Welcome

In this video course you will learn how to calibrate your digital negative in an easy and effective way so that you'll be able to make beautiful prints of your photographs.

COURSE OVERVIEW

click on arrows on the right to expand chapters

  • 2

    Standard Exposure Time

    • 01-a Preparing a strip test

    • 01-b Printing a strip test

    • 02-a Printing a Stouffer test

    • 02-b Evaluating a Stouffer test

    • 03 Additional knowledge, changing Standard Exposure Time

    • 04 Additional knowledge, why using the f-stop table

  • 3

    Digitizing a test print

    • 01 How to scan a test print

    • 02 How to photograph a test print

  • 4

    Printer settings

    • 01 How we choose our printer settings

  • 5

    Optimal Color Blocker

    • 01 Printing the HSB color negative

    • 02 Evaluating the test print

    • 03-a Editing with GIMP

    • 03-b Editing with Photoshop

    • 04 Creating a color Gradient Map

  • 6

    Paper White

    • 01 Verifying Paper White (how to get it)

  • 7

    Linearization

    • 01 Introduction

    • 02-a Preparing the step tablet negative with GIMP

    • 02-b Preparing the step tablet negative with Photoshop

    • 03 Making the first test prints with your process on paper

    • 04 Additional knowledge, what happens if you change a variable

    • 05-a Editing test prints with GIMP

    • 05-b Editing test prints with Photoshop

    • 06 Linearizing the negative

  • 8

    Verification

    • 01-a Printing a new step tablet negative with GIMP

    • 01-b Printing a new step tablet negative with Photoshop

    • 02 Verifying the linearization

  • 9

    Fine Tune corrections

    • 01 Creating the correction LUT for fine tuning

  • 10

    Preview calibration

    • 01 Exporting the LUT file

    • 02 Calibrating with Photoshop

  • 11

    Complete Process review

    • 01 From calibration to final print

Perfect Digital Negatives for Beautiful Prints


You need to know how to perfectly calibrate your digital negative to have the best results if you print in Alternative Photographic processes such as: 

  • Platinotype, 
  • Cyanotype, 
  • Van Dyke Brown, 
  • Kallitype, 
  • Salted paper, 
  • Chrysotype, 
  • Gum bichromate, 
  • Argyrotype, 
  • Carbon print, 
  • etc.


Decide how you like your photo during photo editing and have the print come out as you visualized it!

What you can expect

from this course

You will learn how to create a prefect digital negative that you will be able to use for alternative photographic processes (e.g. Platinum/Palladium, Cyanotype, Van Dyke brown, etc).

I will explain in a free video, that you can watch before buying, why digital negative calibration is desirable, the steps we will follow in the video course and the important factors for the calibration.

The course is designed in little steps so you are walked through one thing at a time. The order is clear and important. I explain with a specific video a new concept before using it during the calibration process, like for example how to scan or how to print. 

If you are curious and interested in details, you can dig into videos that I called Additional knowledge. 

We will use state-of-the-art free software available on the internet such as:

  • Easy Digital Negatives. We'll be using Gradient Maps or LUT files giving higher fidelity than curves. 
  • GIMP is an open source photo editing software that you can download and use for free if you don't have Photoshop. 
  • the Exposure Time Calculator, a very useful free tool contained into a spreadsheet.


There are lessons that talk about the same subject but using the free photo editor GIMP or using Photoshop (fully explained). They are named accordingly so you can watch those of your interest and skip the others.

Inside every lesson you find an area where to Post your questions. I will answer to every one of them.

You have granted unlimited lifetime access to all the course when you buy it, including future upgrades!

What you should know

before starting the course

You should already know how to print in your alternative process of choice. Although darkroom (dim-room) knowledge, such as how to coat evenly, how to develop correctly, etc. is not in the purpose of this video course, you will get useful tips and tools.  

If you are beginning to print in alternative photography, the Facebook Group Alternative photographic processes or the same online community hosted at AlternativePhotography.com are great places to join, to meet highly knowledgeable people who use all possible alternative photographic processes.

It is amazing what it is possible to do nowadays, nothing can stop you from learning and mastering the art of printing alternative photography!

What equipment you need

to calibrate digital negatives

  • UV lamp

    you must have a lamp (the best are UV LEDs or fluorescent UV tubes), unless you have a dosemeter that measures the quantity of UV during the varying exposure under the sun

  • Inkjet printer

    most printers can do the job but the best have pigment inks and allow you to change the ink density level, you can also decide to outsource the printing of your negatives

  • Scanner (or camera)

    a scanner is recommended, a simple one with manual (not automatic) scan, or you can digitize the test prints using a digital camera, or outsource the scanning service

  • Computer and software

    a photo editor such as Photoshop, or the free open source GIMP, or Affinity photo ...

  • Gray or color calibration card

    Needed when digitizing your test prints. You need to know its RGB or Lab values

At the core of this course

Preparing this video course took more than one and a half years for preparing, recording and video editing the lessons, together with creating the website on this platform. 

My previous experience making thousands of prints was indispensable to understand all the details, then doing a lot of extra testing to go into every detail on the linearization of a digital negative so to explain to you exactly now how to have beautiful and consistent results. Working and exchanging test results with a few professionals working in negative calibration was a great help, double checking all my work.

I was printing every day in 2016 using a basic way to prepare my digital negatives, I felt the need to upgrade my equipment (camera, UV print unit, etc) in 2017. I studied and used different calibration systems as a beginner including the basic adaptation of a digital negative described inside Cyanomicon by Mike Ware, I tested the QuadToneRIP calibration system for a short time (using PC there is very little to no support, and it works only with few Epson printers), I dug into Precision Digital Negatives by Mark Nelson and Easy Digital Negatives (EDN) by Peter Mrhar to become aware of many aspects of the process and finally create a clear workflow for my linearization to achieve perfect results. 

I have chosen EDN system tools to calibrate my negatives so that I could focus on the art of my photos without the need to do all the technical measuring, since with EDN you have:

  • free web based software usable with any operating system and computer and with any printer brand and type
  • evolved automated tools to create better correction curves
  • the best colorizing system for digital negatives (more on that inside the course)
  • up to date information and extra tools to become a better printmaker.  


After having studied different calibration systems and tested every aspect of them I have finally created this video course, a system for calibrating digital negatives that is the sum of all that knowledge and includes the correct practices for printing in Alternative Photography. It is not the video reproduction of one existing calibration system that you can find in a book, this video course is a unique guide by itself, straightforward and very effective.

I opened the video course to the members of AlternativePhotography.com before opening it to the public. Many of them helped me with great feedbacks that led to the fine tuning of this course. I was honoured to receive 5 stars reviews from those knowledgeable testers!


Social proof: Reviews

by confirmed users

5 star rating

It was revitalizing to attend the class!

Carol Gula

I have experimented with several procedures to produce digital negatives. Paolo has succeeded in putting all the bits and pieces together to form a concise p...

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I have experimented with several procedures to produce digital negatives. Paolo has succeeded in putting all the bits and pieces together to form a concise process with direct explanations, including visuals and evaluation of each step. I truly appreciate incorporating all of the Easy Digital Negatives software. Less time spent on the mundane with more time to be creative. https://www.alternativephotography.com/carol-gula/ https://www.cgula.com/p1042114716

Read Less
5 star rating

Straightforward with excellent examples

Wes Lindberg

I found this training to be very straightforward and easy to follow. Every step was explained with excellent example images and notes. The printing of a real...

Read More

I found this training to be very straightforward and easy to follow. Every step was explained with excellent example images and notes. The printing of a real image at the end is a desired bonus!

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5 star rating

Thorough explanation of the process

Geoff Chaplin

This is a very professional and complete course for those wishing to reproduce accurately the full range of tones in their alt process method

This is a very professional and complete course for those wishing to reproduce accurately the full range of tones in their alt process method

Read Less

Simple technique that leads to Beauty


In the image above you can see the results of my latest linearization for Arches Platine and classic cyanotype formula. I obtained a perfect linearization right out of the first test prints, that I could use for printing a new photo of my Macro collection, and from there on for all my future photos in the same process.

It is true that technique can be boring or complex sometimes, especially if reading it from a book. But it doesn't have to be so. In this video course everything is explained with plenty of examples to follow step by step, and you can always ask your questions directly if in doubt. The reward is learning how to obtain a perfect digital negative with a simple technique, without tweaking correction curves manually! This is not explained well in the books. 


Pricing

My policy is to offer the complete video course at the lowest price possible so that the widest public possible can enrol. You have granted unlimited lifetime access to the course when you buy.

Personal Assistance Bundle

personalized help in 4 hours package

Although this course is easy to follow and I am sure you can have great results by yourself, I offer you a Personal Assistance package to help you speed up custom calibrating your digital negative. I offer you the Personal Assistance package also in case you want to grow as a printmaker with your cyanotype prints. 

The price for a Personal Assistance package of 4 hours is €140,00.

If you buy it together with the course I offer you the Course+Assistance Bundle for €170,00.

You can safely pay via PayPal, VISA or bank transfer.  Please contact me via email at digital.negative.course@gmail.com to arrange a Personal Assistance package or Course+Assistance Bundle. 

Instructor

Paolo Saccheri

Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. I began at the age of 12 to freely investigate the world around me with the camera of my father. At the age of 26 I went to the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan and attended a course for photo-reportage and naturalistic photography. In the following years I worked for different photo agencies while beginning to know and use alternative photographic processes. My life in Lanzarote, where I live as a photographer and professional print maker, brings with it a transcendent impact that fully takes me to the blue of Cyanotype. Technical knowledge and passion lead me to an intense study of darkroom and dim room variables and the best practices to digital negatives.