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

Re: solarplate prints

Let's see, in the workshop we worked with exposures of 1- 2 minutes with the film transparency and then an additional 1 minute, 30 seconds with the aquatint screen alone. We were using Dan's UV exposure boxes (approx. 10 x 14" with 4 UV bulbs).

I haven't had a chance to try the solarplates with my transparencies in the sun or with my (new-to-me, much bigger) UV box yet, but Dan recommended doing test strips in increments of 30 sec: 30, 60, 90, 120 sec. I'm in California, and the sun is pretty strong at this time of yea. Christina's book mentions 3-10 minutes in winter sun.

I have tried several of the photopolymer plates from Boxcar Press in the sun, and a 45-second exposure with the transparency and 45 seconds with the aquatint screen worked well. That was California August sun, though...

Hope that helps... I'm still learning this process as well!


On Sep 28, 2008, at 4:36 PM, Michael Healy wrote:

Hi Linda. Thank you for your feedback. I am geared up to print pictorico on my 3800. One
question. What sort of exposure times were you looking at, just as a ballpark? Should I
expect to be testing at a range of, say, 1 minute to 15 mins, or did yours tend to fall in a
certain range?


On 23 Sep 2008 at 10:51, Linda Stinchfield wrote:

Date sent: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 10:51:05 -0700
From: Linda Stinchfield <linda@turtlesilk.com>
Subject: Re: solarplate prints
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Send reply to: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca

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

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

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