U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Kirkland redux and diginegs for BW

Kirkland redux and diginegs for BW

I have absolutely no idea if the following interests anyone but if you are making diginegs for doing bromoil (an alt process) it should I would think...

1. After a full day in the darkroom yesterday I can report that Kirkland cheapy ink jet paper is just fine--it prints as sharp an image as does Pictorico which I printed side by side--not the white Pictorico which hasn't come yet but the clear, which I can use successfully on David Lewis' bromoil paper being a slow enough paper but it is pretty ineffectual on Ilford MGIV which is extremely fast. Wow was that a long sentence. Needless to say I was surprised that the paper negative was as sharp as Pictorico. Don Bryant's link to another cheap ink jet paper--not as cheap as Kirkland at 12 cents a sheet (his is 40 cents I think) but it may be thinner even than Kirkland and hence a better, maybe, digineg product for those who don't have Costco around.

2. But I also discovered another interesting thing which didn't occur to me until printing a VC and a graded paper side by side. I can admit I have never used a graded paper, preferring either Ilford, Berger, or Forte VCs. The Ilford MGIV VC was pretty darn grainy (I was printing tonal palettes a la Mark Nelson, hence squares of uniform color). I assumed that was normal with diginegs until I printed the graded paper and suddenly the grain disappeared.

At the same time I also noticed another thing. I had made up 4 tonal palettes on one page to assess different color choices at once to save time--and when the chosen color moved toward Magenta, the total relation of tones switched within the tonal palette on the VC paper but not the graded (highlights got whiter and darks got darker). And so I finally realized what was going on. Printing BW we use yellow filters for low contrast, magenta filters for high contrast, and this is true of printer inks, too, on a variable contrast paper. The yellow and magenta dots of ink were not only producing the grain because the paper is responsive to those colors differentially (in a chosen color that uses both of these inks, such as red), but it was producing a higher contrast image in total, the more I moved toward magenta in my tonal palettes. None of this happened on the graded paper. These are two reasons I will probably stick to graded paper when using diginegs.

Christina Z. Anderson
Assistant Professor, Photo Option Coordinator
Montana State University, VCB 220
Box 173350
Bozeman Montana 59718