Triptychs. Anyone experienced?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by greydreams, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. greydreams

    greydreams Member

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    I was wondering if anyone has had any experience printing triptychs. I'd like to print three frames (from 3 negs.) onto the same sheet of paper, next to each other, spaced evenly. I'm shooting 6x6. Does anyone have any advice for the best way to mask and print something like that?

    I was considering making a mask for the whole paper, but lining up and focusing could be a problem. Maybe just marking the paper and lining it up in the easel would be easier?

    Any advice would be helpful!

    Thanks.
     
  2. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Quality triptychs like this are hard to do. I know Joanne Callis did some good work in that realm years ago.

    Probably your BEST bet would be some kind of registration process and a VERY good 4 blade. The masking is the easy part really. It is getting every frame to line up that is hard.

    I have heard of people using large 4 blades and 3 different enlargers. You set each easel for one image and use a registration system to move it along. You need BIG 4 blades though.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've done a few Diptychs and Triptychs, matching negs shot in the winter, foggy days and bright summer sunshine.

    Now all these have been individual prints matted as Diptychs or Triptychs. However I have also produced B&W calendars where I've done multiple prints on a page.

    All you need do is mark up some plain paper to set the easel for each exposure

    Ian
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd be inclined to do three separate prints and mount them as a triptych.

    You can handle the registration issue with a 4 blade easel, as Ian describes, or with a single 3-window mask, but what about dealing with the dodging, burning, and other manipulation issues for each frame? What if two look good, but you feel you need to work on one? If you print them on the same sheet, then you've got to do all three for every proof. Of course you could proof them separately and just do the final on the single sheet, but if you are going to use a 3-window mat, then it just seems easier to do three prints.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    David's right

    Mount cuttins far easier. However I wentto see a fellow photographer 11 years ago about a big group exhibition, to discover he was still producing his images the night before, when I asked about the portraits of all the photographers eshibiting there was silence, one piece of card 17 windows for the images & one for the title later - it worked

    Three in frame yes, three on a sheet of papers not difficult but why add extra problems and work

    Ian
     
  6. Mike-D

    Mike-D Member

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    No experience here, but why not make a three-windowed matte and place that in the easel over the sheet of paper? Uncover each window in turn for the exposures.

    Mike D
     
  7. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    I have done diptychs and one attempt at a trypych with good results. If you have or can borrow the room and equiptment use three enlargers, negs, easles etc. and after making notes on each exposure/dodge & burn just move the paper from one easle to another.
     
  8. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Every triptych I've done has been seperate sheets mounted on a common board. That said I would approach your problem by trying to make use of the good old "speed-ez-el". An 8X10 speed-ez-el is open at both ends of the 8" section. So if you had 8" roll paper cut to 24" (8X25 with 3 8X8 frames) you could mask the 10" section to 8", shove the first section in, print, shove it through so the mid section is in, print that part, shove it through so the final section is in, and print with appropriate masking of the exposed paper that is beyond either end of the frame. Speed-ez-el's came in 5X7, 8X10, 11X14, and 16X20 sizes with the smaller end open at each end so you can slide paper in one end and out the other.

    This AM I worked on a triptych of 3 4X5's that make up a common vertical scene. A small waterful in Yosemite. Contact printed together in a common frame on a sheet of 5.5X14" paper. It's a do-over as I ran out of time but it shows promise. So in that case it makes a roughly 5X12" vertical picture of the 3 frames. Kind of unusual.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Hey Jim, you doing that for the print exchange? :wink: looks great!
     
  10. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    I can't help you with enlarging but doing a triptych with a view camera and contact prints is relatively easy, I find. When I do mine, I shoot all three negs identically (of course), process them together and print them together (but on different sheets). Afterwards, they can be mounted in a single frame or in three separate ones. I love the triptych approach, feel, and look and find it a resonable compromise to getting a panoramic ULF camera.
     
  11. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    the Final Solution

    I think I MAY have an answer for you. It's cheap as hell, works beautifully and is very simple.

    Take a piece of thin plastic (opaque) or exposed and processed film (or anything with similar properties) the SAME SIZE as the paper you wish to print on. This will be your template.

    The general idea is to overlay this on your printing paper. It will ALSO function as a border mask. Use a piece of scrap focussing paper to take place of your print for focus and composition. At any rate, Use this template to compose and focus each of the frames in place. When you've tested exposure and composition for a given frame, place your paper with the template overtop and expose. Simple as that.

    Make sense?
     
  12. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Jim G, that IS a triptych. It works beautifully on so many levels (no pun). Thanks for posting it.
     
  13. greydreams

    greydreams Member

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    Thanks for all the good advice. Obviously, there are many different paths I could take with this one. I'll post some images when I get it done. Thanks!
     
  14. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    You could also go to a graphics art store and buy a sheet of ruby lith and create a template with 3 windows. Cover the windows up if you don't want to print on them...open them up if you do.

    S
     
  15. steve

    steve Member

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    I've done this a couple of different ways. If you're doing it with B&W on a single sheet, it's not that difficult, it just takes some preparation. You will have to decide if you want the images to be centered on the paper, or whether you can live with them offset to the top edge. Also, whether you're going to matte the images with windows around each image, or show the image as a single piece with a matte around the whole edge will have an influence on how you handle the paper.

    I prefer to show the whole two or three part image, centered on a single sheet - as the images then exist on the same plane uninterrupted by mattes separating the images.

    I like to use a Speed Ezel to handle the paper. Decide how large you want the images on the sheet of paper and get the correct size easel for the paper. Cut a cardboard mask (like a matte) that fits the Speed Ezel opening with the correct image size cut out and centered in the easel opening. You know have created the image size you will be using. I like to use 8 ply board as it is thick enough to be handled, lies flat and won't slip under the Speed Ezel edges. I like the matte board as you can clean up the edges the on matte board using a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to get rid of uneveness or fuzz.

    First, proof the images on separate sheets so you know the exposure, where you need to dodge/burn, etc. Make notes on this (of course) and refer to them when you do the final print - makes way less confusion as you only have to worry about the mechanics when you're making the final print.

    One of the problems will be registration of the image. Either waste a blank sheet of paper or use a heavy weight smooth stock of some type - I just used a blank sheet of photo paper. So you can make a master layout.

    On the back side of the paper, mark out how the images will line up (for spacing) and insert the paper (back side up) into the easel. Put your mask into place and line up the opening with the layout you've made on the paper. Mark a "1" in the center of the image area.

    Now, pick some place on the easel and mark either the right or left top edge of paper as it hangs out one side of the easel with a small vertical straight line.

    Move the paper to the next image position (center for a triptych). This is the tricky one because if it's truly centered, you won't have an edge sticking out of the easel. You will probably have some type of very slight offset that can be measured from the edge of the Speed Ezel to one edge of the paper. Or if you have enough of an offset you can make a second mark on the paper. I will make two straight lines (one under the other) to mark the second position on the paper - the two lines denoting the second image position.

    Move the paper under your mask for the third position. Line up with your layout sheet and mark three straight lines for the third position.

    Take your master out and measure where the lines are from the right or left edge.

    Make a measurement "roster" on a sheet of paper. It would look something like this.

    Image 1: 8 inches outside easel RIGHT
    Image 2: 1/8 inch outside easel LEFT
    Image 3 8 inches outside easel LEFT

    Now, you focus the first image and center it as needed on the opening in the matte you've made. Take out your paper and clip off the top left corner slightly (or whatever corner makes sense to you) so you have the equivalent of a code notch or "key" so that you cannot accidently get the paper in upside down on a following exposure. Slide the paper into the easel and measure the amount needed hanging out as indicated on your measurement roster. Put your matte on top of the paper. Make the first exposure.

    Take the paper out, put it in a light tight box or back into the package. Put in the next negative, focus align, etc. Put the paper back in to the easel and repeat for the next exposures.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have not made diptychs and trypych in the sense you are talking about, but i have had to print multiple images on paper that was later turned into signature pages for a book. the images had to be the same tone &C as if they were for diptych or trypych ... the way i did it was not very hard, but it was time consuming just the same. i took a sheet of paper that was going to be my "mock-up" and turned it upside down so i could draw on the back. i made a rough sketch of where the images were going to be with a pencil, and then i stuck the negatives in the enlarger, and made notes as to where the enlarger head &C was to make my life a little easier. i made a mask out of mat-board and just printed. straight cut matboard and bevel-cut board works well, but torn edges give a nice feel to the images as well.