Sunday, September 6, 2009

Contact print with LCD monitor, a tailor made light source for film

Just initial a thread in Large format photography site, about  contact print
LCD monitor as VC light source for contact print
The biggest format film I made now is 4x5, not a good candidate for this, but who knows, maybe someday I will try 20x24.

What I am thinking of the contact process need a LCD monitor and a thin piece of semi-matt glass like ground glass.

you scan your developed film in very rough resolution, say 72ppi, just for viewing on monitor, then decide paper grade and pick correspondent RGB values, and make some dodge and burn and grade change in part area, all in soft paintbrush, now this is the light source specifically for this film, it can be saved as a data file.

Now is time for contact print, stack in order 1. monitor 2.light source data file open. 3 matt glass to diffuse pixel. 4.developed film. 5. Multigrade paper.

that's the idea.

complicated? yes for first time, but think of the large format contact print, I mean really big, a tailor made light source for it is worthy doing, especially for those difficult negatives.......

Yes my goal is to build a system that for large format film that do contact print as final output, no enlargement, like those huge size film 20x24. So I am looking a way that can do all the techs that on enlarger.

And not only it copy all the tricks you can have on enlarger, most important part is, it records and plays your tricks again, and again.....

For enlarger, you got light path as space for dodging and burning, you got VC light source to change grade, or area splitting prints......

So in traditional way, you utilize all these tools and tricks in darkroom, struggling to make a perfect print, finally it came out, fit your standard, and now you want to make a second print, you have to do those process again!

explore a way to make a perfect print is an creative challenge, but do the same thing again and again, is a hard labor work.

But if we use LCD monitor as a light panel, and through color control, area intensity control, we can do all enlarger does, all these can be precisely set in digit, and the greatest part is, these setting (color, intensity) can be saved as a file (through image software).

I treat this as
a tailored light source specifically for this film.

For the first perfect contact print, you need to play all the tricks, just like on enlarge, struggling to make a satisfying print, but after that, to make a second, third, of even years later you want to make the same print again, just use that light source file, it saves those tedious job for you.

Now is a digital era, but we insist on analog output because it is not replaceable, at least at this time, but we can take the advantage of digital tech, to make the creation process easier and consistent. traceable and has a record to discuss later.


Anonymous said...

Any progress in that? I just had the same idea today and after googling I found your blog.

Salihonba said...

not yet make it real, but I can figure it out as follow:
1. scan your negative in resolution as your monitor, let's say 120ppi.
2. open image in PhotoShop and add a 50% grey layer on it. 3.according your need, lighten or darken areas of the grey layer, by any tool.
4. add another 50% grey layer on top, change it into colors according the grade you want.
5. Hide the image layer, use top two layer as light source, make contact print.
6. Adjust if necessary

Here you see, a lot of experiments needed to be done before hand, like to test the RGB value vs. grade number; luminous value vs. exposure time, etc... there is a whole new system to build!!