Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Photography & Printmaking: Part 2

Editors Introduction: Last week we had guest contributor Lindsay Appel introducing you to the world of printmaking processes that include photography. She covered the basics of screen printing, photogravure, and photoplate lithography (see Part 1 here). Today, we have Part 2 to this series that will cover two other lithographic processes for printing photos- polyester plate lithography, and stone lithography.

Printmaking can be a fun, alternative, and beautiful way to print your photographs, and there are many different ways to do so. The different techniques can produce different effects, and also in many cases allow you to combine both photography and drawing. Some of the techniques can be done at home with the proper set up, and can be hand printed, but most of these techniques will require the use of a printmaking studio and presses. If these techniques interest you, we suggest taking a class in your area to get a better understanding of the process and to have access to the equipment needed. 

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Left: Original photograph. Right: Photo printed from a pronto plate (1 color) with ink on paper. (Note that this image is also used below in the "Drive-in" scene and printed from a stone)



Print detail (from pronto plate)



 ..
Polyester Plate Lithography (also called Pronto Plates) is one of the easiest ways of printing photographs in the printmaking medium. The plates are designed to print images from a computer onto the plate by using a dry toner laser printer or copier. You can combine photographs and computer imagery, as well as drawing with the use of permanent markers or ballpoint pens. The plates do not require the traditional etching process- you simply print the image on the plate, process with chemistry, ink the plate, and print. The two main benefits of this form of lithography is that it's low cost and nontoxic.

You can choose to print a single color image, or a black and white image with the use of one plate, or you can also choose to print a color image using multiple plates with CMYK separations.

2 color lithograph (printed from two pronto plates)

2 color litho detail


Stone Lithography is simply lithography using a piece of lithographic limestone instead of a metal or polyester plate. The process of printing from a stone was popular in the 1800s and requires a detailed process for preparing and inking the stone. The basic principle is that the artist draws on the stone with an oil-based substance (such as a litho crayon), and the stone holds onto the greasy substance. When the stone is moistened with water (after processing the stone), the parts of the stone that don't have any of the greasy material will soak up the water. When oil-based ink is rolled onto the stone, the greasy areas pick it up and the wet parts do not. Then, your ink is transferred from stone to paper.

Like other processes, if you want an image with multiple colors, you will need different stones (with color separations) to print with (and need to have your image reversed since it will print a mirror image). The stone lithography process is one of the more time consuming litho processes, and takes a bit of strength to do so, since lifting the heavy stones (and grinding them to prep them) may be required.

Stones are reused, so the first step in prepping a stone is to grind and polish it, which removes the previous image and prepares the surface for the new one. While most stone lithography work these days are done by means of drawing or painting, photographs can also be used by transferring the photos to the stone before processing.

Pronto plate detail (scan of actual plate)- This plate was used to print photographs onto from the computer, and then some basic sketches (with a pen) were added to hold placement. The pronto plate image was then transferred to a stone to process and print from. Since there was a double transfer, from plate to stone and stone to paper, flipping of the image was not required.






Final print- Printed from a litho stone. After the pronto plate image was transferred to the stone, the image on the stone was then worked with adding and subtracting small parts of the image to get better details and tones (see in the screen area) by way of litho crayons and a razor blade.

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If you're interested in learning more about stone lithography, this article walks you through all of the steps from prepping and developing the stone, all the way to printing it.


Resources:
If you're interested in taking a printmaking class, you can search for them locally through colleges or universities, art centers, or printmaking studios. To get you started, here are a few places around the U.S. that offer classes-

* Crown Point Press Workshops- San Fransisco, CA
* Angels Gate Cultural Center- San Pedro, CA
* Kala Art Institute- Berkeley, CA
* Zea Mays Printmaking- Florence, MA
* The Savannah College of Art and Design- Savannah and Atlanta, GA 



all images © BlondeShot Creative

Friday, May 25, 2012

Featured Items of the Week

During the month of May, we will be posting a "Product of The Day" on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. These may just be great used items that we love, or items that have been recently marked down. On Fridays, we'll be posting a roundup of the items we've posted that week in a "Featured Items of The Week" post right here on the blog for those who may have missed them daily. 

...This week happens to be mostly Leica products, including some very rare items...


Monday- Leica M6 (original) Black (EX)
Tuesday- Leica M 40 F2.8 Elmarit-C Lens, Black Wetz Lens (BGN) (Rarity Factor: R9!! 9 is the most rare.)

Wednesday- Nikon Rangefinder 500 F5 IN CM Nikkor T Lens w/ L-F Adapter, hood, front cap, case (EX)


Thursday- Leica Digital S2-P 37.5 Megapixel Camera w/ 70 F2.5 Lens (LN-) ($26,995)

Friday- Leica M 180 F2.8 Tele-Elmarit (Viso) Lens (BGN) (Rarity factor: R8; only 250 made)


Free Shipping This Weekend!



Place an order of $100 or more of used photo gear and get free shipping via FedEx Ground to anywhere in the contiguous United States between Friday, May 25th and Monday 28th. Want to upgrade to expedited shipping or are you placing an international order? No problem! We will credit you $9.95 towards your shipping costs.   

+ Don't forget that we have recently lowered even more prices! It's a good time to buy to get a great deal on camera equipment, and the perfect time to get everything you need for your summer adventures, family vacations, and special upcoming photo shoots!
Visit us today at www.keh.com to start shopping, or if you'd like to speak to one of our knowledgeable, professional sales associates, please call 770-333-4200 to place an order during operating hours Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Photography & Printmaking: Part 1

Editors Introduction: Today we have guest contributor Lindsay Appel introducing you to the world of printmaking processes that include photography. She will cover the basics of screen printing, photogravure, and photo plate lithography. We also have a Part 2 to this series that will be up next week covering other lithographic processes for printing photos (stone lithography and polyester plate lithography).

Printmaking can be a fun, alternative, and beautiful way to print your photographs, and there are many different ways to do so. The different techniques can produce different effects, and also in many cases allow you to combine both photography and drawing. Some of the techniques can be done at home with the proper set up and can be hand printed, but most of these techniques will require the use of a printmaking studio and presses. If these techniques interest you, we suggest taking a class in your area to get a better understanding of the process and to have access to the equipment needed.

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Photogravure, by: Robert Brown *

If you’re like most people, the printmaking world may seem to be comprised solely of Warhol soup cans and the potato prints you did as a child. However, the reality of printmaking is that the options are endless. In the realm of photography, a varied array of printmaking techniques exist to enhance the beauty and depth of your photographs.

8 Color Screen Print by: Elizabeth Castaldo *

For the beginner, or someone who is looking for the most instant of instant gratifications, screen printing is your best bet. Although easier with a studio outfitted specifically for the process, screen printing can be done at home with a modest list of supplies, ample room to get messy, and ready access to a water supply. You can find a step-by-step tutorial here, complete with photos to guide you through the process. The basic idea behind screen printing is that a tightly stretched mesh screen is coated with photo emulsion, exposed to light and then pressure washed to leave behind a stencil of the image exposed. When ink is drawn over the surface of the screen, it is forced into the mesh openings and a print is made. When selecting your images for screen printing, it’s best to choose photographs or drawings with stark contrast, as some of the detail will be lost in compositions with more tone. Screen printing can be done on either fabric or paper, just remember to change the type of ink you’re using based upon the surface you’re printing on.

Screen Print, by: Eric Brown

Screen Print, by: Eric Brown

Photogravure, by: Kathryn Hartmann *

"I wanted to update the idea of a classic photograph into a modern piece of art while integrating one of the most classic processes of printmaking and photographic reproduction." - Kathryn Hartmann
 

Not for the faint of heart, photogravure is the ideal printmaking process for replicating your photographic images. In a (very small) nutshell, photogravure is an intaglio printmaking or photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which has been exposed to a film positive, and then etched in ferric acid, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a photograph. In layman’s terms, the photogravure process takes a photograph and turns it into a charcoal-esque, beautifully tonal, editionable image. While very finicky and highly detail oriented, photogravure is easily learned with the proper teacher and the right amount of desire and patience. For more in-depth information on the process, I recommend taking a look here.

Photogravure, by: Nate Kamp *

Photogravure, by: Shaun McCallum *
"For this image, the copper plate was reprocessed several times in multiple acid baths and printed layer by layer on thin sheets of Goyu paper." -Shaun McCallum

Photogravure, by: Robert Brown *




.
Another printmaking process that lends itself to photography is that of photo plate lithography. Positive working litho plates are aluminum plates coated with a photosensitive emulsion. When exposed to ultraviolet light through a film positive, the emulsion hardens and through further processing a positive image is revealed. Plate lithography, like screen printing, does better with higher contrast images and is ideal for artists who are interested in 4-color separations. These light sensitive aluminum photo plates offer a fast and easy way to create high quality lithographs with a minimum of processing, chemicals, and techniques required.
 
Hand-colored Photo Litho and Collage, by: Elizabeth Castaldo *
 

Resources:
If you're interested in taking a printmaking class, you can search for them locally through colleges or universities, art centers, or printmaking studios. To get you started, here are a few places around the U.S. that offers classes-

* Crown Point Press Workshops- San Fransisco, CA
* Angels Gate Cultural Center- San Pedro, CA
* Kala Art Institute- Berkeley, CA
* Zea Mays Printmaking- Florence, MA
* The Savannah College of Art and Design- Savannah and Atlanta, GA
 (Writers note: If you’re looking to invest in some focused printmaking education, SCAD-Atlanta offers minor, major, and masters programs in printmaking and occasionally features printmaking courses to the public via its Community Education program. I received my BFA here and managed the print shop for three years. The school does a great deal of photogravure, and has a wonderful teacher and Printmaking Chair, Robert Brown. *His and the work of some of his students are featured in this article.)


Contributor Bio: Lindsay Appel is a photographer/interactive designer living in Atlanta, GA. She divides her time between her art ventures, her band, and her backyard garden.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Featured Items of the Week

For the month of May, we will be posting a "Product of The Day" on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. These may just be great used items that we love, or items that have been recently marked down. On Fridays, we'll be posting a roundup of the items we've posted that week in a "Featured Items of The Week" post right here on the blog for those who may have missed them daily. 


Monday- Canon 500 F8 Reflex FD MF Telephoto Lens w/caps (EX+ and EX)



Wednesday- 35mm Slide Duplicator (Misc. Brand, reqs. T-mount) (LN, $10!)
Thursday- Olympus 75-150 F4, 2 touch 35mm MF Lens (BGN- $14, UG- $2.49!)
Friday- Contax 50 F1.7 Planar T* Lens (EX, EX+)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Photo Transfers: Comparing Surfaces

Photo-transfers can be a fun and alternative way to print your photographs on different surfaces. Today, I'm going to talk about photo-transfers to the surfaces of wood, canvas, and glass, and how the same process with different textured materials affects the finish printed image.

First, lets start with the process of photo-transfers for those of you who are unfamiliar...

You can start by either choosing the materials that you would like to print on, or by choosing the photos you would like to print and matching up the right materials with the right photo. I used a piece of craft-wood, canvas, and glass candle holders for the examples. Keep in mind that surfaces that are light in color will work better to show image detail and contrast. Other supplies that you need include: laser prints of photographs you want to use (they must be laser prints and not ink-jet or the process won't work), gel medium (can be found in the acrylic paint section at any craft store), a washcloth or towel, a paintbrush, and Mod Podge (you can use matte or glossy depending on your personal preference- I used matte) to seal your final image. 

Once you know the measurements of the surfaces you want to print on, print your images accordingly. Keep in mind; since this is a direct contact transfer, you need to print the image backwards so it will transfer properly. Use thin paper; regular cheap printer paper will work just fine.


When you have your image cut and ready, apply with your paintbrush, a thin layer of gel medium to the surface. Then adhere the image to the wood, glass, or canvas. Make sure there are no bubbles in the surface of the paper. I used an old gift card to flatten the paper out. Let your image transfer dry for 8 hours. 

 

Once the gel medium has set, you will use a washcloth or small towel to soak the surface of the paper. Do not drench the paper, but do make sure the whole image is wet.


Slowly peel the white paper back by rolling your fingers back and forth on the paper. This is the most challenging and time-consuming part of the project. Don’t rub too hard or you will lose parts of your image. If you let the paper dry just a bit, it is easier to see the white paper flakes that need to be rolled away. Keep carefully rolling until these flakes are gone. 

If you want a more distressed look, use the towel to remove the thin layer of paper and it will rub more of your image off. I did this with the votive candle holder and an old black and white family photo. 

 
Once you have removed all the white paper flakes, you are left with your final transferred image! Lastly, seal the image with a protecting coat of Mod Podge.


Comparing Surfaces:
I found that the images were changed by the transfer onto the different surfaces. Images that are higher in contrast look better on glass. Since the background is transparent and adds no tone, it is best to use an image with more defined tones and shapes. The glass is very smooth and therefore it was also very difficult to make sure that when I was rubbing the paper fibers, that I was not rubbing away important parts of the image also. 



The canvas was a very clean transfer but was also very difficult to make sure I wasn't rubbing off more paper than I should have. There wasn't a lot of color loss or changes to the image after transferring to canvas.



With the wood, I really like how the background adds a mid-tone to the print. The grain of the wood will affect the image, so make sure you choose an image that will be complimented by such a surface. The texture may also hold on to the paper flecks a bit tighter. Because of this, I think it looks very rustic and natural so the subject matter of the image should also be taken into consideration. I found that my favorite surface to work with to get the best-looking print was the wood.

With all of the surfaces there is a fine line between taking off too much image, and not taking off enough paper. In either case, keep in mind that your transferred images will have a unique quality to them , and will not look like they were printed directly on those materials.


- Kelly Latos

Monday, May 14, 2012

Win a Nikon D800!!


About The Nikon D800:
The D800 is built for today’s multimedia photographer and includes a groundbreaking 36.3M/P FX-format CMOS sensor, Full HD 1080p video at 30/25/24p with stereo sound, class leading ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 25,600, 4 fps burst rate and Advanced Scene Recognition System with 91,000-pixel RGB sensor. For cinematographers and multimedia professionals, 36.3 MP means true 1080p HD cinematic quality video and includes inputs for stereo microphones and headphones, peak audio meter display, DX crop mode to maximize NIKKOR lens selection and angle of view and much more.

This camera also has extremely low noise, incredible dynamic range, the most faithful colors, and in-camera image editing.

Plus, The D800 was awarded the 2012 TIPA Award for Best Digital SLR Expert Camera- “Well-built, but not too heavy, fun to use, and equipped with all the essential functions”.

About The Contest:

How It Works (Sorry, this giveaway is available for U.S. residents only. Please see official rules at the bottom of this post)

STEP 1: "Like" KEH Camera on FacebookVisit us at https://www.facebook.com/KEHcamera and click on the "Enter to Win/D800 Giveaway!" button under our profile cover photo.

STEP 2: Enter the drawingFill out the contest entry form with the required fields.
  
STEP 3: Share for extra entries!After you enter the drawing, you will be able to share this giveaway with others. Each of your friends that enters the drawing because of you will automatically give you an extra entry! (There are no limits to the extra entries you can receive, and you can return to our contest page at any time to check on how many referrals you’ve gotten.)
STEP 4: Bonus prize!
Once you’ve gotten 10 of your friends to enter the contest, return to our contest page and you will be able to “UNLOCK” our bonus prize drawing for a $250 KEH Camera Gift Certificate.
 STEP 5: Win On June 14, we will be selecting our winners by random drawing. After the selection, we will be contacting the winners to let them know that they have won. We will also announce our winners on our Facebook wall, as well as on the blog, so be sure to check our wall and your email inbox to see if you’ve won!

Rules and Eligibility Requirements
Contest ends June 13, 2012 at 7:00 AM EST. No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase a contestants chance of winning. U.S. residents only. Contestants must be at least 18 years of age to enter. KEH Camera will not verify receipt of entries. Incomplete entries are void. KEH Camera is not responsible for entries that are lost, late, misdirected, incomplete, incomprehensible, undeliverable or delayed. We reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value in the event that the original promised prize becomes unavailable. Grand prize valued at $2,999.95, bonus prize value is $250. The odds of winning will depend on the number of entries. Unless otherwise noted, all contests and giveaway prizes are awarded via random drawing. KEH employees and families are not eligible to win. Winners automatically grant the use of their name and likeness in the promotion of this and other KEH Camera contests. KEH Camera will not sell or distribute entrants personal information such as email and mailing addresses. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Nikon.


Have you read the above information? Then go directly to the entry form on our Facebook page HERE.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Featured Items of the Week

Over the next month, we will be posting a "Product of The Day" on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. These may just be great used items that we love, or items that have been recently marked down. On Fridays, we'll be posting a roundup of the items we've posted that week in a "Featured Items of The Week" post right here on the blog for those who may have missed them daily. 


Monday- Metz 60 CT-1 Handle Mount Flash (GN197)


Tuesday- Sunpak Platinum Plus Monopod with ball head (New and under $12!)


Wednesday- Sony H 70 Digital Point and Shoot, 16.1 M/P w/Cable, CD, B&C (LN)
Thursday- Tamron Adaptall 28-200 F3.8-5.6 Lens (New)

Friday- Olympus 28 F3.5 Lens (EX) [35mm but can be used on 4/3 or Micro 4/3 with the proper adapter!]

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Photos of the Month

All images submitted to and chosen from the KEH Camera Flickr Group pool. To view a photographers profile, click on the image to be directed to their Flickr page. 

Spring
Spring, by Istvan
Canon FD 85 1.2 L
Untitled (Canon FD 85 1.2 L), by Dave Fry
Beauty
Beauty, by Henry Chavez
Untitled
Untitled, by Kate Parker
Leisure.
Leisure, by Micah McCoy
Trees on a ridge, long shadows
Trees on a ridge, long shadows, by Alexander Kunz
Daisies on a Cliff
Daisies on a Cliff, by Ranie Dib
img008 copy
Untitled, by Will Harris
Untitled
Untitled, by Cole McDaniel
Jennie and Tommy
Jennie and Tommy, by Paul McEvoy