New Technique


Troll Extraordinaire
Mar 15, 2005
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San Francisco
Can others edit my Photos
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I've developed what I believe is a new technique in the "digital darkroom" world. I call it PEIL, for Photo Extrusion Ink Loading.

It all began when I was doing my grayscale calibration of the Epson 2200, and customizing ICC profiles for specific ink and paper combinations. If you're unfamiliar with this stuff, I'm basically talking about a "photo black" and a "matte black" ink cartridge, and Gloss, Semi Gloss, or Matte Paper. My prints are done on Ilford Galerie paper. The technique itself seems to work equally well on Epson papers, but with a noticeably greater degree of metamerism (for all black and white prints in my opinion). I noticed that occasionally, when printing photos on semi-gloss paper (or smooth pearl in this case) that had very dark sections, I would get this strange overloading of ink onto the paper. The normal course of action here would be to drop the dot count so that doesn't happen, but I was intrigued. The overloading causes ink to build up in certain spots on the photo. Looking at it dead on, it looks perfectly normal, but from other angles it creates an almost holographic image, adding three-dimensional perspective to those particularly darkened areas. To make a long story short, with a lot of toying around, I eventually came up with custom profiles and print settings that allow me to load ink onto certain parts of the photo, so that I can control the "extrusion" as I call it. The result is a really, really interesting photo, the characteristics of which are unlike anything i've ever seen that's been intentionally produced to look that way. All in all, the technique seems to work best with semi-gloss paper and matte black ink, though it will work with photo black, depending on how you outline the loading process in your print settings and profiles. It does not work on matte paper, and I'm still doing testing on gloss paper, though I believe i can achieve some good results using matte ink on gloss paper if I play with it long enough.

I'm sure that some people (if not a number of them) have experienced this "problem," so to speak, with their pigment-based inkjets. I've taken that problem and turned it into an intentional, and I believe new, digital printing process. Correct me if I'm wrong to claim to be the first person to do so. Otherwise, I'm kinda proud, because the photos are really cool looking.

I'll try to snap some shots of the PEIL prints from different angles with a point-and-shoot, and post them up here so you all can see the technique.

Here is what the printed photo looks like dead-on:


These shots don't do the real life effect justice, but they should give you some idea of what it looks like from certain angles:


Why did you (whatever mod) move this thread? It's neither a question nor an answer to anything. It's an alternative process. :x
Yep, I know exactly what you're talking about. Epson swears their *less than superior* B&W printing problems have been addressed with the addition of the light gray pigment in newer models. (I think it's a gray ink, anyway, they might be calling it light black.)

Glad you were able to find a way around the problem! It's not what I consider an alternative photographic technique, so I moved your thread to the Photography forum where you can get some more views.
The Epson 2200 does, in fact, use light gray/black. I dont really have much of a problem with the thread being in this section, but how is this not an alternative process? The normal digital printing process is to achieve print accuracy. This is intentionally exaggerating a side effect to produce something completely opposite.
An alternative photographic process, in the strictest sense, has next to nothing to do with digital photography. Using a pinhole camera, shooting HIE film, working with Polaroid film, or doing lith or bromoil printmaking - these are the processes, and more, that fit the description.

What you were describing is a way to have overcome a challenge with a very good printer that has given less than desirable results with its black tonal ranges. I use the same printer at home but only for color prints for that reason.

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