Color potential – Remaining dyes in processed RA4 paper

As I was setting up for a color printing session, I did a quick experiment to prove something to myself that I already knew. It’s just that I had never before empirically witnessed it. It’s about the dye couplers that remain in the emulsion of chromogenic color materials, such as RA4 paper. Yes, they just stay there, even if they’re not part of the image. Pretty neat – or disconcerting?

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Ciao from Sicily – Some postcards

I’ve participated in the postcard exchange on Photrio recently, and I thought I might share some of the cards I’ve sent out. The month prior to the exchange, we spent a few days on Sicily, so I decided to use some frames from that trip for the cards.

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Knowing what’s right, but getting it wrong – Some silly color problems

Learning involves making mistakes and if there’s one thing I’ve learned by now, it’s how to make excellent mistakes – all the time. Most of them are silly ones, too: I know better, and then I do it wrong anyway. Recently I goofed hilariously badly when working with a batch of ECN2 films. Here’s to show that I’m by no means perfect. Far, very far from it…

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Peaks or plateaus – Light sources for DSLR scanning color negatives

Many people like to shoot film, but enjoy their images in the digital domain and the possibilities it warrants for post-processing, printing, etc. This means that the film images need to be scanned, and using a DSLR to do this has become very popular in recent years. But it does bring up some questions – mainly: what’s the best way to do this? And in particular, if you photograph a backlit negative, what kind of backlight would be preferable? I’m going to reflect on this for a bit on a theoretical basis.

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Creative RA4 – Bleach and redevelop

Straight printing on RA4 paper is great fun and it’s what I do most of the time when I print color in the darkroom. But the RA4 process has several tricks up its sleeve. The other day I decided to revisit one of those tricks I had played with briefly some years ago: bleach and redevelop. Here’s an example of what it does and how it’s a useful took in boosting print contrast without saturation going overboard.

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Pixels, not grains – Why RA4 paper is ‘digital’, and why this matters (not?)

Look at the back print of some papers, such as FUJIFILM’s Crystal Archive Supreme HD, and the word ‘digital’ features prominently. Indeed, I’ve been told that current Fuji RA4 color papers are exclusively intended for digital exposure. But does that mean we can’t use them anymore for optical enlargements?

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Between the lines – The importance of interlayers in RA4 color paper

‘Today I learned’…a lot, in fact! More than enough to fill a couple of blogs, but let’s start with this one. Did you know that color paper has layers that you can’t see, that are actually designed to be invisible, but that play a huge role in the visual aspects of the paper and the images on it? Well, now you do! They’re the interlayers, and they are quite essential, as it turns out. I’ll try to explain.

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Color carbon made feasible, part 1: halftone screens

In my previous blog post, I outlined a couple of tough challenges I met in the color carbon project. These challenges are partly inherent to the carbon transfer process, and partly stem from working with digital negatives, in particular continuous tone negatives. In this blog, I will outline the two main components to a solution to these challenges: halftone screen negatives and sensitizer-incorporated tissue.

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Color carbon and digital inkjet negatives: challenges

It’s been awfully quiet on the color carbon front, hasn’t it? Well, that’s partly accurate. I haven’t done as many test strips these past two weeks as I’d been doing before, and the reason is that I’m at a crossroads with this project now. Having learned lots, it’s also becoming clearer now what I’m dealing with. The question is – how to proceed? Let’s start with exploring some of the challenges I’m currently facing, which all happen to revolve around consistency and linearity.

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