto@montana.net> wrote:
I found this happening with a deeper etched solarplate--the tarlatan
actually got fibers stuck on the texture in the plate.  That might be it.  I
assume with all your printmaking experience you know how to wipe, and

Chris, I've wondered about the tarletan... it almost seems like there
are tiny tiny fibers that are coming off and rolling up in a little
inky ball.  I've never experienced that before.  This process....

What I mean by grit:  I am experimenting with a very long aquatint exposure,
in relation to my theory that the total time of exposure is not all that
important, it is the ratio of aquatint exposure to positive that is the key
to achieving the tonal range (and then once you get that correct, your curve
you develop doesn't have to do all the work and is less drastic).
I did a small test (by your test-Queen standards :o)), of ratios.  2:1
1:1  and 1:2.  I didn't see much difference in tonal range changes,
BUT I did see what you're talking about, that the darks seemed
"grainier"... the Tri-X comparison you used is a good one.  I think
you're using much more extreme ratios in what you're talking about now
though, but even so, I saw a little of it just at the 2:1 ratio.  At
this point I refuse to use the sun... just too anal :o)  (I am though,
to my "creative artist mentality" credit, oil painting landscapes
every week outdoors in the sun and wind and whatever nature brings to
it.  Talk about lack of control.)


What I have found is that a long outside-in-the-sun aquatint exposure gives
the deepest rich gritty blacks, they are quite beautiful, but if the
positive exposure is not long enough on top, that texture goes across the
whole plate and gives even the whites a "film noir" look if  that is a good
description.  But it is not the grey yuk look that is common under UVBL
(where the whole image looks like you used a 0 filter on a BW print), but
more of a Tri-X look printed low key with a 3 1/2 filter.  Maybe that
analogy explains the difference.

When I made the plates this way I found I needed to increase the amount of
Easy Wipe in my ink because the plates just GRABBED ink because of the
texture.  But this use of solarplate has me quite intrigued.

Soon I will get some of these experiments uploaded to my website, but the
sun has not been out, school is finishing up, and I am seduced away by my
library project...

> Hi Christina, and thanks a lot.  What did you mean about grit???
> Something bugging me is that when I'm wiping the plate I get little
> circles (when i'm wiping in circular motion), of darker streaks.  They
> mostly show up in the darks, and when I wipe over it by hand I feel
> little "gritty" stuff.  Anyone else?

gravure blog at www.susanvossgravures.blogspot.com
website www.dalyvoss.com