Printing the unprintable

My technique with film is a little sloppy. From film handling, to composition, exposure and development. This results in negatives that nearly always requires some work before they can be printed. I'm also into alternative printing processes like cyanotype, kallitype and platinotype which require a negative the same size as the resulting print. 4x5" negatives can produce some gem like prints but are in general too small.

There are old school darkroom techniques to help with this but I don't have one, and I also don't have the skills, time or energy to do this. This leaves one alternative open to me. Digital negatives. I searched for months for a sensibly priced second hand printer but in the end I caved a bought a new Epson SC-P700.

There are quite a few processes around to help produce digital negatives. They all follow a process of controlled printing, scanning and analysing charts to generate a correction curve for your setup. Many variables such as a printer type, ink type, transparency film, printing process, chemicals, exposure device make this unique to each setup and takes time, patience and many iterations. I followed Peter Mrhar Easy Digital Negatives process and after a couple of missteps and iterations ended up with something that appears to be workable. Once I understand more about what tweaks affect what I will redo this and also attempt kallitype and platinotype processes.

For now, here are some scans of physical cyanotype prints made from digital negatives produced from scans of 4x5 pinhole negatives that I couldn't effectively print otherwise. Reproducing the colours of the prints is nigh on impossible but I've done my best.

1) Very contrasty negative I couldn't print with details at the top of the building or sky

2,3 & 4) Too thin a negative that printed too dark


Epson SC-P700

Easy Digital Negatives

Fotospeed Digital Contact Film

Mike Wares New Cyanotype mix

Bergger COT 320

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