Do You Scan & Print or Darkroom Print

Discussion in 'Talk About Digital Printing' started by Ian-Barber, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Basically. As long as the room is lit by tungsten or indirect daylight you're all set. I took a workshop years ago where we coated paper and dried it in a very bright classroom situation. We did process in a darkroom (school campus), but you don't need one.

    Haha! Yeah, I guess that could be an issue in the UK. If sun is not a viable option, you could build a UV lightsource or buy one, of course.

    If pt/pd printing is of interest to you, I'd highly recommend "Platinum & Pallidium Printing" by Dick Arentz.
     
  2. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    My experience with digital scanning is extremely short.. I enjoy working in the non-silver processes and have had a few scanned by a friend when I have had a 4x5 negative that I feel 'needs' scanned and enlarging for printing onto Pictorico to enable me to make an 8x10 negative for my non-silver alternative process printing 'needs'.

    KEN
     
  3. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada

    Alan,
    I built my own UV light source box... using fluorescent UV light tubes.. (or... the recent availability of advent of LED light 'strips for home build allow exposures of negatives onto an 'art/drawing/watercolour' paper by either a brush.. (or glass rod-applied, non-silver emulsion that you may purchase... or make your own from 'scratch') that when dried, is placed under either the original negative or a 'digital negative' printed onto Pictorico (a slightly 'frosted' sheet of a plastic material) placed into my home-made contact printing frame... and given and exposure of between 10 and 30 minutes (you are able to judge the 'density of the print since most of the non-silver processes are 'printing out' rather than a 'developing' process) so you take a peek and see how dense it has become. I found the 'plans' years ago, built my own for but a fraction of the cost. Somehow, even though more 'labourious'... it has become somewhat more satisfying than commercial B/W paper and.. if my ageing mind is correct, many of the non-silver print processes might well outlast the 'commercial' silver gelatin print.

    Should you be interested enough, there is a maiing list for alternative photographic processes... <alt-photo-process-list@lists.altphotolist.org> where you will find a most generous and helpful information-sharing group of practitioners using a 'variety' of the non-silver print processes.

    Ken
     
  4. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Ken, thanks for the reference to the alt process list. Yeah, I bought a UV lightsource from Edwards Engineered Products because I gave up my wooodworking stuff when I moved across country about 16 years ago. Really wish I still had it because I'd really like to build an 11x14 camera.

    I am very familiar with Pictorico as I generate digital negatives from smaller format film for pt/pd printing. I took a workshop many years ago with Dick Arentz and Mark Nelson to learn Mark's system for producing digital negatives. There are a number of ways to make a digital negative, but Mark's system just made the most sense to me. I've never done any kind of printing-out process so I'm unfamiliar with those techniques.
     
  5. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Alan, One has not really 'made' any photographs until such times as one endulges in making one's own print from 'scratch'. I'm basically 'self-taught' when it comes to the printing-out processes.... from anything to everything.... and... hopefully, I am still learning. It IS much more time-consuming, but somehow... much more 'satisfying'.

    When taking my one of my senior studio classes, I was somewhat 'competing' with much younger
    students... the majority of whom were more into the concept and 'meaning' of their artwork... with 'hard to understand' concepts and the underlying 'meaning' therein. I got the impression that they presented images that they felt was more likely to be 'favoured' by the prof than what they 'liked'. They were somewhat 'dumfounded' that I would favour that which I preferred, rather than the 'abstract' (which I find somewhat difficult to 'digest'). That being said, after the 'critique' at the end of my final 'advanced studio' course with 20 of my 'Portals' images, the prof indicated that she 'just loved' what I had presented... and (believe it or not) the class gave me (somewhat to my embarrassment, a 'round of applause'). I then indicated that they were each welcome to chose a print for them selves... since I could always re-print. I 'lost' 16 out of my 20 prints (...and the prof took THREE) How do you spell 'happiness and relief'? (Most were re-printed within a month).

    I have a vial of Potassium chloro-platinite that I hope to put into use within the next few months

    Ken
     
  6. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Ken, competing or not it sure sounds like you got a lot out of that studio class. I've never formally studied photography, other than one class I took in college, one workshop in 1979, and a pt/pd digital negative making workshop years ago. Most everything I've learned has been through self-study and experience. I love that story of you offering your prints at the end of the class...I have given away more prints than I've ever sold! ;) Personally, I'd rather give a print to anyone who shows an emotional response to one of my images vs someone who picks it simply because it's a pretty waterfall (or, pick your subject.) I remember buying a silver print from a fairly well known photographer who lamented that he was so happy to sell me a copy of that print because it was one of his favorites and, as such, nobody else liked it! It has hung in my homes for about 35 years now and I still enjoy it as much today and when I initially bought it. :)

    Anyway, thanks for the stories...
     
  7. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Alan, After some 60+ years of making photographs I doubt that anyone in that facility can teach me 'more' about photography (by that I mean 'the craft')... but they do not teach the craft of 'Photography' under their current regime.. they tend to push 'about photography as contemporary art'... the intent, the concepts and the 'meaning of the image' . A few years ago they 'closed' the wet darkrooms and installed a big bank of Macs, Epson scanners, a LARGE and wide colour printer for which they charge the output by the square foot... or part thereof. For the numerous (small) 'desktop' colour printers... the students are charged by the sheet... I came away with the impression that the bigger the print, the better the 'grade/mark' for the student.

    I think it was in a 'History of Photography' class I felt I had to meet with the prof after one lecture to 'gently' inform him that Solarisation and the Sabattier were NOT the same thing....and informed him of the 'difference'. He was good enough to 'correct' his information at the next lecture.... then gave me a nod, a 'wink' and a smile.

    The 'best' about earning a University Degree after one reaches the age of 'senior citizenship' in Alberta... is that the Provincial Government 'picks up the tab' (other than books and materials).

    Ken
     
    Ian-Barber likes this.
  8. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Ken, totally agree. IMO the general trend nowadays is that "bigger is better" and I think a lot of that has to do with desktop editing and printing. I, on the other hand, being of "senior citizenship" and having done this stuff for a looooong time still buck the trends. I still shoot film, at mid-60's young I still lug an 8x10 outfit all over the countryside, still make contact prints (even 4x5 size), etc. What's funny is that I have all the digital toys, too, including an Epson 3880 printer which can print fairly large and I still rarely make prints over about 10" x 13"! ;)
     
  9. Glenn Haworth

    Glenn Haworth New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newbury, Berkshire
    Hybrid for me, Epson V700 and 3880. Would love to wet print again, did a short spell for a couple years while doing evening classes at College in photography, but I neither have the time, space or money to invest in a proper darkroom :(
     
  10. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Since my Epson 850 arrived... I 'think' I've got it set-up properly... and I have done some 'playing around' with scans of a few of my 4x5 negatives... I see a somewhat steeper learning curve with digital than I have EVER experienced with any of the 'wet' processes.... for either the negative or the print. ( I am NOT much of a 'digital' person) I 'observe' the results of the scan of the negative but it seems so much 'different' than judging the negative held up to either the nearest window or light-bulb. I'm not convinced that the film holders are at the correct 'height' (above the glass) and I'm finding it somewhat difficult to assess the sharpness of the result of the scan on my Mac's screen. When at 'class' a few years ago, I used Vuescan and seemed to have no problem assessing the results on my Mac's screen.
    Methinks I'm now going to have to 'play around' and practice.... but before spending that amount of time/effort, might I be better off downloading the Viewscan software for a 'Q & D' comparison?

    Ken
     
  11. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Home Page:
    For the Epson, try setting 2 for the height adjustment for 5x4
     
  12. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Ken, scanning all by itself takes years of experience IMO to truly master. I've been doing scans on the same scanner for 15 years and only fairly recently have I felt I really got the hang of it. Maybe, I'm just slow! ;) It's actually quite amazing all the technical difficulties involved--scanner doesn't focus properly at the film plane, film isn't held flat in holders, scanning software doesn't properly adjust focus or even allow for it, software A scans at a totally different contrast vs software B, etc.

    There are a few things you may wish to consider... 1) if you haven't looked at the film holders from betterscanning.com, you should, 2) you could wet mount either directly on the glass bed or get the Epson wet mount holder (I have no personal experience with this unit), 3) consider the scanning software itself--IMO Silverfast Ai remains the leader and, yes, I have used Vuescan extensively, 4) for B&W film the absolute best scans that I've gotten lately is by scanning with Silverfast to a 16-bit linear file, then using a PS plugin called ColorPerfect to convert the linear file to gray gamma 2.2.

    Truth of it all my friend is that the digital desktop is expensive and takes years to master, if your objective is high quality prints. I hope something I've said here helps you.
     
  13. Carl Hall

    Carl Hall Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Production Support Engineer
    Location:
    Somerset
    Home Page:
    I scan my negatives but I don't print them (I know, I know, I should). I'd love to wet print but I only have a 6x7 enlarger, and I don't even have space for that at the moment (it's packed away in the shed in pieces). I've printed a couple of 6x7 and 6x6 images, but never a 4x5. I don't know why really. I think I'm of the generation which has grown up with images on screens rather than paper, which makes me sad when I think about it. Perhaps when my girlfriend and I have bought our own place I can print the best ones and put them on the wall!
     
  14. alexmuir

    alexmuir Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    I wasn't able to print 4x5 until I joined a course at the local Art School. I don't know if that's available in your area, but it's worth investigating whether there is a college, or perhaps a public darkroom you could use. We are fortunate in Glasgow as both are available. I have since bought a suitable enlarger, but although it is the fairly compact LPL model, it's still quite bulky for home use. Making prints adds a whole range of possibilities for presenting your images. I hope you get an opportunity to try it at with your 4x5 negatives. You will definitely be impressed with the results.
    Alex.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    The "new" technology does not really drive me to distraction... but... after having watched a few of my fellow students a few years ago 'zip' through the process (when I was doing my 'advanced studio course'... my last before graduation at the university 3 years ago), I realized that my years of experience under the dark-cloth had got me well into the stage of 'confidence' where the 'either/or' decision at the 'making' stage a few years later, was almost automatic. I had a pile of 4x5 negatives for 'enlarging' to ~ 8x10 for non-silver printing and adjusted the density/contrast by gaging 'by eye' with a scan of 'zero to ten' negative strip scanned along one side and then doing a copy and paste to a final negative 'new' image for printing onto Pictorico.

    I was not that 'willing' to take another whole semester course on 'digital' when the 'end' was in sight... I just HAD to get out of a place where there was little to no appreciation for the application of 'acquired craft' to 'art'. I have (somewhat) come to the conclusion that while the 'new' of the digital will not quite fully replace the joy of the process of the 'old' silver-gelatin there are bound to be benefits to be gained by their 'marriage'... I feel that a fair proportion of my 4x5 negatives should 'look good' enough to enlarge for printing to 8x10 with at least one of the archaic non-silver processes...my home-made (maple) 16x20' contact printing frame and fluorescent UV light source.

    I can remember some of the frustrations of my learning to 'use' and appreciate the benefits of the availability of lens/film-plane adjustments with 8x10 cameras in my early years.... I just have to survive this 'honeymoon' stage of 'scanning negatives and get it to a successful ending..

    Ken
     
  16. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Home Page:
    Ken, whats your goal her.e Are you scanning 4x5 negatives onto Pictorico, then contact printing them in the darkroom
     
  17. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    My goal is to scan both selected negatives then printing out the 'digital' image onto Pictorico (a white frosted plastic material) using a colour of ink that will 'work' to absorb/transmit the UV light-waves to which the 'mix-em-for-yourself' non-silver emulsions respond.

    Two reasons.. having an 'archived' printable digital file allows for repeated printing to a support for a variety of the non-silver processes at different 'dimensions/sizes' thus reducing the chance of any accidental physical damage to the original negative during handling.... it also means that I can get an enlarged image from a 35mm negative (... but I make very few of them these days), the occasional 120 negs from my RB67 or roll-film back for my Linhof... or an 8x10 negative from my old 'woodie' and make an negative for contact printing process... Yes... it can be a LOT more expensive in time AND materials... but (some-how) seeing a given image with (perhaps) the surrounded emulsion 'overage' of the hand-applied (ie brush, glass rod or foam brush) outside the image area of the negative 'shouts' hand-made... using a modicum of the acquisition of craft.

    Straight digital output to a print IS faster and sometimes 'better'.. when one can tweek the colour balance and/or density gradient curve with one's computer software. The archaic non-silver processes will (supposedly) outlast the majority of the inkjet output... and silver-gelatin... assuming (of course) that the image is worthy of lasting that long).

    I doubt it might prove a successful 'career' for the majority of us, but it provides the practitioners a given amount of satisfaction to produce something 'artistic'.

    I'm not sure that this 'means' a lot... but having spent so many years having to satisfying the 'need for/must have a 'visual record' for others, I'm now trying to satisfy 'my own' desire to be somewhat creative...

    Ken
     
  18. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Home Page:
    Do you have any finished examples you can show us
     
  19. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    OK.. here we go (with a word of warning...) these are my very first scans from a print.... methinks I still have a lot of learning to do.
    Both are VDB prints on a 'water colour paper' The GrainBin.Portal is a contact print from an original 4x5 negative . (Both negatives had Pyrocat-HD development). The LibraryPortal is from a scanned and slightly enlarged negative printed at 6.5 x 8 inches... onto the home mixed VDB 'emulsion' using an effective colour for UV absorbption... (but I'd have to find my 'records' to get the data) onto 8 1/2 x 11 inch Pictorico. Exposures were around 30 minutes under UV emitting fluorescent tubes in my home built exposure unit. Development was via the "normal" for developing VDB emulsions. As you may observe, there is a slight tonal difference between the prints. I am not sure of the "why" but it might be that they were most likely coated from different 'batches' of VDB emulsion.
    Ken

    GrainbinPortal.jpg

    LibraryPortals.jpg
     
  20. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Dave,
    The non-silver processes tend to provide a lower output per hour of effort. That being said... I find it 'somehow' to be much more 'satisfying' since you are dependent on your own 'ability' (to a great extent) to be more 'patient' when making a print with most of the non-silver processes. You may find the 'learning curve' to be somewhat 'steeper' but somehow... and I cannot explain the 'why' but your are much more dependent on your own abilities... but the results (to me anyway) seem to be much more rewarding. You'll probably make more 'screw-ups' than you could ever make using 'regular' B/W silver-gelatin prints... but you 'CAN' and WILL learn from the 'screw-ups'... I have made more than my fair share of so doing over the years.

    I built my own UV light source for a LOT LESS money than any 'commercial' unit and... I can use it whenever I want/need during the 24 hours of each day... rain or shine... or when its -30 degrees C outside... and overcast.

    Ken
     

Share This Page