Home-darkroom silver-gelatin prints from digital images

Started Apr 24, 2016 | Discussions thread
OP tim baker Forum Member • Posts: 79
Re: Home-darkroom silver-gelatin prints from digital images


Thanks for catching that. Yes, I meant about 900 pixels per screen height, not 900 per inch. If only! And I was talking about the then-typical monitor having 1080 vertical-pixel screens. Only 4x5 sized prints, 270dpi, would replicate the film/enlarger look to my critical eye when using that monitor. 8x10s with one-inch borders (6"x image--a rich matted look, actually--had 180dpi resolution. When handed to folks they assumed they were film/enlarger prints, never a comment about resolution, and even when the micro dot pattern was pointed out it had to be emphasized to be seen. Anything over 200dpi is fully acceptable to 99% of us.

... 411dpi...

"That is mathematically speaking much better scenario. The only concern here is the bit-depth of the screen itself because it ultimately determines the dynamic range. Yes, I know you would say you can HDR/tonemap the image on the screen yet it is not equal to how film handles highlights/shadows (and gelatin paper reflects it on print)."

Yes, film is king. But note that this system is not being asked to replicate film's range and tone curve. That was the digital camera's job. We're working from a digital image whose tone range and curve has already been locked in by the camera. Our job is to get the best possible print from what's handed us. And as it happens, if we have a full-scale image to work with, in "curves" we can create a full scale print, or replicate any grade paper, and more, we can adjust portions of the cure for local contrast adjustment, as we never could with film itself. The prints such a setup puts out are well superior to my film-era work, and I'm was a devout Zone System shooter. We're secretly in photographer's heaven.

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Tim Baker

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