Renaissance Press Photogravure

Digital Negatives

For those of us that struggled or are struggling to match prints to a monitor I have information that might be a surprise and a relief.  It is impossible.  If you were to carry your monitor with you it would not match itself under slightly varying room light.  Most calibrated viewing boxes do not remotely resemble gallery, museum, home, or any other type of real world lighting.   No two hand crafted prints are the same.  Lay two prints next to each other in average room light that you believe are identical.  Switch their positions.  They will not look the same.  A printmaker should be able to accurately approximate what is seen on the monitor if that is desired, however a reflective print can not match a back lit monitor.  What I do not want to do is to compare a print to my monitor or an inkjet proof and try to squeeze my prints into the parameters of a medium of which they are not.  I prefer to let the monitor and over thirty years of studying, art making, printing, research and flexibility be my guides.  There is no best practice, best way, best paper, best conditions or best method of creating digital negatives.   The materials and techniques that work best for you are what is most important.

 I began using the inkjet film system I developed over twelve years ago.  The system incorporates Quad Tone Rip (QTR), a dedicated set of black and white Piezography inks, a measuring device and an Epson Printer.  I did not invent anything.  I conducted a lot of research and put together the best of what was available at the time together and have been using it ever since.  The system I use and teach is not the easiest, but it is far from difficult.  It does not come with a starter curve for you to tweak or automatic calculating software that makes things happen behind the scenes.  It does not involve complex math calculations.  It demands that you understand what is happening under the hood both with both the digital and the analog printing process.   This past spring (2018) my assistant Svava Tergesen and I worked for five weeks and tested a variety of recent calculators, equipment and methods of making film for contact printing in an attempt to simplify and enhance our work.  We used densitometers, an i1 spectrophotometer, an old Kodak Model 1 ($40.00 on ebay) densitometer and a very simple gray scale visual comparator.  The results are conclusive.  There are many ways to get really great results.  It will never be as simple as edit an image, push a button and generate film. 

Renaissance Press Workshops comprehensively cover the technique of making beautiful inkjet negatives and positives. The information is delivered clearly and concisely.  Detailed handouts accompany all workshops.  Post workshop consultation is readily available.  Private workshops are available throughout the year.

Contact Information

Paul Taylor
Ashuelot, NH 03441
tel. (603) 239-9990