Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Masters and Pelavin (Art in a Box)

the annual Art Exhibition Benefit for Art in a Box
that will help keep their programs running;
programs that help children at risk.

Pre-Exhibition Online sale starts at midnight, Friday, December 14, 2012

Live Exhibition and Art Sale opens to the public
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
11am - 6pm
at Masters & Pelavin Gallery

Holiday Party and Art Sale (last chance to purchase art)
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
5 - 8pm
Masters & Pelavin Gallery
13 Jay Street
New York, NY 10013

This cyanotype diptych will be available for sale at the show.
If you are in NYC, please stop by to see the work,
and consider buying some art to help a good cause.
If you are not in the city, then consider making a donation to Art in a Box
by visiting their website.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Pictorico vs. Fixxons

Pictorico transparencies have become the standard for making digital negatives.  When starting out, I understand ordering either the Premium OHP transparency or Ultra Premium OHP transparency because so many people already use it (several excellent artist with tremendous digital negative skill), and many of the blog posts & web pages you stumble upon demonstrate a workflow using it.

However, after trying several different brands of transparency material, I have found that Fixxons Waterproof Inkjet Screen Positive Film works as good at the Pictorico film.
Since the Fixxons film cost $33 for a pack of 100 (8.5" x 11") while
Pictorico film cost $22 for a pack of 20 (therefore $110 per 100) ,
I was compelled to switch to Fixxons.

These scanned prints are side-by-side comparisons of the two transparency films in my own workflow for KM73 photopolymer plates.  For each image, the step wedge on the top is Pictorico and  the step wedge on the bottom is Fixxons.

The final prints were scanned with an Epson Perfection V500, with all color controls/profiles turned off.  I made my new curves with the top print.  You can see that, for each of the large rectangles (11 step wedge), I used the blur-->average filter in photoshop to get an easy/accurate reading.  The photo on the bottom is the same plate, with slightly less pressure on the etching press.

What is most encouraging is that 50% density is about the same with both films, and close enough to 50% in reality to be left alone in the adjustment curve (a nice feature in any process).  

The next logical experiment is to shoot a plate with the adjustment(compensation) curves applied and see if the step wedge can be made closer to the digital version. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Canyon Shadows (test)

Continuing to work with Grand Canyon pictures in photogravure I have decided to challenge what can be done. This process preserves a lot of information in the dark end of the tonal scale, therefore interesting photos can be printed that will initially appear too dark, but on closer inspection there is great detail in the shadow areas. I don't know how far it can be pushed. The available information is not as great as contemporary photographic processes, but that is part of the motivation for doing this labor-intense process: seeing how far it can reasonably be pushed.

Note: this is an initial test print, photographed with my phone. More detail will appear in the final version (and when that print is photographed with a good camera. Think of this both as a teaser and a compositional sketch)

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard." -JFK

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Robins in the Shop

Set up a small camera to trigger every 2 seconds, then walked away.  This is the best shot out of almost 2000 over-exposed captures, printed in cyanotype (toned).

The video footage turned out a bit better.