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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The curve is dead, long live the curve – the linearization game, part 3

After observing a bit of a problem with a lack of linearization and setting myself up for embarking on the effort of linearization, it’s time to describe this actual linearization process itself. It’s going to be a dish with inkjet digital negatives as the main ingredient, broiled in a broth of GIMP with generous lashes of Excel and a good whiff of intuition, topped off with some guesswork for good measure. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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Straight ahead– the linearization game, part 2

Previously I wrote about the necessity of linearization: if you print an inkjet digital negative, what densities you can expect from the resulting carbon transfer print are a bit of a gamble. Put differently: the relationship between inkjet negative density and print density is not a linear one. To get color to work reasonably well, I’ll need to linearize my curves reasonably well, too. It’s a bit of a chore, but…well, no but, and not a ‘bit’ either. It’s just a chore. And there’s actually some preparations to be done before I can start with the…err, preparations. (I’m not sure when I’ll get to the actual printing, come to think of it!)

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Kinky curves – the linearization game, part 1

It’s starting to become a series of blogs, this color carbon project of mine. Not that I expected it to be easy, of course. Note the title of the first installment. I knew what I was heading into. And here we are, right in the middle of it all. Frankly, this is my least favorite part of a hybrid process: the struggle to get something that displays as e.g. 10% tone value on a computer screen to print as a 10% tone value on paper. In other words: linearization. Let me share my woes with you for a minute, while also briefly touching upon the topic of layer order and assembly of the color image.

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