Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 20 of 20

Thread: Printing Murals

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,215

    Re: Printing Murals

    Making huge black and white prints was once routine in pro labs. Typically a Durst or DeVere horizontal enlarger on tracks, a big magnetic wall easel with a feed at
    one end for the paper roll, Rodagon G or Apo Nikkor lenses. Machines were available which allowed roller transport from one trough to another for smaller operations.
    The big outfits had more automated stuff. Large drums would be difficult to use with soggy fiber-based paper, but I've seen a couple models with some kind of internal retainer system or mesh support that would allow up to 40x60. They'd be quite rare now. Hasn't Butcher largely moved on to inkjet machines for his big
    stuff?

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA.
    Posts
    10

    Re: Printing Murals

    Thanks Daniel, some good information there.

  3. #13
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario,
    Posts
    4,567

    Re: Printing Murals

    If you want to make good murals that mimic the quality of smaller prints, there is no short cuts, you need space, power , water , good lenses, aligned enlargers using glass, and big sinks and an ability to dry, flatten and mount your prints.... yes you can jury rig this and make prints that are big, but you need to be aware that quality does not come cheap.

    My large prints are IMO as beautiful as the smaller versions, and since I live in a large Metro Area, the costs are significant and the commitment to space is a life long addiction.

    I have made the decision to max out on 40 x50 for enlarger work , and my digital wet fibre prints max out at 30 inches by 8 ft.
    I wish I could go larger but it would mean moving to an area where rent is much , much less and my core business would suffer with this type of move.

    All elements are important to make the right print.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA.
    Posts
    10

    Re: Printing Murals

    This is very wise advice Bob, and pretty much where my conclusions are now leading. Printing effectively at a size larger than 40 x 50 is like establishing a print works or a paper mill, with a comparable investment in time, space and commitment to training.
    I am producing pretty consistent prints up to 40 x 30 now, but see no end to the learning process. The expertise required truly is a life's work and I am glad to have a forum like this to benefit from the experience of others.
    I'd love to hear any advice on drying and flattening of fiber based prints larger than 20 x 24. Hanging vertically, or drying flat? Then how to flatten them sufficiently without dry mounting?
    Questions, questions.
    Thanks to all who have chipped in so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    If you want to make good murals that mimic the quality of smaller prints, there is no short cuts, you need space, power , water , good lenses, aligned enlargers using glass, and big sinks and an ability to dry, flatten and mount your prints.... yes you can jury rig this and make prints that are big, but you need to be aware that quality does not come cheap.

    My large prints are IMO as beautiful as the smaller versions, and since I live in a large Metro Area, the costs are significant and the commitment to space is a life long addiction.

    I have made the decision to max out on 40 x50 for enlarger work , and my digital wet fibre prints max out at 30 inches by 8 ft.
    I wish I could go larger but it would mean moving to an area where rent is much , much less and my core business would suffer with this type of move.

    All elements are important to make the right print.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    250

    Re: Printing Murals

    I haven't watched the Butcher make prints so I can't comment on his technique. As for equipment, you don't need much more than you probably already have to make murals as good as your small prints but I should add the caveat, only if you're a smart and careful technician.

    When I first learned this technique we were using Omega 4x5 enlargers and single bulb chromega heads, spun 180 degrees on their turrets, counter-weighted and projecting onto a 5 foot wide piece of masonite. The precision of the alignment was such that we made exhibition quality prints tack sharp corner to corner with the lens stopped down one stop from wide open. Exposure times were between 45" to a minute.

    I've since moved on to Dursts which make the job easier, faster but the end product is the same. The point here is that you don't need a huge space or fancy equipment.

    To reiterate what's already been said - Laser alignment of the stages is essential. Working at the optimal f-stop of the enlarger lens is also essential. Better yet, find a rodenstock G series lens. The difference between a G series lens and the best APO lens money can buy is strikingly real when you get past 12x.

    I can process a 52" wide roll of paper in a standard size sink and in a regular darkroom with a vertical enlarger without hassle. Never felt the need for more space, larger sinks - one more benefit to working with rolled prints.

    As for viewing and drying...

    I have two ferrous viewing walls in my studio and rare earth magnets to hold the fb print to the walls - one wall is for prints with residual hypo, the other is for fully washed prints (no, I don't use a giant 700 gallon print washer). The rolled print is placed against the wall, the leading edge secured to the surface with magnets and then slowly unrolled, all the while placing additional magnets along the horizontal axis to get the print to stay on the wall. Once a final print is pulled, paper towels are used to wipe excess water off before print is left to dry. Prints this size need to dry vertically if you want them to dry evenly and without crimps. Before the ferrous walls and magnets, we used sheets of homosote and push-pins - about a $50 expense. For flattening, a Seal 510 is indispensable however you could get away with the next size down if you're maxing out at 42" x 65" - just feed it through in sections using oversized sheets of 4-ply. If you get the humidity of your studio right, the prints will turn out very flat with little to no curl. Edwal used to make a print flattening solution, maybe they still do, that can be very helpful in overly dry conditions.

    So do you need fancy equipment to make exhibition quality prints? No, unless you consider a laser alignment tool, trough, good lens and a glass carrier fancy. Do you need big sinks? A standard 10' wide drkrm. sink will more than suffice. Do you need awesome darkroom technique? Well yes, of course, as Bob says "there is no short cuts".

    BTW, don't skimp on ventilation - just because you can't see the fumes does not mean that they aren't affecting you adversely!

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA.
    Posts
    10

    Re: Printing Murals

    Thanks Frotog, I'll take your advice on the lens and the Seal 510 and see what I can get.
    I have a 20x30 dry mounting press, but larger prints are a drag, as I don't want to flatten the print in sections in case the surface doesn't look even.(At the moment, I am using an 8 foot x4 foot plywood and plexiglass sandwich.)
    I am still in the test stages with all my work over 20x30", so all advice is much appreciated.
    Hadn't considered vertical drying against a wall, as I assumed the print would need airflow to dry evenly, so I have a couple of 6 ft x 4 ft bug screens on blocks on the floor. What do you do with the prints that have not been hypo cleared? Wash, I assume, but why hang them before they are fully washed? Toning stage?
    I'll keep you guys in touch with my progress.

  7. #17
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles area
    Posts
    2,100

    Re: Printing Murals

    you can always string up your prints on a clothesline, then put a piece of pvc pipe on the bottom area of the paper(rebate area, outside of image's area, which would be trimmed off anyhow), clamped to the paper. This will weight the end of the paper down, and hanging the prints won't take up much area...

  8. #18
    Death Before Digital matthew klos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    83

    Re: Printing Murals

    As frotog has talked mentioned, I work at palm press and have made many murals, had to handle them and mount them. Rolling is the best way, requires little space, and little chemistry.

  9. #19
    Death Before Digital matthew klos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    83

    Re: Printing Murals

    Vertical drying is how we do it, set up a humidifier Infront of the print to allow it to dry slower. We have a hanging system that we raise up tack the print with metal tacks, and we weight the bottom. Take a paper towel and very gently wipe the print down. To get rid of any water just sitting on the surface. If you have the ability too aligning the enlarger is key to getting edge to edge sharpness. Align the negative plane, lens, and base on which your paper is sitting on.

  10. #20
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,215

    Re: Printing Murals

    A big sheet of 3/4" thick white melamine-coated MDF board makes an excellent oversized squeegee board. The wet paper tend to stick to it. Just make sure the
    edges are sealed, where water can penetrate. If the print is too big to manage without creasing, it can be clipped to a long aluminum bar along its length using
    all-plastic "chip clips". This in turn can be very easily balanced by suspending it from above with a low-tension "tool balancer" pulley device. I dry oversize prints on
    fiberglass patio screen doors - the removable type in strong aluminum frames, maybe because I get them free.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 10-Mar-2015, 13:05
  2. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 16-Dec-2013, 18:01
  3. Contact Printing OLEC Halide Metal Printing Lights
    By Gustavo in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 28-Jul-2005, 06:24
  4. Processing Large Murals
    By Richard Boulware in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-Mar-2002, 13:45
  5. Mounting/Framing Murals
    By Jon Paul in forum Business
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 7-Jul-2001, 13:35

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •