Printing!

I used for decades a darkroom but what to do with all the digital files? I often gave my pictures for printing to labs like digitaloriginal.de or larger labs like saal-digital.de and never really invested time in printing digital photo files myself. This ends two weeks ago. I read a lot about carbon printing in particular at Paul Roark’s website, to whom I’m really thankful for his “open source” approach. I didn’t want to start big and spend hundreds of Euro to find out that the results are under my expectations. I bought a small 4-ink printer with Eco-Tank (Epson ET-2650) with the reasoning that 1 black and 3 different gray inks should be more than enough to get smooth grayscale tones. Paul had a similar approach using an Epson WF-1100 (13 inch printer, unfortunately not available in Europe). In parallel I ordered the EB4 ink set at inksupply.com. Last piece needed was the paper. For a first testing a bought a package of 50 sheets Epson Archival Matte and a package of Canson RAG photographique (210 g/m²). In total less than 350€.
How far am I now?

  • Loading of the ink wasn’t a problem at all. No clogging so far, but I think I need to print on very regular basis.
  • Also loading of the thicker paper wasn’t an issue – I’ll try also 300g/m².
  • But now I’m struggling with the software…

I started at first without a profile, just switching off any color correction in the Epson driver. Last one is very basic and doesn’t use the full potential of the printer – so far my experience. The prints were too light, but already showing the potential of this printing method. I really love the warm tone of the carbon ink. Also knowing that these prints will last for ages is giving a kind of security. As a next step, I checked the Quadtone RIP software of Roy Harrington, but the printer isn’t supported – probably much too basic… Then I tested all ICC profiles Paul Roark has created for his WF-1100. But most prints are too dark or suffer from some banding, I don’t see using other print methods. I hope to overcome this by creating my own profiles: This is Epson print preview:

I followed Paul’s way to create an ICC based on a printed grayscale wedge and can now at least anticipate better on the screen the result. The best results I get now are based on the following workflow:

  • Adjust my picture in Capture One based on the ICC profile I created for visualization.
  • Export the file to my – in parallel running – Linux system.
  • Print the file with PhotoPrint, a software that uses Gutenprint. I setup Gutenprint using the Epson L-120 printer driver. This is working quite well. At 2880×1440 dpi the printer is really slow!

    Here some results (the prints aren’t that warm…):

    Hotel Papendal near Arnhem – The Netherlands
    Print with Gutenprint
    Marion Lake – British Columbia – Canada
    Print with Epson driver with WF-1100 ICC profile (1100-Eb4-EpsHPn-1-rgb.icc)
    Banding issue
    Print with Epson driver with WF-1100 ICC profile (1100-Eb4-EpsHPn-1-rgb.icc)
    Renault Dauphine
    Print with Epson driver with WF-1100 ICC profile (1100-Eb4-EpsHPn-1-rgb.icc)

    Aumessas – Cévennes – France
    Print with Epson driver with WF-1100 ICC profile (1100-Eb4-EpsHPn-1-rgb.icc)

Bretagne 2018 with Ektar 100

The Bretagne is simply a wonderful piece of land. We spend a week in the Côtes d’Armor near Tregastel by the “Côte de granit rose”. With me my Nikon F3 loaded with some rolls of Ektar 100. After the development in a small shop in Erlangen I started to scan the negatives. It was quite a frustrating process not getting satifactory colors. After some googling this post called my attention. Not perfect everytime, somehow a bit too saturated colors but a very good base for further process in Capture One. Finally the granit has the right tone. I did also some black & white convertion based on the color negatives.

Development of old black & white negatives

https://www.fotogra4.de/index/category/107

I developed some old black and white negatives I was storing in some drawers. Actually it was a lot of fun. I prepared my own developer based on the recipe of Barry Thornton:

bath A: 6.25g metol + 85g sodium sulphite for 1 litre
bath B: 12g sodium metaborate for 1 litre

Only one Ilford deta 100 film, that was expired for more than 10 years was a bit “flat”. I also managed to dry them without having to much dust on them: I used a dryer cabinet produced by Jobo and simply changed the filter… I scanned the negatives with my Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 at 2700 dpi (equivalent of 10 megapixel image, that’s more than enough!) and used my new favourite development program Capture One (version 11.1) to convert them to positive images.

I really enjoyed the process and decided to use film more in my photography.

Sunset at Michaelsberg in Bamberg

Wake up early and photograph the sunset: Nothing very uncommon! But I like the result because of the wunderfull colours. The Michaelsberg is a special location in Bamberg: The monestry founded there for more than one thousand years offers a wonderful view over the city.