Re: homemade film negatives
I've had to tackle your questions in parts. Sorry about that. But you
do pack a lot of different queries into your posts.
I don't quite follow the first paragraph here. What those numbers mean
in techical terms I'm not sure I can relate to you in any way that
would make sense. But the transparency/translucency needs to be not
more than .05 maximum opaque. Not sure this is the correct way to put
it but just trying to relate it to your question.
I'm not sure about this darkroom stuff but maybe. One of my
ex-students is a photographer and brings in negs he has made and they
always look ok. And there has been no trouble with the plates. Next
time I see him I'll ask how he does it. I doubt he is running beyond
1200dpi. He's likely tricking it up somehow.
In regard to the Xerox machines, I have heard good things about them,
but haven't seen anything.
In a previous post you asked about thinness vs thickness of film in
regard to exposure. I'm not exactly familiar with this enough to know
if there is a significant difference that would be caused by film
variance. But you seem to be running some very short exposure rates.
How did you come up with those? The exposure rate would be something
more related to plate thickness/imaging configuration I'd think.
Basically the best results for thinness of imaging and deep relief
seem to be minimizing the exposure in relation to maximizing the
washout. You just have to experiment with the ratios. Push these too
far and it goes down the toilet.
--- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Ludwig M. Solzen"
> Thanks a lot for the useful information. What do you mean with a
> density of .05 at transparency"? That is a maximum of 4.05 or 5? Ordoes it
> indicate that the film, transparency or whatever translucent filmmaterial,
> should have itself a maximum opaquaness of 0,5, that is in the uncoveredabout
> parts, so as to transmit the UV?
> The suggestion of Timbenas seems promising to me. I already thought
> making photographic film negatives in the dark room, starting from alaser
> transparency. One could output at a resolution of 600 dpi, but ate.g. 200%,
> afterwards, in making the contact film, reducing with lenses back to100%,
> in order to have a more crisp and clear result in the end. I am alsosolid ink
> thinking about acquiring a 2400 dpi laser printer, such as Xerox's
> Phaser. Has anyone an opinion about the Xerox?
Your today's question somehow relates to the small discussion we had two
months ago, on June 18th19th, regarding bookwork. I wrote some extra
remarks at that point, but didn't bother to send them through after all,
because I thought my personal feelings are of too less relevance to the
group's interests. But while you ask again Since my entry into this group,
I joined in several discussions of very different sorts. Apart from
technical matters, I think it's a good thing, too, to consider once and a
while the precise nature of one's activity, its causes, means and all
personal motivations involved. I am myself however still a newcomer in the
field of digital letterpress, and thus feel somewhat annoyed in putting my
perhaps unrealistic visions into the forefront. Please tell me when I
exaggerate things and put too much youthful vigour or polemics in these
atavistic observations of mine. But please, do not speak of an "older
generational activity". Fine press publishing and more ore less
bibliophilistic bookwork is the province, not of age, not the hobby-horse of
aging midlifers, but of taste only, good taste that is, and the intellectual
refinement of man as such.
RE: [PPLetterpress] letterpress and the market
Do not understand me wrong: I am myself an enthusiast admirer of those
splendid books designed for the NY Limited Editions Club, by such
outstanding book artists as e.g. Jan Van Krimpen and Bram De Does. But I ask
myself what other purpose such editions serve, but the pleasing of wealthy
bourgeois bibliophiles who are disappointed in the exclusivity of their
collector's item if the edition runs over 146... This is what I call
snobbery. Books, in the first place, are meant to be read, not to be put
away on mahogany bookshelves. There are more people between heaven and earth
that like to read, than are dreamt of in the capitalist logic of a retiring
speculator that thinks of himself as a cultivated man of letters.
There are some other issues at stake. Suppose you're a publisher of fine
press books. The surest investment is the edition of a classic, of whose
texts there is by preference no fine press edition already. The offset of
such an edition is almost certainly guaranteed, since bibliophiles won't
bear to miss a fine edition of e.g. T.S. Eliot in their collections. The
problem is that if publishers would do only classics, the work of still
unknown authors will remain in oblivion. Publishers of trade editions take
popular (i.e. selling) authors only, and if fine press publishers would do
so as well, the prime task of the publishing world will be shamefully
neglected, that is, the divulgation of literature that is worth to be read.
It is no use to have a paperback of The Four Quartets in your personal
library, besides a fine press edition of the same poem. But it is meaningful
to have T.S. Eliot in a trade edition that is already available, along with
the edition of a young contemporary poet, of whose work no commercial
publisher endeavours an edition. As a consequence of this, contemporary
authors that do not share the fame of their classic predecessors, must
always reckon on a limited edition of their work, because commercial
publishers of trade editions will not take the risk. Such an edition is
'limited' not by snobbery motives, but because of the sheer fact that the
reading public in this particular case is limited.
One might use the notion "samizdat" for this sort of literature that escapes
the channels of the established market. In the USSR that market was
controlled by a political censure; in our day and age the market is
controlled by the commercial benefits of huge publishing enterprises. I do
not know about the situation in the US, but in my home country, we are for
several decades in need of a true literary publishing house. The book market
is controlled by two or three esteemed publishing houses that make or break
an author. Their representatives are in the committees that decide about
literary prizes and awards, they are in the official boards that decide
about governmental subsidy &c. Contemporary debuting authors are hyped, or
left into the shadows, according to the wimps of the literary mafia. And
here we confront a new type of political censorship: authors who adhere to
classical standards and who will not comply to postmodernist aesthetics or
deconstructionalist ideology are considered conservatives or even worse:
Publishing the work of such modern day samizdat authors, by necessity will
bear upon limited editions. Since we are dealing with limited editions,
letterpress, to me, is the most adequate printing method. The runs are
small, but not too small, and the added value of its beauty will likely
encourage the buying public to take the risk of its investment.
But yet another consideration. Perhaps using such expressions as 'samizdat'
and 'young contemporary poets that are neglected by the established
publishing world' makes you think of debutants dreaming of recognition and
estimation, but who are in fact amateurs without talent. The offspring of a
spoiled generation that takes the bibliophilistic publication of its
squiggles for granted, used as it is to waste money rather on plastic
compact disks than on the pocket books it gets for free together with a
throw-away glossy magazine... I must confess I had similar feelings when I
visited the Minnipressen-Messe in Mainz this year. This so called "book fair
of private presses" has a long and revered tradition and its mission
statement sounds very appealing: the support and promotion of "den kleinen
und kleinsten Druckereien und Verlagen, auch Minipressen genannt, deren
Produktion in öffentlichen Bibliotheken und Archiven erfahrungsgemäß nur
schwer Aufnahme fand. Entweder wurden die geringen Auflagen gar nicht
bekannt, oder aber als 'Alternativliteratur' nicht zur Kenntnis genommen."
However, the present-day reality is that the Messe was crowded with
arty-farty hobbyists showing their linocuts and pubescent rhymes in
elaborate presentation folders, printed of course "by hand" in "limited
edition artist books". And these "private presses" stood shoulder by
shoulder with marginal copy shop publishers of anarchist propaganda,
promoters of macrobiotic food and yoga. One of the graphic artists I spoke
with, called his colleagues "Bastler", which is German for
"do-it-yourselvers". Gutenberg's home city once stood for fine book work and
serious publishing. Sic transit gloria mundi...
On each occasion I visited expositions of letterpress and bibliophile work,
it has always been my sad experience that letterpress seems to have come
into the poor hobby-craft realm of self-declared artists and authors. That's
yet another reason why I am personally fed up with such notions as "limited
edition" and "bibliophile press work". Is it the inevitable fate of
letterpress indeed? I recall that I like myself beautiful typography on
broadsheets, invitation cards and so forth, even with deep impression on
rough surfaced, moulded or hand-made papers. But such beauties one day were
called "Akzidenzen", and the general expression for letterpress, in German,
still is "Buchdruck".