8x10 contact prints from digital negatives.
Old 07-15-2019   #1
jwcat
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8x10 contact prints from digital negatives.

I know Ed Weston did this. I have “The Print” book but would like to read about Weston’s methods. Any leads?

Of course he used analog negs, but that is not a problem.

I have not been able to log on to RFF in some time.
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Old 07-15-2019   #2
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https://www.diyphotography.net/disco...edward-weston/
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Old 07-15-2019   #3
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Thanks for the YouTube link.
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Old 07-15-2019   #4
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Google search Ron Reeder ... specialises in contact printing from digitally created negatives and sells an instructional book.
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Old 07-15-2019   #5
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I make , I used epson/Peizography to physically print the neg's.
You don't need to piezography inks, you can use standard ones, but I found it easier and better grey scale with Piezography

https://piezography.com/piezodn/f-a-q/
https://piezography.com/piezodn
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Old 07-16-2019   #6
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Thanks all.
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Old 07-17-2019   #7
sepiareverb
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Weston was quite the purist, single incandescent light bulb and a metronome. Harder to do these days with our faster, mostly VC papers. But 810 contacts are very simple assuming one can keep things clean.
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Old 07-17-2019   #8
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Buy some Lodima from Paula Chamlee, it’s the closest to the chloride contact papers that Weston used. Otherwise use Adox Lupex. Expose in a contact print frame under a bulb. Develop the paper in an amidol developer - I think Photographer’s Formulary has a pre-made version of Weston’s amidol developer, or you can use Michael Smith’s formula at the Lodima site. Fix, wash thoroughly and there you go. As Bob points out, it’s very, very simple, as long as you can keep everything clean.

Edward Weston’s Daybooks have a lot of details in them, but in bits and pieces here and there, so you need to read it carefully.

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Old 07-17-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
Buy some Lodima from Paula Chamlee, itís the closest to the chloride contact papers that Weston used. Otherwise use Adox Lupex. Expose in a contact print frame under a bulb. Develop the paper in an amidol developer - I think Photographerís Formulary has a pre-made version of Westonís amidol developer, or you can use Michael Smithís formula at the Lodima site. Fix, wash thoroughly and there you go. As Bob points out, itís very, very simple, as long as you can keep everything clean.

Edward Westonís Daybooks have a lot of details in them, but in bits and pieces here and there, so you need to read it carefully.

Marty
Thanks, that is what I need, I think.
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Old 07-17-2019   #10
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I've never made a contact print, but it looks way easier than an enlarger print. No need to focus, figure out your cropping, etc. Instead of emulating Weston, which is a lost cause really and who wants to do what someone else has already done?, I would go a different route. What look are you after? Developing in Rodinal will give you very different results than something like D76.

I would just use Tri-X and D76 as my starting point after reading up on all the online info about making digital negs (Photorio). Adox MCC 110 is a great paper to start with because you seldom have to do anything but make one test print or test strip.
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Old 07-17-2019   #11
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The wizard of making contact negatives from digital images for printing is/was Dan Burkholder. His techniques and so forth are documented in books available from his website:

http://www.danburkholder.com

a more specific link to the digital negative techniques:
Dan Burkholder: Digital Negative Companion

If you want to make large format negatives for contact printing from digital images, his techniques will save a huge amount of trial and error time.

I did this stuff in the 1990s with my buddy Don K.

G
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Old 07-17-2019   #12
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8x10 contacts..will be the best prints tonally you ever made..
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Old 07-17-2019   #13
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Limited editions is a good reason to use contact printing.

Cal
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Old 07-17-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emile de Leon View Post
8x10 contacts..will be the best prints tonally you ever made..

Also if made from digital? Wouldn't the limitation be the printer and one can only get what the printer is capable of in a positive print as well?
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Old 07-17-2019   #15
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Quote:
Also if made from digital? Wouldn't the limitation be the printer and one can only get what the printer is capable of in a positive print as well?
Dont know..
I use an 8x10 Ebony cam on old AZO chloride paper..and right outta the gate..it demolishes any print I ever made on any other format..w/o even trying..
Th prints basically...glow..

You might want to go to the Large Format community..they have experienced folks there in what you are asking..
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
The wizard of making contact negatives from digital images for printing is/was Dan Burkholder. His techniques and so forth are documented in books available from his website:

http://www.danburkholder.com

a more specific link to the digital negative techniques:
Dan Burkholder: Digital Negative Companion

If you want to make large format negatives for contact printing from digital images, his techniques will save a huge amount of trial and error time.

I did this stuff in the 1990s with my buddy Don K.
The technology has moved on from the approach in Dan Burkholder's book. The easiest way to get really good results doing this currently is to use PiezeDN. https://piezography.com/piezodn It sorts a lot of the issues with UV density that traditional inks have, and makes negs you can print on platinum, palladium or on silver. Recommended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Also if made from digital? Wouldn't the limitation be the printer and one can only get what the printer is capable of in a positive print as well?
To an extent. The PiezoDN negs can make prints as good as an 8x10 camera, but you need to understand post processing and have an appropriate file to input.

Larger than 8x10, analogue negatives probably still produce better contact prints unless you have a very high resolution camera, but then you run into HUGE issues with camera manageability. There is always a trade-off between practicality and output. One thing to remember is that the inkjet printer can provide the same ppi to its maximum size, irrespective of the input. This helps with tonality. It's a similar effect to that which Cal describes for Piezo prints - as you print larger you see more detail. The printer isn't inventing it, it's just that a 17x22 inch or larger print has more effective resolution than a 5K (at best) computer screen looking at the whole image. The screen obscures detail, rather than that the print creates more. And it's hard to interpret tone zoomed in, whereas it magnifies detail.

Marty
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
I've never made a contact print, but it looks way easier than an enlarger print. No need to focus, figure out your cropping, etc. Instead of emulating Weston, which is a lost cause really and who wants to do what someone else has already done?, I would go a different route. What look are you after? Developing in Rodinal will give you very different results than something like D76.

I would just use Tri-X and D76 as my starting point after reading up on all the online info about making digital negs (Photorio). Adox MCC 110 is a great paper to start with because you seldom have to do anything but make one test print or test strip.
I am not trying to emulate Weston, I just want to make analog paper prints, without buying and trying to find a place for an enlarger.

I have been making Alternative Photography prints for years using digital negatives. When I attended a Pt/Pd workshop with Dan Burkholder in 2008 he made a print on analog paper, but he used his enlarger for illumination. Weston was the master of contact printing so I am just looking for his methods. I will never make a Pepper #31.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
The wizard of making contact negatives from digital images for printing is/was Dan Burkholder. His techniques and so forth are documented in books available from his website:

http://www.danburkholder.com

a more specific link to the digital negative techniques:
Dan Burkholder: Digital Negative Companion

If you want to make large format negatives for contact printing from digital images, his techniques will save a huge amount of trial and error time.

I did this stuff in the 1990s with my buddy Don K.

G
I attended a workshop given by Dan in 2008 and watched him make a contact print on Ilford paper, it was beautiful.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
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Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
...Edward Westonís Daybooks have a lot of details in them, but in bits and pieces here and there, so you need to read it carefully.

Marty
+1 for technique.

I recently returned to the Daybooks after decades without reading them, was not the same as it was when I was 20.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
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I used to print large quantities of 8x10 SWG for Hickey Freeman mens clothes marketing press releases and masked x-rays to photo print. This was back in the 70's.

I used a large contact printer that had a diffuse cold light source in a box about 12 x 14 x12 with the light about 10 inches or so from the contact glass. There was enough space to put tissue paper in the box and this would be added or cut out to create dodge and burn effects and to compensate for any unevenness of the light source field.

With this method it was highly repeated to produce a large number of prints with consistent dodging and burning since it was all done by light attenuation or increase from the tissue paper build up or holes. Processing limited runs to about 15 prints per batch or you'd see variation since I was processing all the prints in trays.

I would think this method would work even if you had some type of digitally produced negative and wanted a conventional black and white print on photo paper from that.

Hickey Freeman was extremely particular with matching shading, contrast and tonality on the original artwork. They would compare first and last prints and some others to the original artwork for exactness. Excellent life lesson!

something like this comes to mind: contact printer

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
The technology has moved on from the approach in Dan Burkholder's book. The easiest way to get really good results doing this currently is to use PiezeDN. https://piezography.com/piezodn It sorts a lot of the issues with UV density that traditional inks have, and makes negs you can print on platinum, palladium or on silver. Recommended.



To an extent. The PiezoDN negs can make prints as good as an 8x10 camera, but you need to understand post processing and have an appropriate file to input.

Larger than 8x10, analogue negatives probably still produce better contact prints unless you have a very high resolution camera, but then you run into HUGE issues with camera manageability. There is always a trade-off between practicality and output. One thing to remember is that the inkjet printer can provide the same ppi to its maximum size, irrespective of the input. This helps with tonality. It's a similar effect to that which Cal describes for Piezo prints - as you print larger you see more detail. The printer isn't inventing it, it's just that a 17x22 inch or larger print has more effective resolution than a 5K (at best) computer screen looking at the whole image. The screen obscures detail, rather than that the print creates more. And it's hard to interpret tone zoomed in, whereas it magnifies detail.

Marty
Marty,

Many thanks for your detailed information. You are further along than me.

I will add that in my printing I can print what I can't see on a calibrated 27 EIZO dimmed down to 80 Lux in a darkened room. In other words more detail comes out in a print than I can see on my monitor.

I dim down my monitor to reduce the contrast so I can see more shadow detail. I learned excessive contrast kills shadow detail.

I do this with a Leica Monochrom which is only an 18MP camera that is rather primitive. Clean files and optimized exposures yield the best results because of lowest noise by promoting the least amount of post processing.

Pretty much I shoot like a large format shooter even though I'm shooting small format and trying to maximize IQ at time of image capture. I use Heliopan 2X yellow filters for contrast so I don't have to add contrast in post. Also know that these Heliopan filters marked "Digital" have UV and IR filters included and these "Digital" filters remove signals that are not visual info that removes what I consider "noise" for cleaner/better histograms.

BTW you will also see reduced clipping so you can expose more to the right when using Heliopan filters marked "Digital" on any digital camera. On my SL, a color camera I use a UV marked "Digital" for lower "noise," better histograms, and less clipping.

"Garbage in: garbage out" becomes "clean in: clean out."

Cal
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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About two years ago I saw Salgado's "Genesis" at ICP, the last show before they closed down the space near Bryant Park.

Salgado started this project shooting 645 film, but because of airport security hassles about halfway though this decade long project he switched to small format DSLR.

The best lab in Paris was utilized to make silver wet prints that were large. The show was about 200 images and the print size about 4x5 feet. A digital 4x5 negative was made to create the prints.

The results shown in the prints transcended formats and the IQ and tonality were that of large format.

I viewed the show three times in three different ways: one I just took in the entire show; next I tried to cull out for me a folio of perhaps 20 images I thought were the best, which included the few shots I would call "iconic" because the images would persist in my memory; and lastly I viewed the show to see if I had the skill to determine analog or digital image capture.

Realize that it required a highly trained eye to distinguish the difference between analog and digital image capture. Pretty much the digital image capture was indicated by the enhanced shadow detail, and in the analog image capture the givaway was the smoother roll-off in the highlights.

If I were not a skilled printer who printed big I don't think I would have been able to distinguish reliably the difference because the printing made only the tiniest of difference.

So today there is Piezography DN, and the technology is so advanced that basically I could do a Salgado without the best lab in Paris. Granted that I would need the skill and experience to get to that level.

Digital artifacts get amplified when you print big, so printing big is harder, requires more skill, and of course is more costly, but big prints don't lie.

BTW Salgado used a color camera: a Canon DSLR.

Cal
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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Quote:
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About two years ago I saw Salgado's "Genesis"
[snip]
The results shown in the prints transcended formats and the IQ and tonality were that of large format.
I also saw this show, but at a different location. Not sure if the prints were the same. I thought several of the photos were overmanipulated and looked terrible. Some of the tonal transitions were appallingly unnatural looking.

There was nothing particularly new or overly special in the technique. Making claims about its specialness is just another part of the mystique raising. Any lab with a film recorder to write the digital files to film can do this. Really elite labs are more careful, tolerate fewer flaws and waste fewer materials getting to the final version (this is mostly due to experience) and, of course, cost more. Something like Piezo DN or other inkjet methods democratizes the approach somewhat, but although it’s fiddly at first, there is nothing particularly difficult about it.

Picto https://www.picto.fr/ if I recall correctly, used to offer silver prints from film recorder negs as a standard service, but I can’t find it currently. It could be because of my embryonic French, or maybe they decided they couldn’t charge enough to make the hassle worthwhile. It may, or may not, be the ‘top Paris lab’ used by Salgado.

To anyone who is interested, I would say just go for it. It is not as hard as it seems. And, to contextualise it, making negatives is easier, I think, than learning to use a large format camera. The prints, particularly on contact printing FB paper, can be really beautiful.

Marty
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
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Heres a video of the making of a platinum print from an MM file
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDsUv4qPt6o
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
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Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
Heres a video of the making of a platinum print from an MM file
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDsUv4qPt6o
Itís a nice demonstration. I am not sure what process he is using exactly, Pt/Pd prints usually form completely during exposure (ziatype) or not at all (other chemistries) rather than partially.

This video also shows the reason I tend to prefer silver chloride paper these days - in the close up of the print with the child in it at about 1:38 you can clearly see the paper texture. I donít like that, although Adox makes a fibre base paper with no sensitizer on it for coating yourself, which I havenít tried. It also shows the egregious amount of water that wet printing uses. The nice thing about inkjet negs and soft oroofing is that once you get used to it, you waste very little water because each print is very close to right first time.

Marty
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
I also saw this show, but at a different location. Not sure if the prints were the same. I thought several of the photos were overmanipulated and looked terrible. Some of the tonal transitions were appallingly unnatural looking.

There was nothing particularly new or overly special in the technique. Making claims about its specialness is just another part of the mystique raising. Any lab with a film recorder to write the digital files to film can do this. Really elite labs are more careful, tolerate fewer flaws and waste fewer materials getting to the final version (this is mostly due to experience) and, of course, cost more. Something like Piezo DN or other inkjet methods democratizes the approach somewhat, but although itís fiddly at first, there is nothing particularly difficult about it.

Picto https://www.picto.fr/ if I recall correctly, used to offer silver prints from film recorder negs as a standard service, but I canít find it currently. It could be because of my embryonic French, or maybe they decided they couldnít charge enough to make the hassle worthwhile. It may, or may not, be the Ďtop Paris labí used by Salgado.

To anyone who is interested, I would say just go for it. It is not as hard as it seems. And, to contextualise it, making negatives is easier, I think, than learning to use a large format camera. The prints, particularly on contact printing FB paper, can be really beautiful.

Marty
Marty,

I would agree that there were some prints at the Salgado Genesis show that were "over baked."

Also I find very interesting your comment at the end of your post comparing difficulties. This is very useful to me.

Thanks again.

Cal
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
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Itís a nice demonstration. I am not sure what process he is using exactly, Pt/Pd prints usually form completely during exposure (ziatype) or not at all (other chemistries) rather than partially.

This video also shows the reason I tend to prefer silver chloride paper these days - in the close up of the print with the child in it at about 1:38 you can clearly see the paper texture. I donít like that, although Adox makes a fibre base paper with no sensitizer on it for coating yourself, which I havenít tried. It also shows the egregious amount of water that wet printing uses. The nice thing about inkjet negs and soft oroofing is that once you get used to it, you waste very little water because each print is very close to right first time.

Marty
Marty,

Again this is useful information. I was wondering about how good, close and useful my inkjet prints are as soft proofs. Very illuminating. seems like I'm further along than I thought.

Cal
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