First exposure to a carbon print..At least part of one

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by mark, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. mark

    mark Member

    Messages:
    5,264
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    John was nice enough to send me a part of one of his carbon prints. I have been reading about them for some time. Having never seen one I was confused by some of the claims. Here are some of my initial impressions I thought I would share.

    When I picked up the piece-o-print the first thing I noticed was the insane depth in the print. I have seen, and print sniffed some of the greats. Adams, Weston, the dude who printed Maplethorpe's images, Michael A. Smith, and none held the depth this process has. There was truely a 3D effect to the print. One of my mechanics, who knows a thing or two about printing was equally impressed with the depth.

    I did not see the relief in the print that I had read about but am wondering if this is the cause of the apparent 3D effect?

    The tonal scale was veeeerrrrryyyyy long. Very smooth. I could see several places in the print where a conventional BW paper would have blacked out or whited out.

    I am definately interested in seeing more now and hope to catch an exhibit when I am in a largish city some day. I might also make an attempt at the process at some later date-when I have time which won't be for quite some time.

    For anyone reading about a process (any process) I seriously recommend getting your hands on at least a piece of a print from that process so you can print sniff. Even a printed step wedge will give you amazing amounts of information but an image will show the details possible.
     
  2. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format

    Don't put it off too long. Carbon transfer is too exciting to not experience as soon as possible.

    I am scheduled to teach a workshop this summer at the Photograpehr's Formulary in Condon, Montana this summer. You can find out more about it here. http://www.photoformulary.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=3&tabid=10

    If you are interested in learning a bit more about carbon have a look at my article at http://www.alternativephotography.com/wp/processes/carbon-carbro/the-carbon-transfer-process

    Sandy King
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,306
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    mark -- now you know why showing a carbon print via a computer screen can be such a disappointing experience. Combined with an image that encourages a sense of depth, carbon printing pushes that depth even more.

    If the tonality is on the negative it is possible to get it on the carbon print.

    I have been up all night printing carbons (10 pm to 8am, and still going strong...) Thank the gods for tea!

    Scanned carbon print:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2010
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Vaughn,

    That is a nice print. One of the ideal subjects for carbon transfer.

    Sandy
     
  5. mark

    mark Member

    Messages:
    5,264
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Time is not a luxury I have.

    Thanks for the info sandy. It was you article that piqued my interest.

    Wish I could find videos on the process that were worth watching.
     
  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,306
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    From your images, I figure you are in or near Colorado -- too far from the SF Bay Area -- I will be giving a week-end carbon workshop in Hayward in early September. I am hoping to work with some students and have some video taken. To demo the whole process takes me two hours, but I hope to cut the time back a lot. Don't know when this would happen -- might next fall.

    Vaughn
     
  7. Jim Graves

    Jim Graves Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Mark ... carbon prints vary considerably in the amount of raised relief . . . depending on the recipe of the "glop" used in pouring the tissues. When you see a high-relief carbon print there is no doubt about the relief ... you can see it and you can feel it when you run your fingers across the print ... it is really quite remarkable.

    Although the carbon process is a little fussy ... once you get the materials together and get a set workflow, it is really quite a simple process. And, the really nice side benefit is that it is FAR AND AWAY the cheapest way to make prints.


    While the vast majority of carbon printers limit themselves to black and white ... [and I think the medium is really at its best in B&W] ... it is possible to print color carbon prints ... you just have to be truly crazy to do it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2010
  8. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ventura, Ca
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Mark, people do not know what they are missing! Vaughn, I really need to come and see you!!

    Jim
     
  9. cdholden

    cdholden Member

    Messages:
    750
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, T
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was fortunate enough to get one of Sandy King's prints for an example. I've been reading some of his and Vaughn's documentation while I get through a hectic work schedule and can finally get to build my UV exposure box.
    Having a successful print on hand is inspiring and motivating. The relief and details in the shadows is what convinced me to move forward with working in this medium. I hope to finally get some free time from work and get results on paper in the coming months.
    Thanks to all who encourage and support this remarkable medium.
    Chris
     
  10. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,163
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Even though I am struggling with the process, I have been hooked for a year now. Seriously hooked.
     
  11. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,306
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I am going to be in Yosemite all next week giving a carbon printing workshop at the Ansel Adams Gallery.

    I have a new place in Eureka (my wife is divorcing my poor sorry ass -- when in hell did she get so smart?), so I'd be more than happy to put you up. I have my three 13 year old boys every other week, so the house will either full or empty.

    Just had an all night printing session -- wish I could say I got some keepers, but I was playing with a new light source and did not add enough pigment into the glop. Having too much fun experimenting, I guess. Oh well, I'll be able to fine tune the prints next week in Yosemite!

    Got to get busy -- I am pouring tissues for the workshop tonight!

    Vaughn
     
  12. mark

    mark Member

    Messages:
    5,264
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    I got a mechanic in Hayward today and tomorrow for Mercury school. Popular place to hold trainings of one sort or another

    I got two jobs. As a teacher I bust my ass August to late May. As a boat shop manager I bust my ass from March to December. Every Saturday is taken at the shop.

    Once this friggin shop sells I will have the money and the time to take a workshop or two. I am also planning on building a darkroom/workshop/greenhouse. I may never come out once it is built.