Do You Scan & Print or Darkroom Print

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

  1. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

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    I used to scan and print using an Epson 750 and a R2400 printer and then eventually built up a darkroom. When it started to cost me over a £130 pounds to replace the cartridges in the printer I switched completely to wet printing which once the initial outlay of enlargers etc is done is much cheaper than inkjet printing, there is of course the major factor of having the space and my darkroom is the the converted back half of my garage. I also find silver printing more satisfying than the digital process, but if I didn't have the space for a darkroom then I would have continued scanning and printing as the alternative would mean giving up LF photography.
    I do have an Epson fluid mount accessory which I set up for dry mounting, I will never use this accessory again so if it is of use to anyone you are welcome to it either to collect or pay for postage ( this was a free accessory with the 750) I believe it also worked with the 700 but not sure about the latest scanner or the smaller ones.
    Richard
     
  2. KenS

    KenS Active Member

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    Richard.. Sir....

    I was somewhat tempted to address you as "Sir Richard" ... but had 'a second thought' and decided that, on realizing that, at my current age, I am no longer the sharpest knife in the drawer, and since I don't know you well enough (yet) I had better "NOT".

    Fortunately, the loss of 'status' does not mean my acquired skills have deteriorated (although it sometimes means having to dig deeper into a somewhat shorter memory 'bank') it does make for a somewhat steeper 'learning curve' when it comes to the new digital technology... there's only so much 'space' left in the old grey-matter under the scalp for the 'new'.

    I'm not exactly sure of the 'why' I find the non-silver print processes so much more 'satisfying'... but it could be related to the fact that the successes are 'tied' to the care into which we put our efforts to get the results that somehow, provide a greater level of self-satisfaction that one might get from printing out to 'commercial' silver-gelatin paper.

    I can but suppose I might even learn 'well enough' to come to accept the scanning of original silver-gelatin negatives with digital technology as being within the realms of being part of 'my normal' means of producing a satisfactory negative.... that will allow me to continue to print with non-silver print emulsions as part of my need to be 'creative' with my cameras'... printing out the results at a lower cost somewhat below that of a 'digital print.

    Ken
     
  3. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

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    Dear Ken
    It seems from your response to my post that I have offended you in some way, all I was doing was relating my own experience and not in any way trying seem superior, I do sincerely apologise if my comments have offended you it would be far from my intention to offend anybody and if I have been less than skillful in my choice of words I am sorry.
    Regards
    Richard
     
  4. KenS

    KenS Active Member

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    Richard... Sir

    I was/am not offended in any way whatsoever... I believe my shoulders are broad enough to handle "truth' when it arrives... and I don't think you intended or meant to cause any offence.

    Now and again I try make a feeble attempt to inject some humour [or humor... as our neighbo(u)rs to the south of the 49th parallel might spell it]. My skin is old.... sometimes gets weary... often needs 'cleaning'... but if anything, it becomes more resilient.. the more I age.

    Any time 'online', I too may try to inject (if I may use that term) into the written (typed?) word, but one's 'inflection' is often difficult to discern. I was brought up in the days of the Goon Show.. and have been accused by some of my 'friends' down there to the south... of "having more than just a 'weird' sense of humo(u)r... but in reality I am more than just difficult to "piss off" (If I may use that expression).

    My response was more to try and indicate that a scanner is extremely useful when it comes to negative 'making for the archaic non-silver rocesses.. I may now make an 8x10 'digital' negative on Pictorico from a 4x5 negative and... other than the initial 'hardware $$ investment I may now create 8x10' negatives for my non-silver prints for less cost than the cost of 'blank/unexposed' 8x10' film.. all I have to do is 'learn how to use' the damn thing 'properly

    The only things that 'disturbs' my 'senses are discrimination, ignorance of an obvious reality, and what we generally term an 'uneducated ignorance' with an inability to 'learn' that other peoples' 'beliefs' may be just as 'valid' as our own. I will always try very hard not to cause bloodshed but.... I am not adverse to telling someone that they need to re-evaluate their beliefs when there is little to no physical 'evidence'.

    Take care.

    Ken
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
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  5. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

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    Gentlemen,

    It's all good! IMO we should be basking smugly in all the choices and tools we have at our disposal nowadays. I routinely print 35mm to 10x8 in a wet darkroom, scan all those sizes to produce finished prints on the desktop using inkjet printers, and scan film to generate negatives for pt/pd printing.

    I'll give you an example...I have a 10x8 negative that I've contact printed many times in my darkroom. It's a lovely (IMHO, of course) winter scene. But, there is a tree on a hill toward the upper-right corner that I always wished that I had left a bit more 'breathing room' between the top of the tree and the edge of the frame (I was somewhat limited in camera position) and there are some bare scrubbing looking bushes/trees in the immediate foreground with some dark water behind all of it whereby I wanted the water printed down in tone, but didn't want to affect the bushes/trees. Basically, impossible in the wet darkroom! Believe me, I tried for many years. But, through the magic of PS using selections and masks 20 years later I was able to produce EXACTLY the final image I had envisioned when I captured it. And, I could easily output it on my substrate of choice in any size up to 22x17. I have a framed 14x11 copy hanging on my living room wall today and I enjoy seeing it every day.

    To repeat...it's all good!! ;)
     
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  6. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with Alan and repeating words I have said on the here before that if we did not have the ability to scan negatives onto a computer then the impact on film and its sales would be hit rather hard, so its a good thing that we have choices of how we work with film, embrace it all and be thankful we can still work with a medium we all love.
     
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  7. KenS

    KenS Active Member

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    I am somewhat tempted to respond with an "Its really great when its all good"... but I shall refrain... this time. :cool:

    Ken
     
  8. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

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    No need to ken, you already said it :)
     
  9. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

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    I really thought I had replied already in this thread but...guess too much dreaming is bad for my memory :confused: :oops:
    Anyway, I currently work in "hybrid mode" scanning my negatives and then printing them on my inkjet printer - I like this hybrid version as it gives me the possibility to print on my current favourite papers - Japanese Kozo and Inbe. Is anyone else a little obsessed with papers? :rolleyes:
    I really like the feel of certain papers and even the smell of some of them. :eek:

    But I will have to think about what I am going to do if (when :p) I try 8x10 as my scanner only works up to 4x5. Maybe the easiest (and cheapest) will be contact printing or I need to set up my own "scanning-station" with a light-tablet and my Hasselblad (digital back) and merge the photos in photoshop/lightroom to get the resolution and quality I want. Any experience?
     
  10. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

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    I print on Koso paper, and have straight prints or stretch it on home made frames, its really nice,

    I am about to do some contact printing, only 4x5 and see how it goes, if I like it then I will probably go down the 10x8 contact print route, I simply don't have the room for a large format darkroom so this is the best way at the moment.
     
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  11. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

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    Great that I am not alone :)
    I love the feel of the Kozo paper and its translucency. It works also beautifully for books - just made my first draft photo-book a few weeks ago (see attached photo) and am now working on the layout and selection for the "real ones".
    I have also considered making my own frames - or I have to admit letting my boyfriend make them for me as I am afraid of the big saw...(shame on me... ;-)). What do you use to "glue" the paper to the frame? I think it would look so beautifully simple and just let the picture speak for itself. I would love to see some of your work on the Kozo - maybe you can take a photo of one of your framed prints? :) Please ;-)

    I also only have a small darkroom and not a lot of/probably not enough space for enlargers so if at all it has to be contact printing...looking forward to hearing about your experiments :)
     

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  12. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

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    Well the Epson Kozo I use has a paper backing, after printing you can seperate the Kozo from the backing paper, I make simple pine frames then attach double sided tape to the front edges then stick the Kozo onto that, when its securely stuck down I spray the print with luke warm water this stretches the Kozo like a drum as the water evaporates, it takes on a different delicate look than a print with the backing paper attached. I will post a picture of a stretched print tomorrow
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
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  13. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

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  14. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    Really liking these books. i would like to hear more about your book making process and printing on the Kozo
     
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  15. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

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    Thank you, Ian :) Anything specific you would like to know? It is a Japanese book-making method with folded prints and a stab-binding along the edge to keep them together. I currently use mainly Epson Kozo paper which as Martin says has a backing paper that is quite easy to remove. I am also experimenting with Awagami papers which I like a lot but they are a bit more tricky to print with as some of them are extremely thin and the backing paper on the double-layered Kozo is much more difficult to remove.
     
  16. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

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    Hi Isabel, IMHO your work needs to be contact printed when you go to 8x10! I've contacted printed 8x10 in the wet darkroom for 30 years on both silver gelatin and pt/pd, and I wouldn't consider any other way of producing prints from this size. Well...OK...I lied! I have made one 16x20 enlargement from 8x10 many years ago; it hangs in our family room. Anyway, your work is so soft and ethereal that I think contact printing is the way to go.

    Have you ever thought about making your own emulsion and coating the Kozo? I have no experience with this paper so no idea if it could stand up to coating? You may like to check out Dan Burkholder's work: http://www.danburkholder.com/platinumpalladium-over-gold-leaf.html. I believe he uses a rather thin paper and applies gold leaf to the back while printing pt/pd on the front. He also does pigments over metals and all kinds of stuff. I true gem IMO. ;)
     
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  17. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    i am interested in the entire process especially how the book is held together. Was this something you have been taught
     
  18. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

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    @Alan9940: Thank you :) If I could get a coating on the Kozo and then contact print that might be a wonderful way to go...lots to investigate ;-)

    @Ian-Barber: :D The book is "only" held together by the stitching along the edge. Attached 2 photos where you can see that better. I think the simplicity is so wonderful about it and you don't need tons of tools and material (basically just something to drill the holes, a needle and thread). You can even take it apart again.
    I actually learned it in the UK ;) from Eddie Ephraums http://www.envisagebooks.co.uk - he was a wonderful teacher for me and I made the example you see in the photos after only a few hours and seeing the process once :)

    The other one you see in the photos is a little fold-out-book, also a really nice way to go and I am trying that as well with thinner paper.
    If you use thicker papers, a creaser would be a good investment :)
     

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  19. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    I am familiar with his work as he writes an article every month in the B+W magazine. It's nice to actually talk to someone that has seen his work in person, I especially like his book designs and would really like to attend one of his workshops.
     
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  20. Isabel

    Isabel Active Member

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    I
    I can only recommend it - I had 2 days of personal tutoring with focus on printing (especially thin Japanese papers ;-)) and book-making and it was so worth it. He was recommended to me by my current mentor who has worked successfully with him for many years.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
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