Alt Process Editions and work process
I'm curious how you guys go about your printing time. Do you print a set of just one image at a time (the edition part of the thread) or do you print whatever you want to see on paper?
With silver work I would go ahead and print 3-5 copies of one image as the negative was already in the enlarger, but with cyanotype and palladium that's not an issue. I'm having a hard time getting some set work habits down to keep things simpler, but I may just continue with my haphazard style for now because it's just been so much getting used to these new processes!
I think in another month I'll try to get a little more ordered to cut down on stupid mistakes and right now I will continue to experiment.
edit: It's really not that much of a "need help" question, but more of a curiosity about the work habits of others.
Last edited by Jeremy; 07-22-2004 at 03:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: clarifying post
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
When I started Pt/Pd printing it was with Palladio paper, so I had the paper ready to go, and usually printed two or three of each print, on the off hand that I would get lucky and sell or trade one.
When I started hand coating, it was rare to make more than one copy of each print. I have learned my lesson when I had a show and only made one copy of each print. After I made the "one of" prints my process went to hell in a hand basket (sometimes it happens) and I had to switch paper, formulas and developers. Since the negatives were digital, I would have to do a bunch of testing to match the sensitizer to the negatives if I ever wanted to create duplicates for these images.
With the latest exhibit I have, I made sure that I printed two copies each of twenty-one of the final images in the show. Using digital negatives (APUG police, please note that these digital negatives were output from an image setter, so they are digital FILM negatives, none of that OHP stuff in my darkroom) now I coat somewhere between 8 and 12 pieces of paper at one time and print them usually a day or two later.
Printing more than one is not a bad idea. On the other hand, I have gotten a definitely positive benefit from being forced to go back and reprint some older negatives. Particularly with the alt process stuff, your skill level is always improving and later prints invariably please me more than my earlier versions. I find it refreshing to approach an old negative with more experience, better vision and a larger bag of tricks. If you print too many at once, you'll never how good a print that a given negative can really give you. If you keep good notes, you have a great starting point for making a great print from an older print that is merely good.
Originally Posted by Joe Lipka
If I really love the print I will make 5-10 of them on first printing and do an edition this way. I have never done more than this on first printing. In fact, with carbon it might take me a week or more to get even five or ten good prints so an edition of ten represents a rather significant amount of work.
Originally Posted by clay
However, I may choose to make another edition from the negative at some time in the future, using another pigment tissue with a different color, or placing the final image on another surface. But the second edition must have a very different look from the first.
I don't like to do more than 2 or 3 from any negative in one printing session. When I did I wouldn't feel like doing the dance of joy when the image came up in the developer; the magic wasn't there after too many of the same.
As far as cutting down on mistakes: things got a whole lot better for me when I started writing too much information on every single print (drop count, exposure, paper type, room temp, dev temp).
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I do one print, write all the infromation on a magic pen board and once I am done I write all the info on the film rebate since I do not do borders.
The reason I only make one print is that I like to live with the print for a few days before I make more. Many times I end up not liking it and working some more on it. I agree with Mateo, you cannot write enough info about how you made the print. If you were standing on one foot while coating, write it down and do it again when you reprint the same image, like Joe I have had my technique turn to sh!t for no apparent reason.
I usually print 4 or 5 test strips at a shot. Then I'll print several negs at once based on the information I've gathered from the test strips, noting the pertinent information (drop counts, exposure time, developer and developer temp) on each print. If I'm pleased with an image, I'll revisit it later, knowing all the details. I find that I can better judge the quality of a print after it has sat in a box undisturbed for a week or two. Too many times I've been smitten by an image, only to print it and judge it later as crap.
Most of the time I print 5 What ever the complete edition is. I keep one as artsit proof and sell the others and when I ended the 4 , I print again a set of 5 following the instruction noted on the artist proof.
At the time I wasn't selling my work , I do not print more that one and come back to the negaive and produce different print. Now I make 3-4 test before printing the edtion and that' s it.
I stilll have a lot of scrap from my amateur photographer period.