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Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 04:38
So, I want to print a few books of my black and white photographs. I'll be scanning finished prints using an Epson 10000XL scanner. I've been looking into using Blurb or some similar service but worry about the problems inherent in CMYK printing. I found this article from LensWork:

http://daily.lenswork.com/2010/01/lenswork-duotones.html

with says:

" Any of you who have done a black-and-white book from Blurb.com or Lulu.com know what I'm talking about. A dead neutral grayscale is almost impossible to achieve."

and then:

"Instead, we use duotone printing which employs only two inks black and, in our case, Pantone Warm Gray 11. "

BUT

"Duotones are tricky to use because they cannot be proofed except on press."

So, are there any services that specialize in printing black and white photography books that don't use color printers? It seems like providing a service to print duotones is kind of an impossibility given the problems of proofing. For an individual who only wants a few copies, what is the highest quality way of printing black and white photo books?

Thoughts?

Richard Wasserman
11-Jan-2015, 05:04
For the highest possible quality I suggest not going with a commercial printer and instead talking with a custom bookbinder about producing books using prints that you make yourself. You have a great many options available and would wind up with a truly unique book. New York must have many to choose from.

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 06:16
For the highest possible quality I suggest not going with a commercial printer and instead talking with a custom bookbinder about producing books using prints that you make yourself. You have a great many options available and would wind up with a truly unique book. New York must have many to choose from.

Well, Richard, I think it's a problem of cost. I don't believe any custom book binder is going to talk to me about printing a few books, even at $250 per book. Print on demand came about as a result of the ability to scale up volumes on the internet.

I don't think there is any good way of binding prints into a book. Of course, loose portfolios are an option, but I really do want a book.

I found this article:

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2009/05/15/photographer-banned-by-blurb-books/

which bashes Blurb quite a bit and offers a few other options such as Paper Chase and White House. Still, I would like to hear about how people have had high quality black and white books produced, so many of the companies seem geared to color work, I guess because of the wedding trade.

Richard Wasserman
11-Jan-2015, 06:23
I don't know current costs, but doing this is quite feasible. Custom bookbinders are happy to do editions of one (although I'm sure they prefer larger quantities.) Way back in the dim recesses of time I had just this kind of book done and the cost was not great. Photos were mounted back to back and then bound into a finished book.

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 06:39
I don't know current costs, but doing this is quite feasible. Custom bookbinders are happy to do editions of one (although I'm sure they prefer larger quantities.) Way back in the dim recesses of time I had just this kind of book done and the cost was not great. Photos were mounted back to back and then bound into a finished book.

Well, you've piqued my interest, so, what kind of paper did you use for the prints? RC? Fibre wouldn't work because of the stiffness, I assume. Do you remember how the binding was done?

You mentioned that the prints were counter mounted, a technique that Paul Strand used in his early days to get flat prints. At one point, he mounted an Atget print given to him by Berenice Abbott to the back of one of his one prints!

Perhaps I will look into going this route, even if the costs are significantly higher. I'm more than happy to support small local businesses, I just didn't think it was possible.

Iluvmyviewcam
11-Jan-2015, 07:15
OP yes, true. All my POD books are off color for neutral BW. Duotone for small runs? You must be rich for that.

A few books? Hand print and they become works of art. I've done many hundred of them. They are in a number of pubic collections around the world. Don't scan prints, scan negs if you can.

nsfw

http://portfolioartistsbook.tumblr.com/

http://bikermardigras.tumblr.com/

http://twentysixroadkills.tumblr.com/

http://encyclopediainkjetmedia.tumblr.com/

Nice thing about spiral books is the book can be unbound, original prints framed and displayed, they you can rebind it in a couple of minutes and the book serves 2 purposes.

BTW, the Encyclopedia is the largest set of hand printed artists' book in the world from what I can tell.

Richard Wasserman
11-Jan-2015, 07:20
Fiber Base


Well, you've piqued my interest, so, what kind of paper did you use for the prints? RC? Fibre wouldn't work because of the stiffness, I assume. Do you remember how the binding was done?

You mentioned that the prints were counter mounted, a technique that Paul Strand used in his early days to get flat prints. At one point, he mounted an Atget print given to him by Berenice Abbott to the back of one of his one prints!

Perhaps I will look into going this route, even if the costs are significantly higher. I'm more than happy to support small local businesses, I just didn't think it was possible.

Iluvmyviewcam
11-Jan-2015, 07:23
Well, you've piqued my interest, so, what kind of paper did you use for the prints? RC? Fibre wouldn't work because of the stiffness, I assume. Do you remember how the binding was done?

You mentioned that the prints were counter mounted, a technique that Paul Strand used in his early days to get flat prints. At one point, he mounted an Atget print given to him by Berenice Abbott to the back of one of his one prints!

Perhaps I will look into going this route, even if the costs are significantly higher. I'm more than happy to support small local businesses, I just didn't think it was possible.


It is expensive for side stitched hardcover. Cost about $125 for high grade work. I had couple books done, but more as tests. Test your paper, a lot of inkjet paper curls. I've had to buy and waste thousands of $ to find flat or kinda flat paper. RC paper is flat but ugly. Fibre is not always flat. Print and let it sit in the air for a few weeks. Then see what hap. Humidly and temp changes make paper warp.

I use matte and plastic interleaf. One of my signature features.

http://portfolioartistsbook.tumblr.com/image/70388454832

From: http://portfolioartistsbook.tumblr.com/

Iluvmyviewcam
11-Jan-2015, 07:25
Well, Richard, I think it's a problem of cost. I don't believe any custom book binder is going to talk to me about printing a few books, even at $250 per book. Print on demand came about as a result of the ability to scale up volumes on the internet.

I don't think there is any good way of binding prints into a book. Of course, loose portfolios are an option, but I really do want a book.

I found this article:

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2009/05/15/photographer-banned-by-blurb-books/

which bashes Blurb quite a bit and offers a few other options such as Paper Chase and White House. Still, I would like to hear about how people have had high quality black and white books produced, so many of the companies seem geared to color work, I guess because of the wedding trade.


Book binders bind. You give them the pages they bind it. $100 to $150 does it per book.

When you have them bound you must allow for trim and gutter loses in binding. To much hassle for me. I spiral bind.

I believe I am the world leader in hand printed, hand bound artists books. I'm producing another 4 or 5 books down the road. But it is a lot of work printing 3 or 50 books then binding. But, the places that collect my work won't collect them otherwise. (Unless it was a super rare commercially printed book.)

Someone mentioned that Adorama makes books. They rave about them. Never tried them, but give them a look see for your project. Some of my pix have 45 revisions like this one. (This is actually number 42 or something like that. The final version has better cloud detail.)

nsfw

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/13/Homage_to_Weegee_2012_Copyright_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..jpg/994px-Homage_to_Weegee_2012_Copyright_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..jpg

From: http://bikermardigras.tumblr.com/

I need total control and can't fool round with printers mass printing my work.

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 07:59
I should have mentioned that I'm not interested in inkjet printing. The day I sold my Epson 3880 was a good day for me. I hated the printer and its output. I'm also not going to scan negatives. I love working in the darkroom producing silver gelatin prints and I'm not going to redo all that work in Photoshop to only have it come out looking different when printed on an inkjet printer.

So, the question is, how can I get a book to look as close to my silver gelatin prints as possible? I'm afraid that bound fibre prints is not really what I want, and that duotones are only for the rich, as someone pointed out. Where does that leave me?

analoguey
11-Jan-2015, 08:06
Bound RC paper books, printed in the darkroom, bound by a book -binder?


/Tossing the idea. Yet to try it myself.

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 08:11
Bound RC paper books, printed in the darkroom, bound by a book -binder?


/Tossing the idea. Yet to try it myself.

Well, that's kind of what other people are suggesting. I'm not in love with RC paper. I print RC for quick work prints to see if the image is worth working more thoroughly in fibre.

analoguey
11-Jan-2015, 08:25
Scan the prints and Print them? It seems like the criteria set are going to clash at one point or the other. You might want to rejig some of them.

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 08:51
Scan the prints and Print them? It seems like the criteria set are going to clash at one point or the other. You might want to rejig some of them.

I'm scanning prints, and the quality of the scans from my finished prints using the Epson 10000XL is stunning, but I'm not going to print on an inkjet printer. I don't like the results at all.

I guess the answer is that we're stuck with CMYK printers for printing black and white, even though the output is far from ideal. Kind of a bummer.

Oren Grad
11-Jan-2015, 09:07
I should have mentioned that I'm not interested in inkjet printing. The day I sold my Epson 3880 was a good day for me. I hated the printer and its output. I'm also not going to scan negatives. I love working in the darkroom producing silver gelatin prints and I'm not going to redo all that work in Photoshop to only have it come out looking different when printed on an inkjet printer.

Even if you're starting from prints, once they're scanned, you or somebody else is still going to need to do a lot of tweaking to get the final product to look right to you.


So, the question is, how can I get a book to look as close to my silver gelatin prints as possible? I'm afraid that bound fibre prints is not really what I want, and that duotones are only for the rich, as someone pointed out. Where does that leave me?

Mostly out of luck, I fear.

Toward the end of his life, David Vestal made a few little books starting with mostly print scans but also including a few digital monochrome jpg captures. His output medium was inkjet on inexpensive matte paper, and he "bound" them himself inexpensively - I'll have to dig out one of mine to remind myself of exactly what he used for that, but it wasn't fancy. Certainly, they look quite different from his silver prints. The relevant point was that he was in your position - didn't want to scan negatives, didn't have money to burn - but decided it was worth investing some sweat equity in doing the work himself with the tools readily available to him, to see how they came out and to be able to offer his work in a form that was far more affordable than what his silver prints were going for by that point.

Dick Phillips showed me some of his "books", too - spiral-bound sets of RC prints.

So I guess the advice is to see whether you can get away for a while from the idea of closely mimicking your FB prints, and just experiment with whatever forms of output may be more easily within your reach, to see whether you can make something of them that might be different but will still be pleasing to you.

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 09:48
Even if you're starting from prints, once they're scanned, you or somebody else is still going to need to do a lot of tweaking to get the final product to look right to you.



Mostly out of luck, I fear.

Toward the end of his life, David Vestal made a few little books starting with mostly print scans but also including a few digital monochrome jpg captures. His output medium was inkjet on inexpensive matte paper, and he "bound" them himself inexpensively - I'll have to dig out one of mine to remind myself of exactly what he used for that, but it wasn't fancy. Certainly, they look quite different from his silver prints. The relevant point was that he was in your position - didn't want to scan negatives, didn't have money to burn - but decided it was worth investing some sweat equity in doing the work himself with the tools readily available to him, to see how they came out and to be able to offer his work in a form that was far more affordable than what his silver prints were going for by that point.

Dick Phillips showed me some of his "books", too - spiral-bound sets of RC prints.

So I guess the advice is to see whether you can get away for a while from the idea of closely mimicking your FB prints, and just experiment with whatever forms of output may be more easily within your reach, to see whether you can make something of them that might be different but will still be pleasing to you.

This has been an interesting discussion. I'm led to the conclusion that the world has not improved much for black and white photographers, in terms of getting their work printed, but that it has improved for color photographers. To make matters worse, the color photographers have foisted their problems with color casts onto the black and white photographers, something we should not have to deal with, LOL.

It's too bad that there can't be one single print on demand service dedicated to printing black and white work, on printers that do not use color inks.

I love David Vestal's photography books, I have "The Craft of Photography" and "The Art of Black and White Enlarging". I'm still not willing to print on an inkjet printer, though. ;-) Thanks for acknowledging that the output is quite different, I'm grown tired of people telling me that they can emulate silver prints with their inkjet printers.

I think spiral binding looks cheap, sorry, although I do have a copy of Edward Weston's work at Point Lobos which is spiral bound with wide, flat, white plastic spiral, that sets it off nicely against the black cover. I kind of like the idea of drilling holes through the RC or fibre prints and binding them with screws and a metal edge, as was done for Bryan Schutmaat's book: Grays the Mountain Sends

http://cm.silasfinch.org/t/r-7FE8967726C0CB792540EF23F30FEDED

bigdog
11-Jan-2015, 10:16
Film and Darkroom User (FADU), the British photo forum published a yearbook using Blurb. I think it was well done, especially for the price. I wouldn't totally ignore this option. The success of the FADU book probably had to do with the prep of the images. It was all done by Les McLean, and he knows what he's doing.

http://www.blurb.co.uk/books/5745601-fadu-2014

jnanian
11-Jan-2015, 10:21
hi larry

i am not sure if you have ever thought about making books yourself
keith smith's series on making books is wonderful
http://www.keithsmithbooks.com
there is also a book called - books boxes and portfolios by franz zeier.

its really not hard to make your own books by hand, you can do it a few different ways using
both rc and fiber paper. i've been doing them for a while ...

you can make closed spine books ( like a hard cover book ) by stitching the pages together and pasting the front and back page
to the cover (you make by hand of course :) ) its helpful to have nipping presses and all sorts of sophisticated book making equipment
but you can also find lesser expensive things through places like gaylordbrothers library supply who sells conservation "stuff" to archives and libraries.
another route is to make an open spine book. you just make the pages (not stitched + glued together as packet )
and you stitch the front and back cover together, and the stitching become part of the beauty of the book.
its also called by some a japanese binding ..

keith smith's books have all sorts of beautiful and intricate stitches explained in them, and he really explains everything in
detail. franz zeier's book is more of a basic hands on manual.

as i said, i've been doing hand made books for a while, some are for gifts, others donations to archives, and on commission
last count i think i have made between 25 and 30 of them.

if you live near an art school, sometimes they have workshops and classes on bookmaking ..

good luck !
john

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 10:56
Thanks a lot, John, perhaps this is the way forward for me. I would love to see a photo of your fibre and RC books.

I don't think the problems with Blurb books have that much to do with how much you know, but are a result of using four colors to print black and white. Colors shift during the printing, and you're left with unsatisfactory output.

DannL
11-Jan-2015, 11:28
Though I have little to add in the way of wisdom here, I have always been a big fan of tipped-in plates as found in some books. Whether it be actual photographs, original etchings, early lithographs, color plates, etc; I have always found this method of presentation both stimulating & elegant. My interest and fascination with tipped-in plates was a learned appreciation. It occurred when I started collecting "original" photographic prints. Within a short time of starting, spotting ordinary reproductions became second nature. I would never expect the average patron to recognize the difference between a reproduction print and a photograph, but a collector of photographic works would recognize the difference immediately. I have always felt that the only authentic way to present one's work is to display the "original work". If I were to accumulate a collection of photographs worth presenting in book format, I would prefer to have the books printed without images and affix each photograph in by hand. Actual book printing costs would be lower I must assume, as the photographs would be affixed after the book was bound. But, not having any direct publishing experience myself . . .

When I am referring to tipped-in plates, I mean plates that are placed into the book by affixing the plate to a page by adhesive points near the corners at the back of the plate. In some cases the plates may be affixed to a page only at the top of the plate in several locations. Glued-in plates are another option. But, I think that would be a more difficult process to get right, unless the photographs were affixed prior to binding. Some random thoughts following six cups of coffee.

jnanian
11-Jan-2015, 12:44
Thanks a lot, John, perhaps this is the way forward for me. I would love to see a photo of your fibre and RC books.

I don't think the problems with Blurb books have that much to do with how much you know, but are a result of using four colors to print black and white. Colors shift during the printing, and you're left with unsatisfactory output.

hi larry

from what blurb users have said to me a lot of people desaturate and then add a tiny bit of tint
so they don't have blurb black and white tint-shifts. making a blurb book is on my list
i haven't done it, and i am just restating what I've been told ...

i wish i had a sample to show you or samples to show you of these books
but they are all in the hands of others. i do have one somewhere MIA and "local"
... it is untouchable at the moment. if i can get my hands on it i will let you know !

good luck with your project !
john

Randy Moe
11-Jan-2015, 12:54
I have no suggestions, except my personal experience copying color pencil and paper drawings and making a color book. As shooter and editor I need to 'adjust considerably' reality to give the client a book he liked and could sell from.

He doesn't 'see' the difference between his drawings and his book, nor do his clients. Primarily because the book and prints are never side by side and the book is 1/4 scale. Colors are close.

His paper is more yellow than white, but I make the surrounding 'paper' pure white and crop his drawings with masks to isolate his colors from the pure white.

For B&W, I have no suggestion, except to try a couple inexpensive sample books to get 'reality' in your hand.

I use http://www.artisanstate.com/

mdm
11-Jan-2015, 12:56
Glossy Piezography prints might be able to closely mimic a glossy fibre print, you may actually prefer the inkjet. They are overprinted with gloss optimiser so more robust to surface damage than matte inkjet. I have had one blue tacked to my print viewing spot for a year and it just won't go away. You might even be able to find double sided paper designed for ink jet books. Or you could use a thin consumer grade paper if you are not worried about archivability. It's not like the pages of a book are exposed to much light anyway. Printing more than a handful of copies of anything is going to require ink however you do it.

adelorenzo
11-Jan-2015, 13:52
I bind my RC prints into books, I use a Japanese stab binding which works for single sheets. I add an extra space on the left side of the print to allow for binding. It's quick and easy to do and costs a few dollars in material (needle, thread, some kind of cover material). There are other binding options too but the traditional case-bound book requires folded signatures, won't work for loose prints.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-r6c_trSxY

adelorenzo
11-Jan-2015, 13:59
It has a handmade look which might be good or bad depending on the result you want, but IMHO the best way to show your prints is to do it with the prints themselves. Here is one I made recently, it's bound with vinyl fabric.

jnanian
11-Jan-2015, 14:36
It has a handmade look which might be good or bad depending on the result you want, but IMHO the best way to show your prints is to do it with the prints themselves. Here is one I made recently, it's bound with vinyl fabric.

really nice work adelorenzo !

that's a great link / tutorial you posted too ..

with your book do you have trouble with the cover being not too rigid ?
i've used plexiglass and backboard for covers, never something like vinyl fabric ..
(maybe it isn't as not-rigid as it looks ?)

i agree, a book of photographs is a nice way to present ..

Randy Moe
11-Jan-2015, 15:01
Excellent tutorial. Now I want a Japanese screw punch. I have dozens of rule die punches, but never heard of this device. Much better than hammering holes into paper.

I agree, why not make actual print books just like you are doing!

Great tip!



I bind my RC prints into books, I use a Japanese stab binding which works for single sheets. I add an extra space on the left side of the print to allow for binding. It's quick and easy to do and costs a few dollars in material (needle, thread, some kind of cover material). There are other binding options too but the traditional case-bound book requires folded signatures, won't work for loose prints.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-r6c_trSxY

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 15:20
I go out and spend $800 on a high end scanner and the solution is to use a screw punch, needle and thread?

[emoji79]

Where is the emoji for slapping yourself in the forehead?

Well, I guess what can be bought, can be sold.

Tell me where to get the Japanese screw punch.

Randy Moe
11-Jan-2015, 15:49
I go out and spend $800 on a high end scanner and the solution is to use a screw punch, needle and thread?

[emoji79]

Where is the emoji for slapping yourself in the forehead?

Well, I guess what can be bought, can be sold.

Tell me where to get the Japanese screw punch.

Amazon has many, but only one is actually Japanese. I want the $125 one with 9 sizes. It sounds pretty good. They have the thread, needles and heavy board for covers also. Also a book I want for $12.

Of course a traditional Japanese technique would trump a 3rd world digital press.

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 16:01
Pure Wabi-sabi, I love it.

"Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes."

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 16:07
Volcano Arts may be a better deal:

http://www.volcanoarts.com

Randy Moe
11-Jan-2015, 16:10
Pure Wabi-sabi, I love it.

"Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes."

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

I have heard those words, but never a definition. I often say I am Zen Buddhist and never explain. There is no explanation.

As time passes, high tech (wet prints) becomes solo craft, rarely recognized.

Jim Noel
11-Jan-2015, 16:19
Well, Richard, I think it's a problem of cost. I don't believe any custom book binder is going to talk to me about printing a few books, even at $250 per book. Print on demand came about as a result of the ability to scale up volumes on the internet.

I don't think there is any good way of binding prints into a book. Of course, loose portfolios are an option, but I really do want a book.

I found this article:

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2009/05/15/photographer-banned-by-blurb-books/

which bashes Blurb quite a bit and offers a few other options such as Paper Chase and White House. Still, I would like to hear about how people have had high quality black and white books produced, so many of the companies seem geared to color work, I guess because of the wedding trade.

I disagree. I have found that this approach is far cheaper than blurb or any of the other on line printers.

adelorenzo
11-Jan-2015, 16:33
with your book do you have trouble with the cover being not too rigid ?
i've used plexiglass and backboard for covers, never something like vinyl fabric ..
(maybe it isn't as not-rigid as it looks ?)


This type of book usually has a soft cover. If you wanted a hard cover you'd have to hinge it somehow. With a fabric cover it's fairly floppy, so I bind in some cardstock for the first and last pages to give it a little more rigidity.

You don't need the screw punch, although it is really nice. I don't have one. I clamp everything together with binder clamps and then use my drill or a hammer and small nail to make the holes.

Iluvmyviewcam
11-Jan-2015, 16:55
I'm scanning prints, and the quality of the scans from my finished prints using the Epson 10000XL is stunning, but I'm not going to print on an inkjet printer. I don't like the results at all.

I guess the answer is that we're stuck with CMYK printers for printing black and white, even though the output is far from ideal. Kind of a bummer.

In the old days (1970's) We made spiral books by dry mounting wet prints back to back. Air dried F surface, Worked nice but I could never produce anything in worthwhile quantities.

Iluvmyviewcam
11-Jan-2015, 17:01
I'm scanning prints, and the quality of the scans from my finished prints using the Epson 10000XL is stunning, but I'm not going to print on an inkjet printer. I don't like the results at all.

I guess the answer is that we're stuck with CMYK printers for printing black and white, even though the output is far from ideal. Kind of a bummer.

Then your not a good printer. Inkjets produce as good as or best the finest wet prints.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Hahnemuehle_Ink_Jet_Print%27_Copyright_2013_Daniel_Teoli_Jr..jpg

The control you have with digital can never been duplicated with wet prints.

nsfw

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Vintage_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Inkjet_Print%27_Copyright_1973,_2013_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..JPG

With color they equal or out do dye transfer for IQ. There is no comparison to a a DT to an inkjet for archival fade resistance.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:150_%27Dye_Transfer_Scans%27_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_LLR.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:154_%27Ink_Jet_Fade_Tests%272012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_LLR.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dye_Transfer_Fade_Test_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_mr.jpg

jnanian
11-Jan-2015, 17:05
thanks adelorenzo
i see what you mean ...

i agree making a hinge cover is more effort and is sort of a pain.
it requires book cloth end end papers paste ... ( i sometimes make my own end papers )
and knowing how to do something
that i can only describe as a "hospital corner"
( bed making term :) )
but once you make one it is a piece of cake.

since i do board covers, i don't use a japanese screw punch but a drill.
i stack everything together and make pencil marks
where i am going to drill ... i put the "stuff" ontop of
a stack of old phonebooks ...
then the most important things of all

...i put my knee ontop to keep everything together ..

i take a deep breath and visualize me taking a hand held long exposure when i drill my 5 holes. it works every time :)

i can't remember the drill bit i use, i know which one it is because it still has paper in the turns ( and that's all i use it for ) ..
its usually a biggish hole because i don't do a single stitch but usually
do the whole thing 3 times, so i have 3 strands instead of 1 on the cover ..
it makes it a little more "decorative" even for a low tech simple japanese bound book.

jnanian
11-Jan-2015, 17:15
In the old days (1970's) We made spiral books by dry mounting wet prints back to back. Air dried F surface, Worked nice but I could never produce anything in worthwhile quantities.

huh back to back dry mounted prints ?!
what a great idea ... that way every page has an image.
when i made my closed spine books it was a ton of fun
planning the book before i printed i can only imagine even more fun
with 2x the images that could be printed on the wrong page ;)
i made one with a handful of signatures ( packets of pages ) that were just single sided
i can appreciate how much work and planning to make a book with double sided pages like that

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 18:15
Then your not a good printer. Inkjets produce as good as or best the finest wet prints.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Hahnemuehle_Ink_Jet_Print%27_Copyright_2013_Daniel_Teoli_Jr..jpg

The control you have with digital can never been duplicated with wet prints.

nsfw

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Vintage_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Inkjet_Print%27_Copyright_1973,_2013_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..JPG

With color they equal or out do dye transfer for IQ. There is no comparison to a a DT to an inkjet for archival fade resistance.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:150_%27Dye_Transfer_Scans%27_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_LLR.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:154_%27Ink_Jet_Fade_Tests%272012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_LLR.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dye_Transfer_Fade_Test_2012_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr_mr.jpg

The two processes are physically different, yield different results, and look different. Inkjet printers spray ink on paper, silver gelatin prints are made up of silver halides suspended in a gelatin, something which gives the silver print a feeling of depth, something lacking in an inkjet print. Inkjet prints look flat and dead to me, no matter which model of Epson printer does the work.

Showing a scan of that guy's crappy darkroom print against his over-processed Photoshop print does not prove anything.

It's fine, you can insult me by calling me a bad printer, it's "you're not a good printer", not "your not a good printer", by the way. It's not the person printing, it's the printer, the inkjet printer. I intern with a professional black and white darkroom printer, and get to see a lot of silver gelatin prints next to inkjet prints. The inkjet prints always disappoint me, they just don't stand up to professionally printed silver gelatin prints.

I think the theory that digital prints have surpassed silver prints is promulgated by people who have given up their darkrooms or won't go to the trouble of making wet prints, and will do anything to rationalize their choice to print with inkjet printers. Either that, or they're paid by Epson to sell ink.

By the way, the old color processes produce better color prints than inkjet, sorry to have to tell you. I've printed on a Kreonite, and the inkjet output does not come close.

Larry Kellogg
11-Jan-2015, 19:49
Amazon has many, but only one is actually Japanese. I want the $125 one with 9 sizes. It sounds pretty good. They have the thread, needles and heavy board for covers also. Also a book I want for $12.

Of course a traditional Japanese technique would trump a 3rd world digital press.

I found that Japanese push drill for $64.50, with 9 bits.

http://apps.webcreate.com/ecom/catalog/product_specific.cfm?ClientID=15&ProductID=18830

Talas. They're in Brooklyn, I'll be making a trip out there.

Randy Moe
11-Jan-2015, 20:03
I found that Japanese push drill for $64.50, with 9 bits.

http://apps.webcreate.com/ecom/catalog/product_specific.cfm?ClientID=15&ProductID=18830

Talas. They're in Brooklyn, I'll be making a trip out there.

Good shopping! I get lazy and rely on Amazon too often.

Thanks!

Larry Kellogg
16-Jan-2015, 13:53
So, I'm going to return to my original question, which was: "How can I make some duotone prints of my photographs in order to create a book?". Binding prints is cool, but RC paper does not always get a print to where I want it, in terms of artistic interpretation, and fibre prints are too stiff to be used as pages in a book.

It struck me that perhaps the solution lies in front of me, and that I know how to make this happen from what I have already done, but I could be wrong. I've taken a letterpress class at Cooper Union, so, I'm familiar with using a Vandercook letterpress machine. Setting type is quite tedious, but I can do it. I know that the teacher of the class rents time on his presses at The Arm, in Brooklyn: http://www.thearmnyc.com

Now, in letterpress class, we talked about how plates were made and used them to print on the machines. The plates are made out of polymer. Now, I never got a plate made for class because I don't have any drawing skills, and everybody else was a graphic designer who could draw. Instead, I contented myself with setting type.

But, it seems to me all I have to do to print my photographs is to scan my prints, run duotone separations in Photoshop, get two plates made for each photograph, and run one with black, and one with Pantone 11 Gray, as specified by LensWorks in that original article I posted on this thread. Plates can be ordered from Boxcar press: https://www.boxcarpress.com/letterpress-plates/

Am I completely off my nut here? Can I print my own book in this way? I know it will take forever, and that it is a lot of work, but is my reasoning about the process sound?

This page (http://arttattler.com/archiveprintedpicture.html) on different printing techniques is fascinating, and shows a letterpress duotone print.

Moopheus
16-Jan-2015, 14:12
Maybe this is what you want to do:

http://polymerphotogravure.com/

mdm
16-Jan-2015, 14:41
I have thought about that too, but how do you register the second impression, or third in the case of tritone.
I am intertested in photopoymer gravure, but its not an easy or inexpensive process to learn and get set up for. There is a big difference between a good and a bad print, so there is a lot of time required to master the process. And you are going to have to delve into the digital world to make a plate, thats because a positive transparency is required and it is much easier to do that consistently with a printer than in the darkroom. So in the end inkjet printed books may make the most sense.

Larry Kellogg
16-Jan-2015, 14:52
I have thought about that too, but how do you register the second impression, or third in the case of tritone. Thats why I am intertested in photopoymer gravure, but its not an easy or inexpensive process to learn and get set up for. There is a big difference between a good and a bad print, so there is a lot of time required to master the process. And you are going to have to delve into the digital world to make a plate, thats because a positive transparency is required and it is much easier to do that consistently with a printer than in the darkroom. So in the end inkjet printed books may make the most sense.

;-) I'm not doing inkjet, even if it makes the most sense. I don't like the look of photographs printed on inkjet printers. Besides, I sold my high end inkjet printer, an Epson 3880, because it was more trouble than it was worth. Of course, I know a lot of people love those printers and the output, this is just my opinion.

The letterpress machines are set up to allow for accurate registration of photopolymer plates, so that you can run multiple inks. You run your first plate against all your pages with one ink, thoroughly clean the machine, kind of a pain but not that bad, and then you run the pages through with your second plate. It's not as daunting as it sounds, but it is time consuming.

I only have to deal with the digital world and Photoshop in terms of scanning the prints and making the separations. My scans are positives, so, I'm not sure what you mean about requiring a positive transparency. I send the files off to Boxcar for the actual production of the photopolymer plates.

Am I missing some big gotcha? I sent a note off to the letterpress guy and will get his take on this approach.

adelorenzo
16-Jan-2015, 15:36
That sounds like an amazing idea. If you do end up trying it please post about it.

Larry Kellogg
16-Jan-2015, 15:58
That sounds like an amazing idea. If you do end up trying it please post about it.

Thanks, I'm going to give it a try. I'm a little confused about how to create the Photoshop files to send to Boxcar, and whether I can produce two plates for duotone printing, and if so, how to do it and what to send them. I haven't converted to duotones in Photoshop, can I just turn off one layer or the other and save a file each time, in order to send two separate files to them?

This page: https://www.boxcarpress.com/file-preparation/ only mentions half-tones, which means one color is the paper.

It looks like 133 lines per inch is the highest resolution, so the output will not be a Salto 600 line screen, LOL. It's just an experiment, and certainly not the fastest way of printing anything, but since when have LF members ever been interested in the fastest way to do something? ;-)

djdister
16-Jan-2015, 16:30
Thanks, I'm going to give it a try. I'm a little confused about how to create the Photoshop files to send to Boxcar, and whether I can produce two plates for duotone printing, and if so, how to do it and what to send them. I haven't converted to duotones in Photoshop, can I just turn off one layer or the other and save a file each time, in order to send two separate files to them?

This page: https://www.boxcarpress.com/file-preparation/ only mentions half-tones, which means one color is the paper.

It looks like 133 lines per inch is the highest resolution, so the output will not be a Salto 600 line screen, LOL. It's just an experiment, and certainly not the fastest way of printing anything, but since when have LF members ever been interested in the fastest way to do something? ;-)

It appears you would create a duotone image file in Photoshop (easy enough to do), save as a Tiff file at 600 or so dpi, and just send that to them. As they will create the plates, they should be able to create the two needed plates from your duotone image. If you were creating the plates yourself, there is a "Separations" output setting in the Photoshop print dialog which outputs the color separations necessary from the duotone (or whatever) image file.

Oren Grad
16-Jan-2015, 17:06
But, it seems to me all I have to do...

What David (mdm) said. All you have to do is learn a new, very demanding craft, from scratch.

Kimberly Anderson
16-Jan-2015, 17:11
Indeed...if you think you will be *saving* money (not to mention time...), by learning the photogravure process vs. having a limited edition book printed by a reputable publisher, you are sadly mistaken.

They will look GORGEOUS if you stick with it long enough to master the medium, but wow, it's gonna be a steep learning curve. I wish you well. :)

richardman
16-Jan-2015, 18:09
It is true that some people prefer "analog prints" vs. inkjet prints. However, in most cases, it is due to the difficulties of getting a good inkjet print. It takes experience and practice with post processing software, color management, printer driver, etc. etc. to get the best prints. Just like to get the best traditional prints, one needs years of experience and practice.

Larry Kellogg
16-Jan-2015, 18:21
What David (mdm) said. All you have to do is learn a new, very demanding craft, from scratch.

Well, not completely from scratch, I have actually worked with presses and know people in New York who have experience and probably have contacts who can help me. Printing my own work on a letterpress printer will certainly be a much bigger adventure than printing something on an inkjet printer. From experience, letterpress printing is fun. It is physical, kind of like darkroom work.

I never really said anything about saving money this way, it was more about learning the craft of printing in the old style. Anyway, if the prints will really look GORGEOUS, then I'm hooked! Maybe I'll learn bookbinding too. If nobody will buy a print run of fifty of my books, which is most likely the case, why not print ten of them myself?

Many people prefer analog prints over inkjet prints. I don't like the way the blacks look in an inkjet print, so it's a non-starter for me. It really is not the post processing software, the color management, the driver, the paper, it is how the ink looks when it is sprayed on paper. That reminds me that I have to sell off my Hahnemuhle paper.

Thanks djdister, perhaps the process of getting the plates is as simple as what you say, and that Boxcar will do the separations for me from a single 600dpi TIFF file. I'll start with one test image and a few sheets of paper. I know people can help me with the presses, it has been a while since I've done it myself.

richardman
16-Jan-2015, 18:52
I have a small collection of prints. All of them except one or two are darkroom prints.I have seen a lot of prints at the top museums and galleries and art fairs, and I have talked to top gallerists etc. etc.

Any preference of a optically enlarged print is just that, a preference - of which no gallerists or museum curators care about.

But hey, as I said, I prefer collect only darkroom prints myself, even though I print inkjet. My preference. My snobbiness. I admit it.

Larry Kellogg
16-Jan-2015, 19:04
Anyway, this thread was never meant to be about inkjet printing, it was about obtaining good black and white prints for a book when starting with a final darkroom print.

Eric Biggerstaff
16-Jan-2015, 19:18
Why not tip in photographs onto the pages?

Larry Kellogg
16-Jan-2015, 19:33
Why not tip in photographs onto the pages?

Well, that feels like cheating and won't reconnect me with people in the letterpress crowd. I have to leave the apartment once in a while, why not to letterpress print and sample the beer in Brooklyn? ;-)

It looks the guys at Boxcar will custom mix ink for people, so I can order a tub of Pantone Gray 11 for $35.

Larry Kellogg
16-Jan-2015, 20:13
I did a little more research and ordered the Richard Benson book: The Printed Picture. In this book, he mentions that the registration was never perfect in duotone printing, but since the second plate is gray, the registration can be off and still improve the reproduction. He says that perfect registration had to wait for color printing.

Here is an interesting little comment:

"My friend Lee Friedlander, who does more books than anyone I know, now thinks (along with Richard Benson), that duotone is enough. Nazrieli is a press that seems to have managed to get really handsome books out of Hong Kong"

from this thread on duotones vs tritones http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/004PNU

mdm
16-Jan-2015, 21:17
Read the essay "Working with Lee" by Richard Benson in the back of the Lee Friedlander MOMA book for a discussion on the evolution of printing. Tritone printing allows many inexact processes to be combined reliably into an excellent result. Duotone printing can produce excellent and less expensive results because of precise modern digital prepress. I have Lee Friedlanders Stems book mentioned and i think it is fantastic, a modern quadtone, printed in two passes on a 2 colour press.

Larry Kellogg
17-Jan-2015, 01:22
Thanks, will do, I have some of Lee's books, including an old one, I want to say from one of his first shows, that I found in a thrift store.

I just wonder if I can produce beautiful duotones with photopolymer plates. I will see.

Could you tell me what you mean by precise digital prepress?

Larry Kellogg
17-Jan-2015, 08:47
I found the Friedlander book, it is "Like a One-Eyed Cat", and is the exhibition catalog from a major retrospective exhibition in the Seattle Art Museum in 1989. It is signed by Lee and has a note to someone written by the person who ran the gallery. This book is one of my better finds.

By the way, Lee prints all of his own work in his own darkroom, one of the few professional photographers to do that.

Back to duotones, the next thing to figure out is which paper to use. Any ideas?

Larry Kellogg
20-Jan-2015, 06:57
Yesterday, I spoke with someone at Boxcar Press about my idea to use photopolymer plates to print duotones. She said that duotones were not letterpress's strength, but that it can be done, and works best for high contrast photographs, and with resolutions of 100 lines per inch. The problem is due to the fact that letterpress is a relief process, and if the dots are too fine, the plates will clog, if too coarse, it won't look good.

In testing this process, they recommended combining a number of test images onto a 5"x10" area, which she called an art board. I will have to do the separations myself, applying a screen with 50% threshold, and saving in bitmap color mode. Two TIFF files with resolution of 600 or 1200 dpi will do the trick. Boxcar charges by the square inch for the plates, greater than 51 square inches is 71 cents a square inch, so, $71 to have the plates done. The woman at Boxcar was very helpful and said that I could send her the files to verify before having the plates made.

So, I have to spend some time picking out high contrast images, scanning them, and putting them into the files. I'm curious how it will turn out. Any thoughts?

djdister
20-Jan-2015, 07:24
Yesterday, I spoke with someone at Boxcar Press about my idea to use photopolymer plates to print duotones. She said that duotones were not letterpress's strength, but that it can be done, and works best for high contrast photographs, and with resolutions of 100 lines per inch. The problem is due to the fact that letterpress is a relief process, and if the dots are too fine, the plates will clog, if too coarse, it won't look good.

In testing this process, they recommended combining a number of test images onto a 5"x10" area, which she called an art board. I will have to do the separations myself, applying a screen with 50% threshold, and saving in bitmap color mode. Two TIFF files with resolution of 600 or 1200 dpi will do the trick. Boxcar charges by the square inch for the plates, greater than 51 square inches is 71 cents a square inch, so, $71 to have the plates done. The woman at Boxcar was very helpful and said that I could send her the files to verify before having the plates made.

So, I have to spend some time picking out high contrast images, scanning them, and putting them into the files. I'm curious how it will turn out. Any thoughts?

As a former graphic arts geek (foot operated treadle letterpress), I'm interested too. And since you can find out without a huge investment, go for it and let us know how it turns out!

tgtaylor
20-Jan-2015, 09:13
I bind my RC prints into books, I use a Japanese stab binding which works for single sheets. I add an extra space on the left side of the print to allow for binding. It's quick and easy to do and costs a few dollars in material (needle, thread, some kind of cover material). There are other binding options too but the traditional case-bound book requires folded signatures, won't work for loose prints.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-r6c_trSxY

Thanks for the post Anthony. I'm going to try this.

Thomas

DrTang
20-Jan-2015, 09:50
you took one class and you are going to give a duo-tone book a shot?

that is one heck of a jump

I'm rooting for ya though..sometimes..like in sports..teams may be so inexperienced and young - they say: they don't know how to lose

you might win because you just don't know how difficult it is..

at the very lease you might discover something in the process

long time ago..I bought an old two color multilith offset press with the idea of printing out my own postcards

I had never run a litho press, only ever seeing one in my letterpress class sitting in the corner...

it was a spectacular fail..but only because the press was shot

Larry Kellogg
20-Jan-2015, 10:30
you took one class and you are going to give a duo-tone book a shot?

that is one heck of a jump

I'm rooting for ya though..sometimes..like in sports..teams may be so inexperienced and young - they say: they don't know how to lose

you might win because you just don't know how difficult it is..

at the very lease you might discover something in the process

long time ago..I bought an old two color multilith offset press with the idea of printing out my own postcards

I had never run a litho press, only ever seeing one in my letterpress class sitting in the corner...

it was a spectacular fail..but only because the press was shot

LOL, I've scaled the book idea down to one page for now. ;-) It's not exactly "go big or go home" given that I'm investing $71.

What is the point of life if we don't try and fail at things?

Paul Cunningham
21-Jan-2015, 00:51
Larry have you ever seen a duo tone letterpress photo? This thread started with a search for best quality, and I can't help but feel that you are on a completely different tack now. A 'high-contrast' image sounds like a gross understatement, but best of luck if you pursue this.

Paul Cunningham
21-Jan-2015, 00:55
A quick google turned up this discussion of letterpress photos:
http://www.briarpress.org/17955

andreios
21-Jan-2015, 01:22
Well, why don't you just print your prints using either photopolymer gravure or real copper plate photogravure (on an etching press, not letter press) and have them bound ? That's my idea for some of my work for the future..

Larry Kellogg
21-Jan-2015, 06:59
Paul,
Thanks for that link, it has a lot of good discussion. Perhaps I am way off of the original question, but I think duotones are one of the best ways of printing black and white photographs, and I'm pursuing various ways of printing them.

Andre,
I think I'm going to test a photopolymer gravure technique, but perhaps I'm wrong. What do you mean?

appletree
31-Mar-2015, 13:50
I bind my RC prints into books, I use a Japanese stab binding which works for single sheets. I add an extra space on the left side of the print to allow for binding. It's quick and easy to do and costs a few dollars in material (needle, thread, some kind of cover material). There are other binding options too but the traditional case-bound book requires folded signatures, won't work for loose prints.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-r6c_trSxY

This is awesome. Thanks for sharing!
Just noticed I bumped an "old" thread. My apologies. :)

Larry Kellogg
2-Apr-2015, 01:12
That's fine, I'm still interested in working on the options described here.

I'm taking a bookmaking class at ICP starting April 15th so perhaps that will give me some more insight on the whole process.

paulr
2-Apr-2015, 06:58
"Flat and dead" = bad printing. It's not a fundamental property of inkjet. Promise.

Nevertheless, if you don't want inkjet, you don't want ink. There are no other ink processes, with the exception of quad- or hexa-tone monochrome offset (which I can't imagine is within reach) or possibly rotogravure (good luck) that can give you anything like tonal scale and depth of inkjet. This means tipping in silver prints (an old technique) or trying to bind silver prints as pages.

Hand-binding is labor intensive and expensive. But almost anything can be done. If you're interested in exploring what's possible with heavier papers, check out Keith Smith's Structure of the Physical Book (http://www.oakknoll.com/pages/books/32474/keith-a-smith/structure-of-the-visual-book).

I started an artist's book project years ago. The pages were hahnemuhle photorag paper printed with the original Piezography process. The ink rubbed off on facing pages, so I varnished the images by masking them off and applying several coats of water-based varnish with an air brush.

The result was the most beautiful prints I've seen in any medium—imagine the tonal scale of platinum with greater d-max than gelatin silver. But the varnishing was so labor intensive and easy to mess up that I gave up. I figured it would have taken three months to print and varnish a single book, and I was getting quotes of over $200 per book from a binder. And the binder was making no promises about how the heavy photorag paper would hold up when folded.

Edited to add:
I know you don't want to hear this, but I'm convinced you'll get closer to your original prints, and surpass them if you wish to, if you scan the negatives. Scanning a print simply adds another generation. You can only lose quality. And you're bound to lose quality in the shadows, unless your prints have very light, open ones. A scanned negative lets you start with all the information. And then you have nearly infinite control to put the tones wherever you want.

Larry Kellogg
2-Apr-2015, 17:31
Hello Paul,

Thanks for writing up all that information and for including a reference to Keith Smith's book. I'll check it out.

You're right though, I don't want to hear that I should go and scan my negatives, LOL. You're condemning me to more hours in front of the computer, and, since that is where I make my living, it's where I don't want to spend my free time. I enjoy darkroom work, and want to produce my prints that way, not with an inkjet printer. I hated the Epson 3880 when I owned it, and did not fall in love with its output or the time it took to produce the prints. Silver gelatin has a unique look, one that cannot be easily duplicated. I suppose Salgado spent a lot of money trying to make his inkjet prints look like his silver gelatin prints, and, well, although the prints are amazing, they look kind of strange to me.

I will just accept the fact that books present rather poor approximations of the original prints, but a poor approximation is better than not having the images at all. I've seen beautiful books of Paul Strand's prints, and I've seen the original prints. The original prints are far superior, but that's to be expected, I would think.

Perhaps it all comes down to the goal of my efforts, and I've come to believe that the goal of my efforts is to produce books that can be handed to a gallerist so that they can see my work. I don't think any gallerist relishes the idea of taking apart someone's portfolio box, with plastic bags and tissue paper between the prints, and then putting it all back together. It's much better if you can just hand someone a book, or two or three books. This was the advice given by a gallerist in a talk he gave to a room full of photographers.

Producing books is a way organizing one's own work. I should just be thankful that we've driven the cost of bookmaking down to such a level that everyone can afford one offs. I'll just be thankful for that and ignore the notion of trying to produce the best quality book, for the time being.

Larry Kellogg
16-Apr-2015, 15:27
I just started a book making class at ICP last night and am very excited about it. I'll post more details once I get rolling. That Keith Smith book is excellent, by the way, thanks for that recommendation!

Jim Fitzgerald
16-Apr-2015, 15:49
Larry, thanks for posting this. I've thought about this for some time as well. My problem is that as a Carbon Transfer printer how do I show my prints?

I'll check out the Smith book link as well. So keep us informed. Thanks.

Larry Kellogg
16-Apr-2015, 16:16
Larry, thanks for posting this. I've thought about this for some time as well. My problem is that as a Carbon Transfer printer how do I show my prints?

I'll check out the Smith book link as well. So keep us informed. Thanks.

Am I naive in saying that you can scan your prints like I plan on doing? I'm not sold on the use of four color printers to print black and white work but that is one readily available option.

I think producing a book is appealing because the book has a longer life than prints hung on a wall in a gallery of a show. It is certainly easier to hand someone your book in order to show them your work than it is to hand them a portfolio.

paulr
16-Apr-2015, 16:19
I've seen beautiful books of Paul Strand's prints, and I've seen the original prints. The original prints are far superior, but that's to be expected, I would think.

See if you can get your hands on an original printing of this one (http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Strand-American-Vision/dp/0893814423/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=). It changed my thinking completely.

Larry Kellogg
16-Apr-2015, 17:53
See if you can get your hands on an original printing of this one (http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Strand-American-Vision/dp/0893814423/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=). It changed my thinking completely.

Yes, I have a copy of this book, the one from the National Gallery of Art and Aperture, negatives produced by Richard Benson. It's a beautiful book. Are they all duotones? I'm not expecting anything like that for my first book, LOL. I also have Andre Kertesz's book Diary of Light, which is Tritones, wow, what a book!

paulr
16-Apr-2015, 18:16
Yes, I have a copy of this book, the one from the National Gallery of Art and Aperture, negatives produced by Richard Benson. It's a beautiful book. Are they all duotones? I'm not expecting anything like that for my first book, LOL. I also have Andre Kertesz's book Diary of Light, which is Tritones, wow, what a book!

In the first edition they're quadtones, printed on top of a tint plate, overprinted with varnishes of different textures. In later editions they're duotones (I haven't seen the duotone version).

You can get quality at least this good with modern monochrome inkjets, if you're so inclined. Piezography now uses 7 inks, perfectly linearized. State of the art monochrome has come a long way in the last 25 years.

Jim Fitzgerald
16-Apr-2015, 19:37
Paul, I just ordered it. Thanks for the heads up.

Larry Kellogg
16-Apr-2015, 20:08
In the first edition they're quadtones, printed on top of a tint plate, overprinted with varnishes of different textures. In later editions they're duotones (I haven't seen the duotone version).

You can get quality at least this good with modern monochrome inkjets, if you're so inclined. Piezography now uses 7 inks, perfectly linearized. State of the art monochrome has come a long way in the last 25 years.

My edition is from 1990, but it says that it was produced on a six color offset printer, so perhaps mine is a later edition. Can someone check their edition? Ok, Amazon says: " Distinguishing this book are highly faithful reproductions of 104 black-and-white photographs , accomplished by a new six-color printing process, and 40 more printed in duotone." How in the world can it sell for $1.74? You'll never find the Kertesz book for that price, more like $180 and up.

Paul, you're not suggesting that I print a book with an inkjet printer, are you? I'm confused by your comment, unless you're still trying to convince me to make my prints on an inkjet printer. ;-) For prints, I will stick to silver gelatin. I don't think inkjet prints are superior to silver gelatin prints. For books, I'll do the best I can with the available technology, given what I can afford, knowing that there will be compromises.

polyglot
16-Apr-2015, 21:12
Bookbinding doesn't have to be expensive; there's a whole industry centered around the binding of PhD theses. You supply a stack of pages with sufficient gutter etc, and you get back hardcover books bound in high quality.

I think I paid about $600 to have about 10 copies of my thesis (A4, ~10mm thick) bound. You can even get leather-covered binding.

I am vaguely planning to do this with a stack of gelatin prints but haven't got around to it yet.

Seconding the notion though that if you are unsatisfied with inkjet, duotone will NOT cut it. Might be a fun process or affordable way to print 1000 copies, but inkjet will be better quality.

Larry Kellogg
17-Apr-2015, 02:54
Bookbinding doesn't have to be expensive; there's a whole industry centered around the binding of PhD theses. You supply a stack of pages with sufficient gutter etc, and you get back hardcover books bound in high quality.

I think I paid about $600 to have about 10 copies of my thesis (A4, ~10mm thick) bound. You can even get leather-covered binding.

I am vaguely planning to do this with a stack of gelatin prints but haven't got around to it yet.

Seconding the notion though that if you are unsatisfied with inkjet, duotone will NOT cut it. Might be a fun process or affordable way to print 1000 copies, but inkjet will be better quality.

I think you're confusing the type of printed representation, duotone, a reproduction made with two different colored inks, with the printer used to print the type of reproduction, inkjet or digital offset.

I believe there is no end to the problems of color casts when trying to use six color digital offset printers, such as the Indigo, or inkjet printers, to print black and white photographs. Now, I'm only interested in printing black and white, I have no interest in printing color, at the moment, Most of the world is structured to print color, however, which is a problem for a black and white photographer.

Now, I know that I can set up an inkjet printer to print duotones and swap out the inks to two colors, but I don't see this as a good way of printing a book. I'm not going to wait for the Epson 3880 to print twenty five or fifty copies of a book. I'm certainly not going to pay for all those ink cartridges or set up and maintain a bulk ink system. Are you saying that there are production inkjet houses that will produce two color (black and gray) duotones? Do you have some names?

Beyond all that, I want to work with people who have experience with printing books and who can help produce a good book from a design and physical standpoint.

How are you going to satisfactorily bind fibre silver gelatin prints? Fibre prints are too stiff to be used as pages in a book, they're meant to be mounted and hung on the wall. RC paper produces results that are a pale imitation of a good fibre print but are a little more conducive to being used in a book. Drilling holes in prints and sewing them together is a fun idea, but it's not the kind of book I have in mind, it's not a professionally bound book.

There is a whole industry of professional book makers, and, like you said, they're willing to bind your work for a reasonable price. I'll see what it will cost to produce a book by going through this class and will report my findings. I can't wait to tour the factory!

jnanian
17-Apr-2015, 07:41
hi larry

just wondering how you think "professional photography books" are made ?
there aren't really many ways to make a book ...
the next one i make ( not sure when ) will either be with pages of glass plates
or hand coated hand made paper ... nothing made by a lab or an ink machine ...
should be fun ..

good luck with yours !

john

ps. fb paperworks just fine for book pages, depending on the size of the paper.
slavich i believe still makes single weight ( or there is an awful lot of azo on re-sell market )
small and tipped prints on a page are very nice in book form.

Larry Kellogg
17-Apr-2015, 07:58
Hmmmm, I think there are thousands of ways to make a book, as you eluded to by mentioning pages made of glass plates and handmade paper.

I handle fb paper every day and do not believe it would provide a good experience when used as a page in a book. I print down to 5x7.

Lodima, the Azo replacement, is so outrageously expensive that I can't see how I could afford to make more than one book with it. Plus, the paper is fragile and prone to tearing, from my experience. Using tipped in prints introduces an incredible amount of labor, I certainly wouldn't produce a book with fifty to a hundred tipped in prints.

So, I'll take a shot at specifying how professional photography books are made. They're made on machines and at some scale that makes economic sense for quantities of more than one. They're made on paper that makes it easy to turn a page. How is that for a start?

jnanian
17-Apr-2015, 09:14
hi larry,

i didn't mean for you to take offense at what i said, just wondering where you were coming from.

seing you are in NYC, you might consider going to a place called talas ( http://www.talasonline.com )
maybe they have consultants there that can help you with what you want to do.
they are connected with people who make books ( they sell supplies and equipment, and i think give classes )
and they are probably connected with peopel within the printing industry that does image reproduction on a small ( or large ) scale

you might also contact portfoliobox.coim they are a book bindery and make everything from folios, to portfolios, custom books, you name it.
and, they are a pleasure to work with

good luck !
john

Larry Kellogg
17-Apr-2015, 09:26
Hello John,
I'm not offended, sorry if my post sounded that way. I'm just considering all the options. People can build a book in any way they want, I think it's cool. I know about Talas and their book making tools.

It's just that I'm enrolled in this book making class at ICP so that I'll go through the production process with a book maker so I'm looking at things from that point of view, small run, say fifty to one hundred copies, eventually.

jnanian
17-Apr-2015, 09:46
hi larry,
i just wanted to make sure, its hard to read what people
really mean on the interweb :)

your class sounds like a blast !

don't for get to have fun :)
john

paulr
17-Apr-2015, 10:26
My edition is from 1990, but it says that it was produced on a six color offset printer, so perhaps mine is a later edition.

I think that's the first edition. Somewhere inside there's a blurb about Richard Benson's process. He made separation plates from the negatives, using methods of his own invention. The book was printed in "4 colors, a tint, and two varnishes." I believe the 4 colors refers to a quatratone process; the tint refers to a single plate to set the background color of the image (to match Strand's warmer paper base, without having to print all the book text on this same color), and the varnishes were applied over the top ... either one or the other, depending on the surface sheen.


How in the world can it sell for $1.74?

Photo books have a funny life cycle. The sell for full price, and if the publisher doesn't sell out, they get remaindered for next to nothing. Then one day they become collectors items and go for a bajillion bucks. We should buy up the $2 copies. I'm surprised this one hasn't already become rare ... maybe they printed way too many of them.


you're not suggesting that I print a book with an inkjet printer, are you?

I think you should make the book according to your vision and your preferred working methods.
But since you expressed the opinion that printing it in ink would constitute some kind of quality compromise, I'm suggesting otherwise. From a pure print quality perspective, I don't know how you can beat it.

The traditional method is simply tipping in silver prints (or platinum, or carbon, or whatever you're working with). That's how these guys (http://www.21steditions.com/shop/) do it. It has the advantage that you you can print the book on any quality paper and have it bound any way you like. And the disadvantage that each book includes a big pile of original prints that you have to make and glue in place.

Larry Kellogg
18-Apr-2015, 08:13
I just can't approach this class with the idea of producing a whole book of tipped in prints. One tipped in print, maybe, any more and the labor and expense becomes prohibitive. Besides, to do a book of tipped in prints is to forfeit the chance to print a book on a professional press working closely with a publishing company.

I think Richard Benson nailed it when he wrote this:

"Reproductions never look just like the originals, and all serious ink reproduction of photographs is based on the understanding that the reproduction look "right" in its own context - of ink on white paper in a book. ... Printing requires an understanding of a concept of equivalence: the most accurate replica one can make of anything is seldom a literal copy, but rather a new thing that gives the viewer the impression that it looks like the original."

paulr
18-Apr-2015, 10:52
You have a huge advantage over Benson: they're your photographs. So which is an original and which is a reproduction is completely dependent on your attitude toward them.

I think we can necessarily lock ourselves in a box if we assume that the first edition of prints we make is somehow an origin. Unless we're working in daguerrotypes or transparencies, there's no original in photography any more than there's an original in woodcutting. Negatives and engraving plates are just steps in the generation of multiples.

I learned piezography for an artist book project. I gave up on the book; it was just too much work and too expensive. But with many images i like the ink print more than the silver print. In other cases it's a tossup, but each version has its strengths. It seems like an impoverished point of view to consider the ink prints reproductions.

Re: tipped-in prints ... I get it. The work and expense is only even possible if you're doing small-edition artist's book.

I didn't realize that you were talking about a book that would be published commercially. That's really a whole other conversation. Especially if you're still thinking in terms of "the best quality option," which for black and white would be a multi-plate process, overseen by you and a first-rate technician. Needless to say this would be extremely expensive. A commercial publisher would expect you to show up with a pile of pre-sales, and somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 to $45,000. This is just how they offset their losses.

I have friends who have self-published black-and-white books. It cost them $40,000 to $60,000, back in the 1990s. The presses that offered the best value for this were in Italy at the time; later they were somewhere in Asia. These were both duotone projects. Good quality, but not the highest by any stretch. I'm not sure which direction the economics have shifted since then.

Print-on-demand services do an amazing job with color these days. Especially Blurb, with their 6-color digital presses. Unfortunately I have yet to hear rave reviews from someone doing a monochrome project.

The short of it is, practical constraints may force you to reconsider what you mean by highest quality. You can have that if you're doing a handmade book project, or if you're willing to spend big money at a commercial press. Or if your project is appeals to someone else who wants to spend big money on it.

Larry Kellogg
18-Apr-2015, 12:18
I think it is up to the photographer to decide which print expresses his intent and should therefore be used as the basis for the reproduction that will be printed in a book.

Of course, I know that every silver print is subtly different because it is impossible to exactly reproduce the same steps in terms of dodging and burning, development routine in the tray, bleaching, etc.

This class gives each student the opportunity to go through the process of designing and printing a single copy of a book. I'm sure we could pay for more copies. The publisher admits that their model breaks down at greater than five hundred copies.

With that said, they're more than happy to point people at large Asian printing houses that can more economically print large runs.

I'll see how it goes and will learn more about what is involved as I progress through the class.

Most of the world wants to shoot and print in color. I think it's kind of a shame because a lot of photographers don't use color effectively and might as well shoot in black and white. Alex Webb is a color photographer who can really make color work in his images, others, not so much. I think I'm the only student out of fourteen who wants to do a black and white book.

jnanian
18-Apr-2015, 12:34
larry

i didn't realize you were making 100 books to sell commercially ..
from your original post i was under the impression
you were looking for POD books for the coffee table, and gifts to friends and family ... i didn't realize you had
were thinking of a limited run from a high end press &c, i thought these were personal books you were making.

good luck at the ICP.
john

Larry Kellogg
18-Apr-2015, 18:16
Thanks John, not sure of the quantity, but the people in the class are working with a professional printer. If anything, I'll learn the process and be able to talk with other publishers in the future.

paulr
18-Apr-2015, 21:00
Please share what you learn. Sounds interesting.

Bill Burk
19-Apr-2015, 08:15
I just can't approach this class with the idea of producing a whole book of tipped in prints. One tipped in print, maybe, any more and the labor and expense becomes prohibitive. Besides, to do a book of tipped in prints is to forfeit the chance to print a book on a professional press working closely with a publishing company.

I think Richard Benson nailed it when he wrote this:

"Reproductions never look just like the originals, and all serious ink reproduction of photographs is based on the understanding that the reproduction look "right" in its own context - of ink on white paper in a book. ... Printing requires an understanding of a concept of equivalence: the most accurate replica one can make of anything is seldom a literal copy, but rather a new thing that gives the viewer the impression that it looks like the original."

The Ansel Adams book I recently got, Making a Photograph, fooled many people. It has tipped-in photographic prints, but they are not silver gelatin. Just very handsomely-printed halftones, letterpress-printed with varnish.

I think tipping-in could be a good way to make 100 books. I think it could make the prints look better than they actually are. I think having different kinds of paper would magnify the physical contrast. You would touch the base paper, which can be a soft-to-the-touch uncoated cotton fiber... and the photographs that are tipped-in, which can be printed by any of the high-quality production press methods, will stand out in sharp contrast to their surrounding.

For print production, the photographs could be production printed on loose sheets - trimmed and wrapped in 100's at final size. You can tip them into bound books in a kind of binding party at your home, or you could do the work in spare time. If there were only 20 or so, this would be a reasonable burden on you.

Larry Kellogg
20-Apr-2015, 09:39
I don't want to fool anybody. I'll stick to trying to produce the best possible reproductions with perhaps one tipped in silver print. I'm no Ansel Adams so I doubt I'll be able to sell many books.

It's just exciting for me to try to organize my work into a book form, putting photographs in sequences and series.

I scanned thirty 11x14 prints using my Epson 10000XL and will start using the TIFF files in the InDesign product to design the book. At the end of this process, I'll probably be convinced of the wisdom of hiring a real book designer, LOL.

Larry Kellogg
2-May-2015, 23:51
So, I'm facing deadline pressure in the class, just like when submitting work on a real publishing project, which this is, now that I think about it.

My most pressing decision, besides which photographs to include, is what to pick as a trim size for the page. The trim size is the final size of the page, after the book block is trimmed.

I want a size that is not too pretentious, and I'm limited to 12"x12". Now, just about all the photographs are from 35mm negatives, so I need an aspect ratio that works well with them. I laid out an initial version on 8x10 pages but did it over on 8.5x7.4, that may not be exact, I don't have it open in front of me, but it is the page size from The Americans, reissued by Steidl. ;-)

I'm open to other trim sizes, and can redo the layout in a couple of hours. Anybody have ideas?

I've been relating photographs in pairs, so the printing will be on both sides of the page, with a Smyth sewn binding so the book will lie flat. I have forty eight images so far, perhaps that will make for too slim a book, I don't know. We're limited to fifty pages for the class project, I believe.

As for paper, I think I'm going for coated 100# silk, and a hard cover with black fabric.

All comments welcome.

Larry Kellogg
2-May-2015, 23:56
Oh, I should mention, no full bleeds on the pictures, that way I don't have to worry about losing some image at the edge of the page, or having an ugly white line if I mess up. Besides, I'm not a fan of full bleeds.
I've laid out a bunch of master pages in InDesign that have combinations of portrait or landscape photographs which I can use in pairs on a spread. That way, it's pretty easy to format two pages quickly and the picture frames are exactly the same. I can post the picture frame sizes if people are interested.

Randy Moe
3-May-2015, 00:13
Wow, Larry!

I can't help in any way, but I think you are learning a lot and putting something special together.

Unfortunately, I am selfish artist and seldom buy art from anyone.

Catch 22, do we follow our own way, follow others, do we let ourselves be influenced.

As I wrote before, some musicians will not listen to other's music, as it influences to distraction.

I believe imaging also does this. I notice fads and IP theft rampage advertising.

:)

Paul Cunningham
3-May-2015, 03:41
As important as the aspect ratio, I believe, are the border weights. I currently prefer bottom weighted layouts.

Larry Kellogg
3-May-2015, 05:11
Paul, when you say bottom weighted, do you mean the standard trick of leaving a little more space at the bottom than at the top so the print does not look like it is sliding off the bottom of the page?
Interestingly enough, Steidl does not do this with his margins, they're a scant 1/4" on top and bottom of the portraits and 1-1/16" on top and bottom of the landscapes according to my ruler. My current trim size is 8-1/4" by 7-3/16". My picture frames are 4-7/16" wide and 6-3/4" high for portrait, and 7-3/4" wide and 5-3/16" high for landscape.
I'm still not sold on this trim size but it does make for a nice sized book that is easy to hold.
Randy, don't worry, I'm not trying to sell you a book. :-) I am learning a lot in the class and think I have found the way I want to express my work, through books, which have a longer life than art on a wall in shows.
The idea of being overly influenced by others is something I want to address, though. I don't believe it is a bad thing to study the work of other photographers. To live in the world is to be influenced by one's cultural heritage, upbringing, social position, and place of residence, to name just a few factors.
Great artists are often influenced by artists who came before them. Look at painters and musicians to see how they've incorporated the ideas of their predecessors in their own work while still producing something which is uniquely their own.
I don't think remaining ignorant of what has come before is any guarantee of producing good work. For me, my life would be a lot poorer if I didn't see the work done by Bresson, Frank, and DeCarava, to name just a few of the photographers I admire.
It is impossible to copy any photograph, since no two cameras can ever inhabit the same point in space and time. :-)
I photograph from life, not in the studio, so there is no chance I can exactly reproduce any photograph I've seen in a book. I don't do advertising, so there is no temptation for me to steal someone's style for money.
Funny you should mention music. I study classical guitar with a Juilliard trained classical guitarist. The idea of exactly copying my teacher, or any accomplished musician, is laughable, it's just impossible. Still, I can learn a tremendous amount studying with a great teacher, and from listening to great musicians, to not do so would be to put myself at a tremendous disadvantage.
Music is the interaction between a player and his or her instrument in a room. These factors are different with each player, instrument, and setting. I feel the same way about photography.
The camera is an instrument we all play, and one which yields different results, depending on the skill of the player, and the setting in which the artist finds himself. Knowing the work of great photographers helps to inspire us to work with greater skill in crafting our own images.

appletree
3-May-2015, 11:27
I have been following this thread and look forward to the final version.

I would love to do this myself in a few years. Just for myself to appreciate and enjoy, I have already sunk enough money into prints, frames, packaging, etc and yet to sell a print. It's ok though I wanted to sell 3 last year and now my goal is to sell one this year. Or print better photos. Or print for myself alone.

Best of luck!!!

Larry Kellogg
3-May-2015, 15:30
Go for it. I've had friends who have had shows and have sold nothing. I'm sure it is discouraging to have a living room full of framed prints that did not sell.
It has to be a little easier to sell a $40 book than a $500 print. The small press we're working with charges the same price for quantities of twenty five and over. So, you can order twenty five books, work to sell them, and then use the money to buy another lot of twenty five.

Randy Moe
3-May-2015, 15:38
I don't mean to say we should not study art, but at some time we must forge our own path. Right or wrong.

Perhaps, "...the one less travelled."

appletree
4-May-2015, 13:19
Thanks for the encouragement. It is a bit discouraging...but at the end of the day I am not doing it to feed myself. Just break even and spread art/photography around. Patience is a virtue. And if I let my prints, framed or not, dictate even a sliver of happiness or accomplishment from my hobby/passion...then meh.

I just enjoy shooting and printing. The process of making a book or zine or framing stuff, etc is all in the fun of it.

Like I said, share with us once your project is wrapped up.

paulr
4-May-2015, 16:44
I don't mean to say we should not study art, but at some time we must forge our own path. Right or wrong.

Perhaps, "...the one less travelled."

In my experience, studying the history of something is the best way to find your own path. Without historical perspective, most artists have no idea of the range of things that have been explored, talked about, done-to-death. The naive path usually dooms you to reinventing a wheel, unless you're a visionary prodigy or crazy lucky.

Larry Kellogg
7-May-2015, 15:58
Ok, on to another topic, where is the cheapest place to buy ISBNs?

isbnservices.com charges $18.99 per ISBN for the first ten ISBNs.

Are there better deals out there? I would buy ten if I could get a cheaper price.

Paul Cunningham
8-May-2015, 08:38
Back to the prior topic, check out this very high quality book.
http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Sally-Mann-s-New-Memoir-Reviewed-in-The-New-York-Times.html?soid=1102585584012&aid=hRsmsTHLZGE

Randy Moe
8-May-2015, 08:50
In my experience, studying the history of something is the best way to find your own path. Without historical perspective, most artists have no idea of the range of things that have been explored, talked about, done-to-death. The naive path usually dooms you to reinventing a wheel, unless you're a visionary prodigy or crazy lucky.

Or you discover 'art' late in life and cannot possibly catch up, I try but I don't memorize words well...

Ay my age, I just crawl as fast as I can.

Many here are highly verbal/writers, which is why I started the image response only thread, some are really getting to it.

Larry Kellogg
8-May-2015, 09:14
I own a lot of photo books that have few words. The book I'm putting together has no captions, no introduction, just a couple of quotes, it's just about the images. If some of the images cannot be deciphered, so be it.

Paul, that's a beautiful book, but at what cost? $1000 $1500? It's not something that many people can afford. Besides, I think there is only one copy. I guess my thread title should have been "best quality mass market option"

The Sally Mann memoir is on preorder for $19 at Amazon. I can afford that. The review said it contains some nice images.

I have to compliment Steidl for reprinting so many great books that otherwise I would never get to own. Things like Bresson's The Decisive Moment and Bruce Davidson's Outside Inside. While the reprints are not cheap, the originals have skyrocketed in price such that I can't justify their purchase.

Larry Kellogg
21-May-2015, 04:44
To answer my own question related to ISBN numbers. Bowker is the only issuer of ISBNs and they charge around $135 for a single ISBN and $295 for ten ISBNs. Now, I just have to publish nine more books.

Paul Cunningham
21-May-2015, 05:53
a beautiful book, but at what cost? $1000 $1500? It's not something that many people can afford. Besides, I think there is only one copy. I guess my thread title should have been "best quality mass market option"


Indeed, one must in any case define the target market. Of late I've thought that I would rather successfully sell a few $300-400 books than a lot of $30-40 books, but that's just me.

Larry Kellogg
21-May-2015, 06:30
Paul,
Do you know that joke about the guy holding a cup of pencils on the street with a sign that says: "$1,000,000". The guy keeps repeating to himself: "I only have to sell one. I only have to sell one."

I don't know the right answer as far as price and quantity. I think part of it depends on the cost and time to produce the good.

A friend of mine told me he had sold five hundred books. Unfortunately, the deal he got from the publisher forced him to buy a thousand copies. So, he has five hundred books in storage. He said he broke even. I think it is terrific he sold five hundred copies.

I'm going to try the sell and print as I go method.

Paul Cunningham
21-May-2015, 09:00
I only have to sell one."
Apropos. It reminds me of the axiom, (or is it a maxim?), "You can't sell every unit at a loss and expect to make it up in volume."

adelorenzo
21-May-2015, 09:14
To answer my own question related to ISBN numbers. Bowker is the only issuer of ISBNs and they charge around $135 for a single ISBN and $295 for ten ISBNs. Now, I just have to publish nine more books.

Crazy. In Canada they are free, you get then from a federal government website.

Paul Cunningham
21-May-2015, 09:27
Crazy. In Canada they are free, you get then from a federal government website.

Do you perhaps mean UPC codes? Free ISBN would encourage publishing, what a great idea.

Larry Kellogg
21-May-2015, 10:07
Apropos. It reminds me of the axiom, (or is it a maxim?), "You can't sell every unit at a loss and expect to make it up in volume."

IBM lost a billion dollars selling PCs this way. It really works, LOL.

I believe ISBNs used to be cheap but then the self publishing boom hit and they figured out they could make a lot of money selling them.

I was told not to bother buying a bar code/UPC, which is $25, because most book stores will slap on their own bar code. You need an ISBN to be accessible through any of the databases, and besides, having an ISBN makes a book feel more real to me than if it did not have one.

Randy Moe
21-May-2015, 10:11
You are doing fine and actually doing it.

Don't let perfectionists and naysayers bother you at all.

Some do. Most don't. :)

Larry Kellogg
21-May-2015, 10:48
Thanks Randy, I'm feeling pretty good about the book. It's sixty pages, three signatures of twenty pages, as they say in the publishing business.

I'm not that upset about being forced to pay $295 for ten ISBNs. It's an incentive to publish more books. We live in this amazing time when just about anybody can publish a book.

Larry Kellogg
1-Jun-2015, 06:12
For those following along, I submitted my files last Weds, and will be getting a proof copy this Weds. I'll have a little time to suggest changes to the images before we all tour the printing factory on June 13th to see our books printed and bound.

appletree
2-Jun-2015, 08:09
Exciting. I will keep my eye on this thread to see the finished product. Best of luck.

Larry Kellogg
13-Jun-2015, 17:12
Today, the publisher walked us through the whole process of printing, sewing, and binding books. Fascinating!

My book was chosen to go through the sewing machine, because I had specified a Smyth sewn hardcover, a relatively expensive way to go. The book is three signatures of twenty pages each. After the signatures are sewn, end papers are glued on each book block. Then they go through a machine that glues a strip of paper on the spine.

Then, a cardboard case for the hardcover is glued onto the endpapers. Voila! A book has been created.

I have some videos from the tour that I can post on YouTube. I would be happy to give people advice on how they can go through this same process. I'm ecstatic that this publisher will do small runs of books printed with duotones, using just black and gray ink, not CMYK. This is ideal for black and white photographers.

The finished books on a cart, all five of them.

135448

Randy Moe
13-Jun-2015, 18:13
I just got a KS Graphic novel, hardcover, signed copy 115 of 500 special edition $35 delivered.

Really nice book 1.5" thick, thick pages. lots of black ink, looks woodcut. I got a bargain. They made it right down the block, but I don't know them.

http://thehuntingaccidentgraphicnovel.tumblr.com/

Larry Kellogg
13-Jun-2015, 18:34
Hey Randy,

Looks like a cool book, seems hard to believe someone would make woodcuts for that many pages, they must have created digital woodcuts. ;-)

As for the cost of the books made in my class, the range was from $6 to $170 per copy. It all comes down to what options you specify, hard or soft cover, how many pages of black only, four color, or duotone, foil stamping the cover or not, etc, etc.

Any design work from the publisher is going to cost you heavily so the best thing to do is to figure out how to design your own book using InDesign. The more you know about how to work with a publisher, the cheaper it will be for you to print your own work.

The publisher we worked with did an excellent job explaining all the options and how we might economically print our work.

The economics of book publishing are tough, though. Book stores take at least half, if not more. You have to think you can mark up your book three times from cost to make any money, a hard thing to do in many cases.

Still, books are a great way of sharing your work, and could be bundled with silver gelatin prints to sell as a more expensive item.

Randy Moe
13-Jun-2015, 19:12
Hey Randy,

Looks like a cool book, seems hard to believe someone would make woodcuts for that many pages, they must have created digital woodcuts. ;-)

As for the cost of the books made in my class, the range was from $6 to $170 per copy. It all comes down to what options you specify, hard or soft cover, how many pages of black only, four color, or duotone, foil stamping the cover or not, etc, etc.

Any design work from the publisher is going to cost you heavily so the best thing to do is to figure out how to design your own book using InDesign. The more you know about how to work with a publisher, the cheaper it will be for you to print your own work.

The publisher we worked with did an excellent job explaining all the options and how we might economically print our work.

The economics of book publishing are tough, though. Book stores take at least half, if not more. You have to think you can mark up your book three times from cost to make any money, a hard thing to do in many cases.

Still, books are a great way of sharing your work, and could be bundled with silver gelatin prints to sell as a more expensive item.

I'm sure it's not woodcuts. The link shows a lot of their process, but it is hand drawn to digital to print and has a very high quality for the genre.

The story is great for Chicagoans.

jnanian
17-Jun-2015, 06:16
Today, the publisher walked us through the whole process of printing, sewing, and binding books. Fascinating!

My book was chosen to go through the sewing machine, because I had specified a Smyth sewn hardcover, a relatively expensive way to go. The book is three signatures of twenty pages each. After the signatures are sewn, end papers are glued on each book block. Then they go through a machine that glues a strip of paper on the spine.

Then, a cardboard case for the hardcover is glued onto the endpapers. Voila! A book has been created.

I have some videos from the tour that I can post on YouTube. I would be happy to give people advice on how they can go through this same process. I'm ecstatic that this publisher will do small runs of books printed with duotones, using just black and gray ink, not CMYK. This is ideal for black and white photographers.

The finished books on a cart, all five of them.

135448

that looks great larry !
congratulations on your book project :)
its great they showed you how it all is made ..
if / when you ever hand stitch your own, it is done the EXACT same way
signatures sewn together to make the book block
the spine smashed / hammered and glued,
cover measured and made
end papers glued in ..

have fun with the next !
( it gets addicting )

Paul Cunningham
17-Jun-2015, 18:23
I have some videos from the tour that I can post on YouTube. I would be happy to give people advice on how they can go through this same process.

Please do!

Larry Kellogg
18-Jun-2015, 02:51
Yes, I'll try to figure out which three or four videos illustrate the process and post them. It may take me a little while.

To be honest, I don't see myself hand sewing any books. I don't have the time to do that. I'd rather concentrate on photographing and darkroom printing in order to create the next book.

Besides, I want to be able to produce runs of 50-200 books, and this small press makes that possible. The machines they have to sew, trim, glue, and bind books are massive and of high quality, leading to quality results that I would not be able to match by hand.

I'll be ordering another run of books and putting them up for sale. If people want to see the quality that can be produced by a small press, they can order a copy. :-)

Some people on this thread told me that it was not possible to print a book of duotones unless I had deep pockets. I was delighted to find out that this is not true.

Paul Cunningham
18-Jun-2015, 06:35
Larry, does the publisher have a web site to look at? Thanks.

Larry Kellogg
18-Jun-2015, 08:08
Larry, does the publisher have a web site to look at? Thanks.

Yes, check out Conveyor Arts:

http://www.conveyorarts.org

jnanian
18-Jun-2015, 10:01
Yes, I'll try to figure out which three or four videos illustrate the process and post them. It may take me a little while.

To be honest, I don't see myself hand sewing any books. I don't have the time to do that. I'd rather concentrate on photographing and darkroom printing in order to create the next book.

Besides, I want to be able to produce runs of 50-200 books, and this small press makes that possible. The machines they have to sew, trim, glue, and bind books are massive and of high quality, leading to quality results that I would not be able to match by hand.

I'll be ordering another run of books and putting them up for sale. If people want to see the quality that can be produced by a small press, they can order a copy. :-)

Some people on this thread told me that it was not possible to print a book of duotones unless I had deep pockets. I was delighted to find out that this is not true.

hi larry

sounds like a plan !
( and fun ! )

Paul Cunningham
8-Jul-2015, 07:57
I find their prices to be quite reasonable, if one can commit to a small quantity, (versus Blurb). They are however more "book like" than say the producers of wedding albums.

I ordered their paper samples and the quality looks nice.

Larry Kellogg
8-Jul-2015, 17:53
I find their prices to be quite reasonable, if one can commit to a small quantity, (versus Blurb). They are however more "book like" than say the producers of wedding albums.

I ordered their paper samples and the quality looks nice.

I agree, I think the prices are reasonable. I like the fact that they're focused on printing books for artists. They're willing to work with you to produce a unique book, much more so than any of the mass market publishers.

With them, you have a lot of freedom regarding the size of the book and choosing the materials that go into making it. I bought black book cloth from Talas and gave it to them to use for the hardcovers.

I picked the 100 pound silk coated paper for printing my photographs, and think the quality of the paper is excellent.

Perfect bound books are a lot cheaper., so perhaps I should have gone that route but wanted to see what it was like to produce a hardcover.

I'm in process of putting in another order. I'm happy that I can order just twenty five books at a time and think it is more than fair.

I will upload the videos from the factory tour! I've been traveling and am just getting back into the swing of things.

Let me know if you get a book printed!

evanbaines
15-Feb-2016, 14:52
I don't post on here super often, but I've been following this thread with interest as I too am looking to publish in the 50ish book range and have been dissatisfied with most of the options out there. I just got a sample from http://www.puritanpress.com/ of their digital tritones, which I'm made to understand are produced on an HP Indigo retrofitted with custom gray inks. I'm really impressed with the results, which surpass anything I've seen from digital offset for B&W. Their price comes in between regular digital offset and traditional duotones, closer to the former.

No relation to the company, but they are who I'm almost certainly going to use.

V/R
-E

Paul Cunningham
23-May-2016, 08:17
I just got a sample from http://www.puritanpress.com/ of their digital tritones, which I'm made to understand are produced on an HP Indigo retrofitted with custom gray inks.
-E

Evan, thanks for the post. Were you able to order samples via their website, or did you talk with them? Thanks.

Ted R
6-Jun-2016, 08:12
I have a question for the original poster.

I sympathise with your wish to not become a computer operator, and your dissatisfaction with ink-jet prints. About your experience with the Epson 3880 that you discarded as unsatisfactory, were you using the "standard" Epson black and white inks and printing system, or were you using something not originated with Epson such as Quadtone RIP and Piezography?

Also, has the small-run book printing project concluded to your satisfaction? I read with interest that this originated with an ICP course, I wonder if it is something they might repeat, have you any information? (they are relocating right now).

Larry Kellogg
6-Jun-2016, 17:48
I have a question for the original poster.

I sympathise with your wish to not become a computer operator, and your dissatisfaction with ink-jet prints. About your experience with the Epson 3880 that you discarded as unsatisfactory, were you using the "standard" Epson black and white inks and printing system, or were you using something not originated with Epson such as Quadtone RIP and Piezography?

Also, has the small-run book printing project concluded to your satisfaction? I read with interest that this originated with an ICP course, I wonder if it is something they might repeat, have you any information? (they are relocating right now).

Hello Ted,

Thanks for the reply. I was using the original Epson inks. I suppose I could have messed around with Quadtone RIP and piezography but I don't think I would have gotten the quality that I got from working with a professional printing company.

I just received my follow-on order of fifty books from Conveyor Book Arts. I only have good things to say about the quality of the duotone printing, the sewn binding, the hard cover with the cloth wrap, the cover jacket, the whole package. If you want to see it, I'll sell you a copy for $40 plus shipping. ;-) The economics of book publishing are quite difficult, as you will learn if you try to produce a book for publication.

The ICP school has not moved yet, only the gallery space, as far as I know. Here is the website for the school:

https://www.icp.org/school

This is the website for Conveyor Editions, the book publisher I worked with:

http://www.conveyoreditions.com

and the page where you can book a consultation to discuss your book:

http://www.conveyoreditions.com/appointments/

I'm not sure when they'll be teaching another class at ICP. I'll ask for you, and post on this thread. It will probably be in the Fall. I would suggest learning InDesign, as that is the industry standard tool that is used to design books.

Paul Cunningham
6-Jun-2016, 18:13
Larry, perhaps you could post a picture of your book so that we can judge its cover. :-)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Larry Kellogg
7-Jun-2016, 03:25
I don't post on here super often, but I've been following this thread with interest as I too am looking to publish in the 50ish book range and have been dissatisfied with most of the options out there. I just got a sample from http://www.puritanpress.com/ of their digital tritones, which I'm made to understand are produced on an HP Indigo retrofitted with custom gray inks. I'm really impressed with the results, which surpass anything I've seen from digital offset for B&W. Their price comes in between regular digital offset and traditional duotones, closer to the former.

No relation to the company, but they are who I'm almost certainly going to use.

V/R
-E

Hello Evan,

Are you following through with your project? Conveyor Book Arts also uses an HP Indigo. I don't think any retrofitting is required, you just swap out the inks for the black and gray inks, in the case of the duotone printing Conveyor did for me. The inks are in aerosol spray cans and take about thirty seconds to change. We toured the factory, it was the highlight of the class.

I think the real advantage of duotone printing, or tritones, is that you cannot get any color shifts because you're not printing with color inks, LOL. Conveyor tried for six months with CMYK and were never happy with the output for black and white photographs, so they gave up and went to duotones. The masks? will shift slightly from page to page, so that's why you get color shifts, it's basically unavoidable. The whole world wants color, so that's why most places only print color, because they don't want to deal with the setup costs of printing some other way.

The real issue is that you have to trust the press to do the separations of your files and come up with an output that makes you happy, in terms of contrast. For small runs, it's not economical to have the photographer approve the run on-press, as is done in large printing houses. So, you have to rely on proofs when working with a small printing house. Not really a big deal, but it might take a few go arounds with proofs to get it right.

Larry Kellogg
7-Jun-2016, 03:31
Larry, perhaps you could post a picture of your book so that we can judge its cover. :-)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes, I'll post a few pictures of the book. The teachers said that posting full videos of books did not interfere with sales, which is kind of funny, but perhaps true.

I really need to embark on step 2, which is to try to sell the book in some shops on a consignment basis.

Luis-F-S
7-Jun-2016, 08:14
Glad to see you're still kicking Larry!

Larry Kellogg
7-Jun-2016, 13:56
Glad to see you're still kicking Larry!

Ha, thanks Luis! I'm glad you're still hanging around here. I've been distracted for a while.

Ted R
8-Jun-2016, 11:24
Larry, thank you very much for the information.

Sasquatchian
8-Jun-2016, 23:17
"I think the real advantage of duotone printing, or tritones, is that you cannot get any color shifts because you're not printing with color inks, LOL. Conveyor tried for six months with CMYK and were never happy with the output for black and white photographs, so they gave up and went to duotones. The masks? will shift slightly from page to page, so that's why you get color shifts, it's basically unavoidable. The whole world wants color, so that's why most places only print color, because they don't want to deal with the setup costs of printing some other way."

Having printed a lot on offset presses for the last twenty years or so, when you have to print black and white with four color, it's almost always best to rebuild the CMYK profile for the press to one using a Max K black generation and a lower Total Ink value than you would normally run. This puts the lion's share of the image into the black plate and leaves just enough of the cyan, yellow and magenta to give you a rich black. It also pretty much guarantees you a very neutral image on press because so much of it is just black ink. Blurb says they use a profile "based" on GraCol 2009, but there is no such thing. I think they mistook the 2006 standard for 2009. The people I've spoken to there don't know crap about black generation. But, since a lot of folks print both black and white and color in a single volume, it's not always practical to use cymk plus duotones, unless you're on a real offset six or eight color press and don't mind paying for the additional plates.

Personally I use the data set from GraCol and just re-run the profiles in either ProfileMaker or i1Profiler how I want them. I'll be running a blurb test soon comparing their standard profile and my own heavy black version to see if it makes a difference. In theory, it's possible to get great looking black and whites with their standard profile as their paper sample pack has that, and the halftone dot is so small you cannot see it at all with the naked eye. Barely with a loupe.

And just so people aren't confused about duotones/tritones, etc. you start with a grayscale tiff 8 bits per channel and then choose Duotone from the Mode menu. The previews there are actually pretty good now.

evanbaines
26-Jul-2016, 09:53
Hello Evan,

Are you following through with your project? Conveyor Book Arts also uses an HP Indigo. I don't think any retrofitting is required, you just swap out the inks for the black and gray inks, in the case of the duotone printing Conveyor did for me. The inks are in aerosol spray cans and take about thirty seconds to change. We toured the factory, it was the highlight of the class.

I think the real advantage of duotone printing, or tritones, is that you cannot get any color shifts because you're not printing with color inks, LOL. Conveyor tried for six months with CMYK and were never happy with the output for black and white photographs, so they gave up and went to duotones. The masks? will shift slightly from page to page, so that's why you get color shifts, it's basically unavoidable. The whole world wants color, so that's why most places only print color, because they don't want to deal with the setup costs of printing some other way.

The real issue is that you have to trust the press to do the separations of your files and come up with an output that makes you happy, in terms of contrast. For small runs, it's not economical to have the photographer approve the run on-press, as is done in large printing houses. So, you have to rely on proofs when working with a small printing house. Not really a big deal, but it might take a few go arounds with proofs to get it right.

Larry,

I did follow through with the project and was very happy with the results!

I had my printer Robert Cavalli make a series of darkroom prints as exemplars for Puritan's production team to work from, and they generated a proof of the book using the same paper and process as the final run. We didn't need much tweaking to the initial proofs: just a few minor nits on a handful of images. The final product was a big hit in our little community and the quality of the finished product they provided was a big part of that. I will also say Puritan was very responsive and easy to work with throughout the process. They posted my work to their blog along with some other samples here:

http://www.puritanpress.com/category/work/duotones-tritones/

The book layout is here if you're curious:
http://www.evanbaines.com/bushmaster/

I was also involved in working with Puritan to create an arts journal for the Military Medicine community, and this was also very successful and we were pleased with Puritan's work. So I'd give them a high recommendation for a photographer looking for short-run printing of high quality.

(no affiliation or compensation for endorsement, just a happy customer).

V/R
Evan

PS:
I did provide this link to the folks at Puritan to let them know about the discussion. If folks would be interested and the mods are ok with it, they'd be happy to discuss more of the technical details and answer questions, but they did not want to intrude or break any forum rules.