Work in progress.

Steps (3)



Playing again – actually I am experimenting with making digital negatives that I can contact print in the darkroom using conventional gelatin silver paper.

For those that don’t know this technique;  it involves printing an image onto ‘overhead projection film’ as a negative, then contact printing this ‘negative’ onto traditional photographic paper by sandwiching both under a sheet of glass and exposing under the enlarger.

The negative is created in Photoshop by inverting a fully processed curves adjusted image; this adjustment is needed to compensate for the difference in tonal range between the screen image and the printing paper being used. The image is then printed onto OHP film at any size one chooses and can then be used like any other large format negative.

It has been used by some for a number of years now, but new for me – I am always slow catching up with these things 🙂


14 thoughts on “Work in progress.

    1. Thanks,
      I need a supply of good OHP film (Pictorico Premium OHP Transparency Film is/was some of the best) I find its a compromise between its ability to hold enough ink (good D-max) and not much; if any, grain.
      My usual problem being here in Oman is postal costs, so will play with what I can find until I ‘sweet talk’ 😉 more of the good stuff from UK.
      But it does open a whole new dimension for me, especially with the D800.


  1. Looking forward to seeing the prints from your digital negatives, David. It’s great that Photoshop can be used in this way. I’ve had a lot of fun printing platinum prints with digital negatives and currently I’m getting to grips with cyanotypes.

    1. Looking at the work you have on your site Simon, it will be a while until I get anywhere near as good with digital negatives for them to see the light of day.
      You are right though, it’s a whole new adventure using Photoshop in this way.


  2. I’ve read about this but never tried it and anyway I’ve given away my enlargers. Do you find a significant quality difference from inkjet printing?

    1. Given the right OHP film and getting the curve adjustment right, quality is almost indistinguishable from a good film negative; so it’s the paper and tactile quality in the end. Ho, and the fun aspect 🙂
      When it comes to actual quality, subjective…… with pigment inks on good paper and especially when behind glass, it’s impossible to tell the difference. Dye-based inks on the other hand are not so good for B & W, but colour I think is better (with the exception of dye transfer printing) as I’m sure you’ve seen yourself. There has been a massive leap in choice of materials and printers in the last couple of years, so for me it’s more a case of what I want out of photography.
      It is just like the vinyl or CD/FLAC file question (note I don’t include MP3 which was/is a travesty) – which is better? a minefield 🙂
      Then again it could all be just age and what I am happy with………..
      Sorry, a long answer – the internet is great but I do think sometimes that this sort of question needs a glass or two of wine and a long conversation.


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