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  1. #1

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

    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.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    J
    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.

    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/Deskto...dex=3&tabid=10

    If you are interested in learning a bit more about carbon have a look at my article at http://www.alternativephotography.co...ansfer-process

    Sandy King

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    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 Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails RedwoodVineMaple.jpg  
    Last edited by Vaughn; 04-10-2010 at 10:11 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    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:
    Vaughn,

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

    Sandy

  5. #5

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    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.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    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
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  7. #7
    Jim Graves's Avatar
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    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 Jim Graves; 04-11-2010 at 12:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Mark, people do not know what they are missing! Vaughn, I really need to come and see you!!

    Jim

  9. #9
    cdholden's Avatar
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    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. #10
    Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Even though I am struggling with the process, I have been hooked for a year now. Seriously hooked.

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