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Thread: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

  1. #11

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by CreationBear View Post
    Ken, since many of us have made use of your PS "toning tutorials" over the years, that was an immediate question I had. I did a quick recce of the Cone website and saw that there were several toning presets with different values of warmth/coolness for either shadows or highlights, but didn't know if there was a way to leverage them to emulate precisely what you've been able to create digitally. (If it sounds as if I'm agitating for you to outline your piezographic workflow, well, you've already shown that you're willing to work for free...)
    The toning methods I've shared previously for Photoshop take advantage of some very precise tools like Layers, Levels, BlendIf, Color Range, etc. However, without a finely calibrated printing engine, we can't necessarily print what Photoshop lets us define. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, we might say.

    By comparison, the 3-channel mix we can specify with Quadtone RIP is a more basic tool for controlling colors along the brightness scale, but the inks and linearization tools provided by Piezography give us the ability to print them precisely in hex-tone.

    I wrote a short article about my choice of paper and warm-tone color settings for Piezography Pro here. You can use them as a point of departure. Please contact me with any corrections, comments or questions.

  2. #12

    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Excellent, it will take me a while to work up to the Optional Super-Fancy Linear Photoshop Expert Option but everything looks promising! Thanks again for sharing your approach.

  3. #13

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    I'm not at the Piezography stage yet (I've always been 100% darkroom), but just starting to look into learning about/setting up for scanning negatives, photoshop, hardware etc. I'm a total novice on the digital front but have read all of Ken's writings on the subject, and I'm pretty sure he will be the first person I contact for instruction.

    The monitor discussion has been interesting to me as well. As a beginner I would have assumed the higher end Mac displays would be great for this sort of thing. Geez do I ever have a steep learning curve ahead of me.

    I think I will also head over to the Piezography web site and do some reading.

  4. #14

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    I'm not at the Piezography stage yet (I've always been 100% darkroom), but just starting to look into learning about/setting up for scanning negatives, photoshop, hardware etc. I'm a total novice on the digital front but have read all of Ken's writings on the subject, and I'm pretty sure he will be the first person I contact for instruction.

    The monitor discussion has been interesting to me as well. As a beginner I would have assumed the higher end Mac displays would be great for this sort of thing. Geez do I ever have a steep learning curve ahead of me.

    I think I will also head over to the Piezography web site and do some reading.
    Michael, I am basically at the same stage as you, but lucky enough (now that I'm a happy retiree) to have the budget and time for the learning curve to give the Piezography route a try. I actually enjoy the challenge and the learning curve(s), but I am a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to taking such plunges as to purchase a good inkjet printer, the inkset and maybe a specialized monitor (etc.). I've worked with the folks at Cone Editions Press to have them scan and make a large B&W print (after some proof prints, and from edits I made on the file in LR on my iMac) of a favorite image from Joshua Tree NP that I really enjoy, so I'm positively inclined toward the possible outcome prints. However, I'm stuck on the decision as to whether I would actually want/need to make enough Piezography prints (as opposed to darkroom silver gelatins) to actually make the whole effort worthwhile?

    This is why I am finding this thread very interesting...
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  5. #15

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    I’m finding it very interesting too! It’s funny, as recently as a year or two ago I would still have had no interest in any kind of hybrid workflow for my own photography, but here we are.

    Yes, more time would certainly help. Although I love to learn complicated things, I have a habit of burrowing to the very bottom of every hole, which can sometimes get me into analysis paralysis. Part of me worries there is just too much involved to justify the financial cost right now, since I would be starting from scratch (need a new computer, proper display, scanner etc.). It could be fun and exciting though.

    Anyhow sorry to sidetrack the thread. Just wanted to thank Ken for sharing his knowledge. I noticed on his website he offers one-on-one education. I think that is where I am likely headed if he accepts beginners.

    Michael

  6. #16

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    There are 3 issues with inkjet printing which keep coming back to bite. Since I set up my printer for Piezography a few years ago, things may have improved but I wouldn't know since the topic requires regular investigation.

    1) Linearization/calibration
    2) Image permanence
    3) Non-standard lighting

    1) If we knew a really good way of linearization using standard OEM inks and printer drivers, we could search the Aardenburg's database, find the most permanent printer/paper/ink combination and print directly from Photoshop, using the toning methods provided by Photoshop. This would let us tone every print individually with any component colors, not just "warm" or "cool". We could also use the printer for routine color printing.The problem is (correct me if I'm wrong) the profiling tools don't go far enough for serious monochrome imaging, or if they do, they are based on Quadtone RIP which is limited to EPSON printers and has a poorly documented underlying design.

    The better class of monitors have their own built-in calibration sensor and software. You define a profile, click a few times and your monitor is calibrated and finely linearized. This is possible because it's all electronic: all digital. With printing, we are dealing with analog papers and inks and viewing them under varying conditions of illumination. The whole thing is still as much of a craft as a science. I have not seen prints from HP printers that have their own built-in profiling sensors. Perhaps they have solved the issue, even with grayscale. Anybody know ?

    2) The most permanent inkjet images I'm aware of are made with pure carbon pigments, but carbon has a warm color that doesn't suit all images. Besides, inkjet papers fade and degrade. It's been a while since I've studied the Aardenburg Imaging test results. There's probably a good reason why people use Digital Negatives to make prints with Pt/Pd and other more permanent "alternative" processes. I have made some but many of my photos look pretty lame when printed that way.

    3) Images appear differently depending on the color and brightness of the lighting. Galleries don't follow standards as far as I know. Bright light probably brings out the depth of an image, but it hastens the degradation.

    In the future, people will probably view fine art photographs the way they listen to music or view famous works of art: on an electronic device. Seeing an actual print may become the exception, something like attending a classical music performance in a concert hall. It's not as warm and engaging, but once the whole process becomes electronic, those 3 problems are solved. Or has the future already arrived ?

  7. #17
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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    In the future, people will probably view fine art photographs the way they listen to music or view famous works of art: on an electronic device. Seeing an actual print may become the exception, something like attending a classical music performance in a concert hall. It's not as warm and engaging, but once the whole process becomes electronic, those 3 problems are solved. Or has the future already arrived ?
    Problem 3 - the viewing calibration problem - is nowhere near solved for electronic display. The vast majority of viewers have and will continue to have non-calibrated displays. These tend to be too bright and too contrasty, but the exact settings vary wildly. If you post a carefully processed image to the web you have no idea what a random viewer is actually going to see, except that it likely won't be what you had in mind.

  8. #18
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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    What do you think about the latest iPad screens

    They seem standardizes, but do have adjustable illumination and tints

    all iPhones are too small
    2022

  9. #19

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    What do you think about the latest iPad screens

    They seem standardizes, but do have adjustable illumination and tints

    all iPhones are too small
    Since no one else replied, I'll just say that under lockdown the last place I'm visiting without an urgent reason is a crowded shopping area, so I haven't seen any of the new Apple products. The Retina displays I have seen are stunning but they don't show every gray shade as gray and they don't separate the lower range very well.

    The Piezography technical notes draw a distinction between (expensive) monitors which self-calibrate with their own built-in hardware and internal lookup tables, and (affordable) consumer-grade monitors which require the purchase of an external measuring device and are calibrated by simply modifying the lookup table on the computer's graphic card. We might draw an analogy to the speakers we get on a typical computer: they're pretty amazing, considering how small they are, but if we want big high-fidelity sound we need to plug in some speakers.

    With some higher-end monitors, the manufacturers not only boast about resolution, brightness and contrast, they list the color spaces they can support. For example, according to EIZO on the B&H web site,

    "The CG279X has been engineered to support 99% of the Adobe RGB and 98% of the DCI-P3 color gamuts"

    As Oren has pointed out, very few people use a monitor like this, but it strikes me as a future possibility that someone could specify the viewing conditions for their work, or a standard could be defined. Just as a composer might write a Symphony in D Minor and apply notes like "Allegro" or "Andante", a photographer could publish some work electronically and write "Adobe RGB, 5K at 50 cd/m2".

    ...which no doubt reminds us of the Firesign Theater and their Magic Bowl Movement from the Symphony in C Minus by Johann Amadeus Matetzky
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 4-Dec-2020 at 12:33.

  10. #20
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Mr Lee, your reference to Fireside Theater made me smile

    I need to revisit the unloading zone

    soon
    2022

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