[Alt-photo] Digital negatives help?

Don donsbryant at gmail.com
Sun Sep 18 21:19:56 UTC 2016

Here is a technique for increasing density of colorized negatives by using a
layer of black ink. This method was developed by David Harris and posted by
Sandy King on APUG a few years ago:

%>------------------------------- Snip ---------------------------------

The idea is based on the fact that one can get plenty of contrast out of the
neutral black inks of the Epson 2200 and that the best method for working
with this printer with processes such as albumen, salted paper and VDB is to
blend in a little black with one of the colors of the color palette.

Remember, you are starting with the 360 dpi tonal palette, having previously
determined that a particular combination based on Green gave the highest
contrast, but still not high enough for your process. With that information,
and using the modified file of the palette with the green fill color already
added, here is what David suggested.

1. Set up a new layer above the green color fill layer.
2. Fill the new layer with black.
3. Set blend mode for new layer to multiply.
4. Choose blending options for the new layer and move the white sliders on
the Blend if underlying layer scale, pressing the Alt key to separate the
two white sliders. Move the sliders until about the darkest 20 squares or so
on the tonal palette are visibly darkened - I found this to be 50/175. I
chose 20 squares so that the blend in would be very gradual.
5. Reduce the opacity of the new layer. You will need to do some tests with
your alt process to determine the correct opacity. I found 2% to be right
for palladium toned POP - when printed it produces tone in the 100 square,
but 101 is pure white (I prefer to have a pure white, others might prefer to
have some tone).

In my case the maximum Dmax possible, as measured by a densitometer in UV
mode, ranged from about log 2.30, with opacity of the black layer set to 0%,
to log 2.5 with opacity set at 50%, and over log 3.0 with opacity set to

In theory this range should prove adequate for processes such as VDB,
albumen and salted paper that require negatives of very high CI.

%>------------------------------- Snip ---------------------------------

Just a couple of caveats to keep in mind. Sandy's remarks and results were
based on using an Epson 2200, a pigmented ink printer. Black Claria inks
used in the 1500 are dye based so the maximum ink density maybe less.

You will certainly have to go through a few iterations of testing to get the
opacity settings trimmed so don't get discouraged if you don't have success
on the first pass.

Good luck,

Don Bryant

-----Original Message-----
From: Alt-photo-process-list
[mailto:alt-photo-process-list-bounces at lists.altphotolist.org] On Behalf Of
Henry Rattle via Alt-photo-process-list
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 6:26 AM
To: alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org
Cc: Henry Rattle
Subject: [Alt-photo] Digital negatives help?

Hello Alt friends,
For years I have made my gum prints using colorised negatives following
Mark's excellent PDN method. My domestic printers have been sufficient for
this - clearly the dyes are nicely opaque at the wavelengths for gum.
However this doesn't work for salt - presumably responds to different
wavelengths. In the end I resorted to sandwiching two (black printed on my
Pixma 6250) transparencies to produce enough density, and finally made my
first couple of usable salt prints (only 18 tries!). Given that the budget
won't run to a new printer for digital negatives, is there any way to
produce enough density on the Canon or my Epson 1500W to make properly
curved negs for salt?

By the way, the new gum book is stunning! Thank you Chris!

Best wishes


Sent from my iPad

> On 13 Sep 2016, at 17:03, Clay Harmon via Alt-photo-process-list
<alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
> The photo was taken near the Eiffel tower at night. She was this elegantly
dressed Parisian woman who was sitting on a bench making a phone call. I
happened to turn around and for a very brief instant became a Paris street
photographer. One of the few times I knew the instant I clicked the shutter
that I would have a 'keeper'. 
> -clay
>> On Sep 13, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Christina Z. Anderson via
Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>
>> Thanks, Clay (blush blush),
>> I think your film noir work in the pd over gum chapter is a great pause
in color and mood for the how-to section. I have to ask, who's the woman in
the heels?
>> Chris
>>>> On Sep 13, 2016, at 8:00 AM, Clay Harmon via Alt-photo-process-list
<alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
>>> Chris,
>>> I received my copy yesterday. What a good looking book! As everyone else
has noted, the color quality is excellent. 
>>> The book is such a valuable resource for the alt-world. Not only does it
contain a great deal of useful information about gum printing, but it also
is an fairly comprehensive snapshot of the current state of the gum printing
practice. Devoting the last half of the book to the work of other artists is
such a generous gesture!
>>> -Clay
>>>>> On Sep 13, 2016, at 9:47 AM, Christina Z. Anderson via
Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>
>>>> Marek and Anne,
>>>> Marek, the yellow of your coneflowers really pops, doesn't it?
>>>> The color is pretty darn near good for two reasons: Mark Nelson shared
a tip with me that for some reason, going from SRGB (not Adobe 1998) to CMYK
had better color fidelity and he was right. I converted everyone's images to
sRGB before converting them to CMYK when it went to print. There's a reason
for that I'm sure but I don't understand presses enough to explain it. Maybe
Adobe is too much info to convert correctly or something?
>>>> I also got a CMYK color profile from the company.
>>>> I was sent proofs to approve before it went to press. But with every
book publication I notice that there are always a couple anomalies, a
picture here and there that doesn't print exactly right, and I have no idea
why, but it's a crap shoot when getting files from others and trying to edit
them first in RGB and then CMYK. Print goes darker and duller than screen
not to mention RGB to CMYK.
>>>> But one thing I noticed is how the colors of the pigments in my pigment
samples really turned out like the real thing. That was quite important as
you can imagine, to pick up, say, in print the difference between
indanthrone blue and ultramarine. etc. etc. etc.
>>>> Anne, I love your work in the book because it is a nice color and
conceptual counterpoint. It's so earthy, twiggy, and green! And hanging it
on trees! It's great. The artists' stories are such fun to read.
>>>> Chris
>>>>> On Sep 13, 2016, at 7:13 AM, Anne Eder via Alt-photo-process-list
<alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
>>>>> Yes- I got my copy last night as well! So exciting! I can't wait to
dig into the text - for now, just paging through and looking at everyone's
amazing work! Couldn't be more thrilled to be included. Looking forward to
learning so much more about gumming!
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> Anne Eder
>>>>> www.anneeder.com
>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>>> On Sep 13, 2016, at 8:26 AM, Marek Matusz via Alt-photo-process-list
<alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
>>>>>> It's here in USA   I got my copy last night. I am so amazed how well
the color is reproduced. 
>>>>>> Marek
>>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>>>> On Sep 12, 2016, at 1:51 PM, Mark Nelson via Alt-photo-process-list
<alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
>>>>>>> Chris I'm sorry I didn't get my gum prints to you in time to be
>>>>>>> I had some really nice ones done after the dentist pulled a couple
of teeth and the gums had healed.  
>>>>>>> Best Wishes,
>>>>>>> Mark Nelson
>>>>>>> www.PrecisionDigitalNegatives.com
>>>>>>> PDNPRint Forum @ Yahoo Groups
>>>>>>> www.MarkINelsonPhoto.com
>>>>>>> Curve Calculator III for the Mac is Now Available
>>>>>>> sent from my iPhonetypeDeviceThingy
>>>>>>>> On Sep 12, 2016, at 10:19 AM,
alt-photo-process-list-request at lists.altphotolist.org wrote:
>>>>>>>> 1. Re:  Gum Printing: A Step-by-Step Manual, Highlighting
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> Alt-photo-process-list | altphotolist.org
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>>>>>> Alt-photo-process-list | altphotolist.org
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