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Thread: thoughts on switching from film to digital for Pt/Pd

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Re: thoughts on switching from film to digital for Pt/Pd

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    @Alan

    Have you tried Mark Nelson's system? If so, what did you think of it?
    Yes, I've used Mark's system since taking a workshop on it with he and Dick Arentz in 2005. It's a somewhat laborious process to get everything dialed in, but once you've got it you have access to an entire family of process adjustment curves to affect contrast in the final image and, perhaps even more impressive, you can generate what's called a Double Hybrid Curve. This is a single process adjustment curve that enables you to have different contrast level for the shadow end and for the highlights simultaneously! It's rather brilliant IMHO. I would advise that if you have a Mac, go with CC III vs the older II version. The newer version is database driven and much easier to use/understand vs the older spreadsheet driven software.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that if you use the Na2 Serial Method, that combined with the family of process adjustment curves results in a very powerful method of control over final results.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,164

    Re: thoughts on switching from film to digital for Pt/Pd

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    Yes, I've used Mark's system since taking a workshop on it with he and Dick Arentz in 2005. It's a somewhat laborious process to get everything dialed in, but once you've got it you have access to an entire family of process adjustment curves to affect contrast in the final image and, perhaps even more impressive, you can generate what's called a Double Hybrid Curve. This is a single process adjustment curve that enables you to have different contrast level for the shadow end and for the highlights simultaneously! It's rather brilliant IMHO. I would advise that if you have a Mac, go with CC III vs the older II version. The newer version is database driven and much easier to use/understand vs the older spreadsheet driven software.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that if you use the Na2 Serial Method, that combined with the family of process adjustment curves results in a very powerful method of control over final results.
    Should mention that the hybrid curves in Mark Nelson's PDN system came about because he and Dick Arentz were looking for a way to "mimic" the native curve characteristics of pt/pd prints in printing with digital negatives. In digital printing the goal is usually to create files that have equal log spacing since this results in the greatest contrast/separation in the shadows and a more realistic look in the highlights. Those who have printed with pt/pd, especially with a heavy dose of palladium, understand that this process has a very long toe and a highly compressed shoulder. This gives prints that are somewhat lacking in separation in the toe but with a long and beautiful gradation in the highlights. Mark wanted to be able to replicate this very characteristic look with a curve that would be applied to the positive digital file, thus the creation of the hybid and double hybrid curves.

    My approach in creating digital images for printing with alternative printing is to calibrate the monitor and digital negative to create a linear work flow, with equal log spacing between all of the steps, and then adjust the image on the monitor to mimic the look I expect to see in the print.

    I used PDN for a number of years but switched to QTR for digital negatives in 2007. In spite of the fact that the learning curve with QTR is much steeper ultimately it offers much greater total control than working with the Epson driver. With the QTR driver one is able to control the output of each of the ink channels from 0% to 100%, at each printing point on the X,Y-Axis. This allows the user to control the amount of ink deposited on our negatives from each of the printer nozzles to exactly match the contrast requirements of our process, and to linearize the curve at the printer level, which eliminates the possibility of distorting the image with a correction curve applied on the image itself in Photoshop.

    In my work flow there is no loss of image quality in printing carbon transfer and other contact printing alternative processes with digital negatives compared to analog negatives. There are, however, several advantages.

    1. The original negative or digital image can be enlarged to virtually any size desired for the final print,
    2. The density and curve of the digital negative can be tailored to precisely match the exposure scale of the process and its specific curve requirement, and
    3. The image file can be improved by altering contrast in individual areas of the negative and by local dodging and burning so that every print can be made using the same exposure time.

    Just bear in mind that making a really good digital negative is a fairly complicated piece of work and regardless of which methodology you choose it will involve a fair amount of effort to make high quality negatives that produce the best contact prints possible.

    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 1-Aug-2017 at 22:15.
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at Yahoo.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...nTransfer/info

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