[alt-photo] Re: Multi-Neg Printing Methods

Julian Smart juliansmart at virginmedia.com
Sat Oct 29 22:19:52 GMT 2011

 I seriously doubt that you could possibly produce more tones from 
seperation negs than are in the original shot. Like Tomas says, HDR would 
probably be the way to go, but doesn't platinum yield a huge tonal range 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Francesco Fragomeni" <fdfragomeni at gmail.com>
To: "The alternative photographic processes mailing list" 
<alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2011 8:59 PM
Subject: [alt-photo] Re: Multi-Neg Printing Methods

> Denny and Tomas,
> Thanks for your replies. I've seen the article and threads linked to from
> DPUG.org and while it offers some interesting information, it doesn't 
> cover
> exactly what I'm interested in. While multi-neg printing and HDR share
> similar concepts they yield very different results. I don't think anyone 
> who
> has seen Penn's platinum prints would ever say that they look like HDR and 
> I
> don't know anyone bold enough to compare any HDR work to Penn's prints. I
> certainly think HDR has its place but the results that it yields are not
> what I'm looking for. I'm particularly interested in learning exactly how
> multiple negatives can be printed when using separate negatives to print
> highlight, midtones, and shadows. Consolidating them into one negative is
> definitely an option but my question is specific to using multiple 
> negatives
> printed in register. What I'm not understanding is how exposure is
> determined and how to keep subsequent layers from overprinting the 
> previous
> layers. I'm just not understanding how to this is done with multiple negs.
> I'm going to place a call to a friend who has had work done by Salto to 
> see
> if he can offer any insight. Anyone else have any insight into this method
> of printing?
> Tomas,
> Its a pleasure to meet you here and thanks for the conversation on the 
> Cuban
> street photographers. Since our convo I've found various accounts of such
> photographers all around the world. Very fascinating!
> -Francesco
> On Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 8:14 AM, Tomas Sobota <tom at sobota.net> wrote:
>> Hi Francesco
>> Nice to meet you here. If you remember, we had some interchange about
>> that Cuban street photographer on your website, some months ago.
>> I was about to answer some of your questions when I read the post
>> pointed to by Denny, with which I mostly agree, so it saved me a lot
>> of writing :-)
>> In short: with a fully digital workflow you probably don't need
>> several negatives. You can apply a HDR processing to your original
>> image to maximize the range of information, and then you adjust your
>> negative to your process using one of the well-known techniques, such
>> as Burkholder, Mark Nelson's PDN, QTR and so on. One exposure under
>> this negative should be enough, but if you want extra contrast you can
>> always recoat and expose again under the same neg.
>> I'm naturally speaking of monochrome work. With color you will usually
>> need separation negs for three or four color work, but that is another
>> history and not every process can be used for color work. Pt/Pd
>> certainly not.
>> Also, as a special case, gum dichromate will usually require two or
>> more coats/exposures to get a reasonable color density, even in
>> monochrome. But then the usual procedure is to use the same negative.
>> Varying pigment density, time of exposure and dichromate concentration
>> you can control in which zones the pigment will be deposited.
>> About your worry on overprinting. Well, at least with gum, the coats
>> are transparent to a certain degree, which varies with coat strength
>> and the pigment used. So, a new coat never covers fully all of the
>> previous ones. That is actually the reason why you can get an ample
>> range of colours using only the three substractive primaries.
>> The same would happen with the mixed processes: gum on cyanotype and
>> so on. Some degree of transparency is required in the uppermost coats.
>> Tom
>> On 10/29/11, Denny <dspector at charter.net> wrote:
>> > Francesco,
>> > You might find this useful, or at least interesting:
>> >
>> http://www.dpug.org/forums/f8/learning-master-platinum-printer-irving-penn-2
>> > 047/
>> >
>> > Denny
>> >
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: alt-photo-process-list-bounces at lists.altphotolist.org
>> > [mailto:alt-photo-process-list-bounces at lists.altphotolist.org] On 
>> > Behalf
>> Of
>> > Francesco Fragomeni
>> > Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 9:14 PM
>> > To: The alternative photographic processes mailing list
>> > Subject: [alt-photo] Multi-Neg Printing Methods
>> >
>> > Hi all,
>> >
>> > I'm doing a bit more research into multiple negative printing. I've 
>> > been
>> > printing from multiple negatives for a long time using a technique that
>> just
>> > kind of developed on its own for me after doing lots of research and
>> > emulating techniques that I knew would bring some element that I was
>> after
>> > to my work. I'm trying to expand upon this and I'm hoping that some of
>> you
>> > might be able to offer some insight as you have in the past.
>> >
>> > I've been looking quite intently into some of the techniques used by
>> Irving
>> > Penn and recently its been recommended that I look into the printing of
>> > Salto in Belgium. The key element that I'm interest in is the use of
>> > multiple negatives for printing highlight, mid-tones, and shadows. Penn
>> made
>> > multiple negatives in the darkroom and printed them in register and was
>> able
>> > to achieve his unbelievable platinum prints (he took some of his
>> techniques
>> > to the grave with him as well). I have not had the opportunity to see 
>> > any
>> of
>> > Salto's prints in person but according to some mutual friends he scans 
>> > an
>> > original negative and uses an imagesetter to produce 5 negatives for
>> > printing highlight, mids, and shadows. From what I've been told, his
>> > platinum prints are wonderful. My issue is that I haven't yet been able
>> to
>> > wrap my head around how this type of printing actually takes place. 
>> > I've
>> > used registration printing in my work for some time but I haven't done
>> much
>> > with printing multiple negs in order to print in highlight, midtones, 
>> > and
>> > shadows separate from one another. Im hoping that someone can offer
>> insight
>> > into the process. How are the negatives actually printed together in
>> these
>> > cases? Logically, one is printed and then replaced by the next in
>> register
>> > which is replaced by the next in register and so on. My question then
>> > becomes, how is exposure determined for each negative? I'm having a 
>> > hard
>> > time understanding how the multiple printings will work without
>> overprinting
>> > what was produced by the previous negative printing. If someone could
>> shed
>> > some light on this I would really appreciate it. I feel like there is
>> > something very simple that I'm overlooking which will bring it all into
>> > view.
>> >
>> > Thank you in advance!
>> >
>> > -Francesco
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