Ink Blends / Split-Tones


#1

I’ve been happily printing / testing the Piezography Pro inks since their release. Luckily, I haven’t run into any technical problems, and am more than impressed with the prints.

I’m printing with an Epson 4800, the Piezo Pro Glossy ink set, and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta.

The ability to mix the ink tones at will is incredible, but with that many choices, it can get confusing. I’m wondering if anyone is interested in sharing their observations on ink tones and/or share their favorite blends. I’d love to come up with a close match for the K7 Selenium inks.

So far, I’ve noticed that the warm inks affect tone much more than the cool inks. I am pretty happy with 100% neutral, but I’m trying to fine tune it a bit. I’m currently leaning toward an overall print tone of 90% Neutral / 10% Warm, with a small amount of coolness added to the shadows (80% Neutral / 20% Cool).

Is anyone interested in discussing ink blends?


#2

Jim,

Glad you started this thread. I’m in agreement that the ability to blend the warm/cool inks in almost infinite ways is a really incredible feature of the PiezoPro system. And I also agree that this amount of choice can lead to some questions.

I’m still relatively new to Piezography (PiezoPro is my first real hands-on exposure) but I’m a long time B&W printer using ABW. I’ve been learning a lot over the last few months as I get my 7900 and the dual K4 system up and running.

One of the things that was a learning revelation for me is that the “Neutral” curve is nothing more than a specific blend of the Warm and Cool curves created by Walker with the Blender Tool. If you look at the Blender Tool you can see what controls are available when doing the blend, but basically Neutral is just 82% Cool and 18% Warm (whether that is true across the board for all master curves, I don’t know). You can also control the percentage of Warm/Cool within configurable bands of the 0-255 Luminosity range, but I have no idea what choices were made by Walker on those bands for the Neutral curves.

Having now learned how the Neutral curve was made, for me it raises a question of optimal workflow when it comes to finding a custom blend for a specific paper. In other words, which is the better approach:

  • Blend using any of the curves, including the Neutral curve, or
  • Blend using only Warm and Cool curves
Blending with the Neutral curve means you are blending on top of blending, and while technically this works just fine, I wonder if it means compromising on anything, e.g. overall smoothness, maintaining linearization after blending, etc. Blending with just Warm and Cool is more like how PiezoPro was conceived and therefore maybe better in some way.

So while I’m looking forward to finding my short list of blends and splits that I like on my papers, the open question for me first is about the best workflow for doing the blends, especially regarding whether to blend using Neutral or not. Walker, Jon, any comments on this?

Thanks, Dave


#3

Hi Dave,

Thanks for chiming in on this.

I’m also curious to know whether 82% Cool and 18% Warm to make Neutral applies in all cases.

If so, it may make sense to just vary those amounts slightly to taste.

At any rate since print tone is subjective anyway, I’ll just continue to play around and see what I like.