U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: solarplate prints

Re: solarplate prints

Hello Mike,

I just took a 3-day workshop from Dan Welden. I think one reason you haven't had good feedback on inkjet negs from him is that he really isn't into printing from photographs. He prefers working abstractly, directly on the plate or on acetate with ink. I, on the other hand, really wanted to work from my manipulated photos-- and did. I printed my transparencies on Pictorico transparency film, using the Photoshop print setting that gave me the densest black. (That seems to vary depending on PS version and printer.) Dan said my transparencies were great-- and indeed they printed well.

A couple of things to remember:

- If you are making a relief print (not too likely from a photograph, I guess), you would produce a film neg; if you are printing intaglio, you need a film positive.

- For an intaglio print, you need to expose your plate using an aquatint screen as a separate step-- otherwise you get open bite in the blackest area. Dan showed us some images from earlier students where the resulting plate wipe was an interesting effect, but it's generally not desirable to lose your black areas.

- For intaglio prints, I've been converting my Photoshop files to Bitmap, based on the process outlined in Christina Anderson's book, Alternative Processes Condensed, pg. 114, Method 1. (Even then, I found I didn't have any dot in the blackest areas, so I started adding a top layer of 10% opacity white in Photoshop before converting to Bitmap. With Dan's solarplates and the aquatint screen, that doesn't seem to be necessary. With regular photopolymer plates from Boxcar, I think it helps to do the extra layer, even with the screen.)

I hope that's a help. I can send more info from my notes, if you have questions.

Linda S.

On Sep 23, 2008, at 1:01 AM, Michael Healy wrote:

I've got access to a press, and want to do solarplate prints from digital images. Can anyone
offer some pointers on the appropriate substrate? I've consulted Welden without success.
He talks about many aspects but not about the inkjet digineg (positive, of course) medium.

Mike Healy