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Thread: Platinum vs. Inkjet

  1. #31
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Toronto, Ontario,

    Re: Platinum vs. Inkjet

    Hi Drew

    I consider Sandy the best, in fact I try to spend as much time with him as possible thinking some of his magic/mojo will rub off on me.

    One thing that separates his Carbons from many others I have seen is the high-relief.

    For the work I want to do with colour and bw carbon I will not be going anywhere near the relief that Sandy gets. It is beautiful with his work but for me I want much less.
    I plan to be multilayering colors on top of each other and I do hope they blend a bit.
    My new setup is to use Strosser punch and mount the paper to aluminum. In fact I got the Strosser punch press off Sandy.
    I have done quite of few beta tests on this method and am quite happy about registration and lack of shrinkage of the support.

    The current masters of colour carbon , Todd and John are using a mylar substrate to layer on which is dimensionally stable. they are laying down in reverse and then doing a single transfer of the finished image from mylar to heavy rag paper(in Johns case) .
    Years ago I took a course on this and we used mylar as well to image on, some of us tried to transfer the prints to rag paper.. The course was taught by a very competent colour carbon worker, but the facility's were pitiful, so we really were banging our heads against the wall trying this process for the first time.
    My experience then was so bad that I decided not to follow this path. Scanners, Image setters and no PS kind of made the venture unrealistic.
    I think the paper on aluminum is more suited for my needs and I do not want a heavy texture on my prints, in fact the DT's I have seen look more like the direction I would like to follow. As I have said before photo realistic reproduction will not be my aim.. so my results will be pleasing to some and shite to others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Bob - one of the issues I've always had with high-relief in color carbon is the way some
    folks would layer them so that colors that would normally recede get layered on top, and
    those that would typically advance end up in the deep part of the relief. The prints could
    still be beautiful, but all the hues look inside-out. This problem is not only related to the
    manner the tissue is transferred, but to how the pigments layers are sequenced per relative opacity. Kinda funny looking at shadows on top, or bright yellows sinking to the
    bottom. But per non-halftone quad carbons not being sharp, I've seen plenty of evidence
    to the contrary. Not sharp like a Ciba, but certainly good enough. Keeping paper per se
    dimensionally stable during the whole process is a different challenge.

  2. #32
    tgtaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: Platinum vs. Inkjet

    Quote Originally Posted by tgtaylor View Post
    ...Just the other day I happened to look at it at an an angle with the desk light and was suprised to notice that the areas surrounding the wall lights on both sides appeared as if a liquid had spotted the print there. Apparently the ink density decreased until the blown-out areas became paper white. It's completely unnoticable unless the print is held at a certain angle under strong light. The same area of the darkroom print is smooth and continuous with no spot or halo surrounding the paper white of the blown-out areas.

    But I am not an experienced inkjet printer and the printer itself was an Epson 2200 - not the latest and greatest. There is a difference in the papers also with the Epson paper appearing whiter than the Ilford. However I am very satisified with the inkjet version."

    While getting in a jog before the temperature goes thru the roof, the reason why popped clearly into my mind: The silver molecules form a continuium in the paper while the ink droplets do not and an abrupt discontinuity is reached. I vaguly recall reading that the modern inkjet printers are printing with two maybe three different drop sizes in an attempt to mimic the silver. But that appears to be very unlikely for the immediate to mid future as the silver molucules are capable of forming an almost infinite continuium. I'll bet that there are silver molucules throughout the blown-out areas in the silver print whereas there are zero droplets in the inkjet version.


  3. #33
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Platinum vs. Inkjet

    Yeah, Bob ... I was in the original Evercolor lab and those guys all came from long prepress
    careers and could almost perfectly register even 4 ft wide mylar sheets using the Stoesser
    system; but there's a learning curve to it, and the need to have the vacuum draw go very
    predictably. But I hated the halftone look of both Evercolor and Polaroid Permanent, and
    didn't care much for the opacity of the automotive pigments they chose. My Stoesser gear
    is reconditioned stuff after a bunch of horse trading, and I'm geared up to only 20x24 for
    dye transfer. It a space-consuming medium. For bigger prints, it's RA4 for me.

  4. #34
    Nasser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    United Arab Emarates

    Re: Platinum vs. Inkjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    No, but from the images he posted it was clear to me that there was much more to explore with that image in an inkjet print. Maybe we should just ignore the fact that his comparison lacked a thorough effort with the inkjet print-I don't think so.
    Kirk is right! To tell the truth, I do not have a good experience with Ink-Jet! I am really anxious to see one of these pro ink-jet but with a subject captured in high exposure scale to see the deference. Thank you Kirk for being clear

  5. #35
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    San Francisco, CA, Flagstaff AZ

    Re: Platinum vs. Inkjet

    Quote Originally Posted by andress007 View Post
    Pt/Pd has 3D look.

    Inkjet is "flat", as always.
    I think that paper and subject matter makes a big difference. I have prints from my 2200 that people sometimes mistake for paper collage. They definitely have a 3d quality. No fancy equipment either, we are talking Nikon D100, Epson 2200, and a pentium 4 computer. The paper is Hahnemuhle Photo Rag.


  6. #36

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    South Carolina

    Re: Platinum vs. Inkjet

    The special look that some associate with a specific photographic media, whether it be inkjet, pt/pd or carbon transfer is often due to visual inexperience with the media. People who have a lot of visual experience in looking at prints made with different media understand that the range of possibilities in terms of "look" is very great indeed. The work of some skilled printers with a specific media may have a special look, but this look is usually the result of a particular vision the artist has with that media, not to the limitations of the media itself.

    And with media that have a very long history, say platinum or carbon transfer, looking at prints from different periods often also reveals not only the vision of the artist, but also the aesthetic preferences of the period. But we have to be careful with this observation because in some cases the special look of a period is due to the type of materials or working conditions that existed at the time. A color carbon print on paper, whether made with a half-tone or continuous tone negative, has a very different look than a color carbon print on white polyester. Vintage platinum prints from the turn of the century often have lower Dmax and lower overall contrast than prints made by contemporary artists because low contrast was the prevailing aesthetic of that period.

    Learning to make high quality prints with any media requires a lot of experience in the form of trial and error. But it also involves looking at great work in order to understand the potential of the media, and the limits of the media. In other words, a destination is important, but one must also recognize that there are times when "you can not get there from here." Kind of like Clint Eastwoods' "A man gotta know his limitations," but in this case not so much personal limits as much as the limitations of the process.

    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at

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