Having published 4 books in the last 10 years and seen radical transformations in not only the printing process but also in the selling of art books I decided to record this audio blog for anyone considering publishing their own book whether using a full scale fine art press, publisher or an online printing service. See the example images below for specific examples that are mentioned in the audio. Also, please comment on printing services you have used with your thoughts as well as suggestions that may be of interest/ help to our community.
Here is a nice online marketing badge provided by Blurb, for Free, so people interested in your book can have a direct link to its page on Blurb (note that I have one here in the right side bar and also on stephenschaub.com. Included are book specifications, cost, delivery options and a 15 page book preview (this is an option that you can decide to do or not do…you should do it) that I feel really helps sell your book.
Every photographer has his or her own “nightmare” print story- some more than one! In this audio blog I discuss how I (Stephen Schaub) work through a nightmare print at Indian Hill Imageworks- give a listen!
Hariku Paper, “Cloud Dragon Paper”, as mentioned in the audioblog as well as the “Nightmare” Print.
Many of the camera systems I have used over the last 2+ decades have been either custom made or modifications to older systems to “fit” newer capture devices. If the option of custom lens mounts, custom lens caps and complete from the ground up camera systems is new to you then give a listen to this audio blog (click on the AUDIO logo) recorded December 2007 with Adam Dau of S.K. Grimes.
I have also posted (below) an image of my Hexomniscope Camera by Abelson Scope Works with its newest custom accessories…custom made lens caps (or perhaps I should say Pinhole Caps) and .1 spacer rings to allow different controlled positions for the pinhole made for me by Matt Abelson of Abelson Scope Works. For me and my works the OPTION of custom configurations and accessories is essential as I find the out of the box systems and accessories most companies offer miss the mark time after time.
Also, stay tuned for an exciting audio interview posted early next week with Matt Abelson of Abelson Scope Works.
I’ve been testing a new film recently, Rollei Pan 25 (120mm) processed in Diafine (3+3) and the initial results are quite amazing! The film does have a bit of a nasty curl to it when dry but nothing a glass carrier or oil mounting for scanning won’t fix… Here is a sample image I made using this film (shot on a 1960 Rollei TLR “F” at f/11 at 1/8th, exposed at BOX speed 25!) as well as two detail crops…just click on the thumbs to get an enlargement.
Note: Z= Zone. Also, the usable dynamic of this film is huge…I have great shadow detail down into Zone II (easily) and the highlights are very clean with nothing blocking up and the grain is almost impossible to find!
The final full size image is 20.7″ x 20.7″ at 360dpi (optical scan resolution 3200, 16Bit). It is important to note that NOSHARPENING was applied in scanning or in post processing and NONOISE REDUCTION has been applied either…the file is au naturale! I will continue to refine this film/ process over the next few days followed by testing of Efke 25 and then a final comparison between Rollei Pan25, Efke 25 and Kodak Technical Pan Film (I have quite a bit of frozen Tech Pan). All images and tests will be shot on 120mm film. Stay tuned!!
Finally part 2! Here are some sample images made on my M7 Leica and my Rollei 2.8 (F – 1960) using Fuji Acros at an EI of 160.
The two square images of course were shot with the Rollei (120mm) and the hand and zipper image was made with my Leica M7. Full size the Rollei images are 18″ x 18″ (142MB, 16 Bit, Grayscale, 120mm Negative, 3200 dpi scan) and the hand and zipper image is 16″x 24″ (160MB, 16 Bit, Grayscale, 35mm Negative, 6300 dpi scan). The detail crop of the zipper represents approx a 3″x4″ section of the larger 16″x24″ print…amazing!
Here is how I processed it…
Fuji Acros 100…EI 160
Diafine Developer at 68-72 F
Part A 4.5 minutes (two inversions every minute…gentle.)
Part B 4.5 minutes (two inversions every minute…gentle.)
Water Stop 1 minute Fill and Dump (68-72 F)
Fix Kodak Rapid (5 minutes)
Wash 1 minute running water (68-72 F)
Perma Wash 1 minute constant agitation
Wash 5 minutes (65-75 F)
For more information on the process and testing conducted please listen to the audioblog link below….
TIP– When your developer starts to get dirty…say after 30 plus rolls just run it through a coffee filter to “clean” it…use a different filter of course for each solution.
This is a test in progress post but I feel really good (and excited) about my results so far and wanted to share…
Here is a difficult test image (huge dynamic range) shot with 35mm Acros 100 (Diafine EI 200) with my Leica M7 and a 50mm F1.4 Sumilux at F8.
The processing is very different than suggested on the box or in previous posts- I will be posting the developing “how to” after this weekend as I want to run just one more test. The full size image which was scanned at Indian Hill Imageworks on our Imacon at 6300 dpi, fluid mount, 16 Bit is 24.5″ x 16.2″ (optical resolution). The crop image is a 2.5″ x 2.5″ section of this larger file…do you see the bent nail?! The large file link at the bottom will download a scaled down version (Approx 10″ x 6″ @ 360, 8 Bit) so say around 8MB uncompressed (best for high speed users only) will give you an idea of what is possible with the incredible combo…the full file (98MB) is amazing.
OK, this is a quickie. I’ve been running some tests here at Indian Hill Imageworks to determine if using contrast filters such as:
Light Yellow 021
Light Red 090
Yellow Green 060
would cause a problem with this awesome film/ developer combo. Answer: NO. I personally like no filter or a ND if I’m shooting in bright light (remember TX in Diafine has an EI of 1250 to 1600 so unless you like F22 at 1/1000th its ND (Neutral Density) or Contrast Filter time!) I love the full gray tones of this film/ developer combo and find the “straight neg” is the easiest to scan and get every bit of tonality.
NOTE: On the Light Red 090 just be very careful with your shadow placement.
As promised here is the next installment in the ongoing exploration of Diafine Developer and TX. In these videos hybrid artist and master printer Stephen Schaub (The Leader) discusses scanning techniques, color management considerations and Photoshop techniques to maximize your Diafine processed TX negatives!! (Please note that due to a time limitation on Youtube the video has been broken into two parts so be sure to watch BOTH videos!!)
Stay tuned for part 3 of the Diafine and TX saga early next week on the Figital Revolution!
If you’re like me you’re always on the lookout for a great black and white film/ developer combo for scanning. I’ve tried many different films and developers and then recently stumbled upon the great marriage of Diafine and TX (Kodak Tri-x)…my new standard. Watch the videos below to learn more about this dynamic combination and for tips on proper processing techniques as well as a few quick tips on scanning black and white negatives. Be sure to also check out my sample pictures under the videos to see just how good it is. (Click on the images for a larger view.)
Please note that due to YouTube 10 minute video limit I had to break this 12 minute discussion into two parts. (Be sure to watch both videos!)
This image illustrates the huge dynamic range possible with TX and Diafine. In this example TX was rated at 1600, 35mm. (Check out that shadow detail!)
This example is TX at 1600 in low flat lighting…the full print size is 16″x24″ and the crop is a 4″x6″ section out of the full image area. Film size: 35mm
This example and the close up represent TX at 1600. The final image size (print) is 16″x24″ and the crop represents a 3″x3″ area of the final image at full size. Remember…this is TX at 1600 in 35mm!!
Processing Information for Tested Films:
Fuji Acros 100 EI 200 70-75 5+5 (Best choice for really big enlargements and where an EI of 200 is ok.)
TX EI 1250-1600 70-75 3+3 (My personal favorite and my new everyday film. I also keep an ND filter with me (.9) for the bright afternoon light and just remove it as the day ends so I can shoot this film all day long on my M7 with no worries!)
All chemicals are mixed with distilled water. Processing is done by hand with stainless steel tanks and reels.
I will be posting Part 2 in a few days which will cover my scanning techniques (specific and general) as well as basic file handling. Part 3 (next week) will focus on the final print and have a demo (yes another video) on hand coating your own paper for inkjet. Stay Tuned!!
For a quick audioblog on my printing techniques and my thoughts on tonality just click on this link: A Fear of Gray
All images and video Copyright Stephen M. Schaub 2008
Just in case you haven’t heard…that wonderful instant Polaroid material you’ve used for years is about to be no more! That’s right: Polaroid has announced that it will stop production of its instant materials at the end of this year. There have been rumors that Fuji and Ilford may be interested in the technology but to date nothing has, er, developed. Here is a link to a great interview from NPR on Polaroid and reflections by several artists who use this material for the artworks including Chuck Close. (Just click on the AUDIO logo.)
Having worked with Polaroid materials for several of my own artwork projects from my Through A Glass Darkly series and Book, The Haiku Series, The Sakura Porfolio and my Encaustic Cycle as well as also being collected in the Polaroid Permanent Collections as one of their featured artists I find this news of a once-great icon in photography closing shop very, very disturbing for the future of our creative medium.