U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Paper negative, comparison to inkjet transparency

Re: Paper negative, comparison to inkjet transparency

Just when I think I'm done with this thing, it comes back to haunt me again. Someone asked me about the "splotchiness" in the print made from the paper negative, especially in the face area. I hadn't noticed any particular splotchiness in the print, except for some small amount of flaking up in the righthand corner which I was ignoring. I had been looking mainly at how the tonalities and details compared; I did notice that the print made from the paper negative print wasn't quite as smooth as the film negative print, but not to the point where it seemed like a big deal. I hadn't noticed splotchiness in the jpeg either, since I just quickly scanned the prints, put them together into the same jpeg in Photoshop, and uploaded them. But after receiving the question, I went back and looked again. Sure enough, the jpeg is definitely splotchy, and the print is a trifle splotchy too, but you have to really squint to see it. The jpeg is splotchier than the print; the scan seems to have accentuated it.

The splotchiness is not a function of its being a paper negative or of anything in the negative itself; I would attribute the splotchiness to my inexperience with working with baby oil and to the negative still being oily when I printed it.

Out of habit, I poured on as much oil as I would have with the regular mineral oil. But as predicted, the thinner oil permeated the paper immediately with no rubbing at all, and then I was faced with the difficulty of getting rid of the excess oil. I wiped and blotted and heated and wiped and blotted, and every time I'd think I was done, I'd turn the thing over and it would still be oozing oil. (No, Keith, I don't have the patience of a saint). I finally, out of frustration, decided to call it done, but in hindsight, I'm sure the negative wasn't completely dry when I printed it. I also omitted the last steps of my usual oiling procedure: I didn't dry the negative overnight and wipe again in the morning; I just went ahead and printed it. So I'm pretty sure this splotchiness is a function of printing with an oily negative, but I suppose I'll have to print this comparison one more time with a dry negative to be convincing.

In future, if I were to oil negatives with baby oil, rather than pouring any amount of it on the negative, I'd apply with a cotton ball or a soft cloth, as it seems a little of this goes a long ways.

In the meantime, I scanned the paper negative as film and enlarged it considerably so you can see for yourself there's no splotchiness in the negative itself. I also scanned the one from the other day that I made with HP Color Inkjet Paper, for comparison. I added these to the earlier page:



On Dec 6, 2007, at 6:48 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

Jacek, here's the comparison I was hoping to show you.

The test prints are small (3x4 inches) but I think you can see the detail anyway.


On Dec 2, 2007, at 4:29 AM, Jacek wrote:

Other than the transparency route of producing negatives for alt processes, what are the pros and cons of the Paper negative route? I always thought a paper negative wouldnt give all the detail a transparency negative would give?