U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Three tricolor prints

Three tricolor prints

Hi Friends,
A while back, I posted, just for fun, two tricolor prints as part of my ongoing investigation of curves for gum; one of them didn't come out well because as it turned out, the print settings were wrong and the color applied to the negative was off. I reprinted the separations using the right print settings, but haven't got around to printing them on gum yet, although I'm looking forward to seeing the corrected print.

Instead of printing those separations, I printed separations from a known image, the famous Adobe calibration image with Carmen Miranda and fruit basket hat, to more clearly make my earlier point (quoted at the bottom below) that curves and calibrations should change only the tonality of an image, not the hue ranges of the colors. (And perhaps also to make the point that there wasn't anything wrong in general with my curves or with the method I use for generating curves, as was suggested in that earlier discussion.)

Just to make sure everyone understands, I'm just sharing work in progress here; I'm making no claims that these images are perfect; either that the color balance is perfect or that the curves are perfect, nor am I drawing any conclusions or asking anyone to draw conclusions from them; they are just rough prints made very quickly and not very carefully, to get a general idea of how these curves "feel" to me.

In running test prints, I discovered that the pigment mixes that had given me good tricolor prints with greyscale separations were too concentrated for the colored and curved negatives, so I lightened the mixes somewhat; lightening them on the fly I didn't balance them perfectly and will fix that before I print this pigment combination again. I'm finding that I don't like the PY97, ; I want a more transparent yellow since my current practice involves printing yellow last, and the PY97 leaves a film of opacity over the darker colors, even though it's not a particularly opaque pigment as yellows go. So I'll probably go back to PY110.

I wouldn't make too much of small differences in colors that appear in the different prints; this could be a result of inattention to development times or to scanning inconsistencies, at any rate shouldn't be taken as being an inherent characteristics of the different types of curves. And the curves are just as they came out from ChartThrob, with minimal smoothing; I've done nothing yet toward honing the curves to perfection.



On Oct 5, 2007, at 9:10 AM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

A note re color balance:

Note that in these two prints, though the incorrect printer settings resulted in a print that seems to have a film over it, the actual colors are the same as in the print printed by the greyscale separations, simply muted because of the incorrect separations. The hues should not change; if the pigments are correctly balanced in the first place, calibrations such as introducing a colorized negative, introducting correct curves, and so forth should change only the tonal relationships, not the color balance. If the color balance is off in the first place, it should be corrected by balancing the pigments, not by trying to correct the imbalance using curves.


On Sep 25, 2007, at 4:54 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote: