Sunday Street: Piezography - Product & Process

April 14, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

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Piezography prints are easy to appreciate and understand when you see them - they look like the best dark room prints imaginable. Explaining how the process of making them is different from typical inkjet printing is more difficult. For starters, there are five different Piezography ink sets: Neutral, Carbon, Special Edition, Selenium, and Warm Neutral, plus a sixth Pro edition which supports creative control of the warm, neutral, and cool axes. Wait, where did everyone go? Let's use a few examples to illustrate.

 

Here is The Migrant Mother, printed (from left to right, top to bottom): Neutral Reference, Carbon ink, Special Edition ink, Selenium ink, Neutral ink and Warm Neutral ink. Which one do you like best? My favorite is the Selenium tone.

 

 

 

When you consider Piezography Pro, the possible variations are staggering because you can independently control the warm, neutral, and cool characteristics of the print.The sample images below (from left to right, top to bottom) illustrate a few of the many tone possibilities of Piezography: Neutral, Warm, Cool Neutral, Neutral Shadows with Warm Highlights, Warm Neutral, and Warm Neutral Shadows with Cool Neutral Highlights. 

 

 

 

 

One of the major differences in a Piezography inkjet print, compared to an OEM Black and White print, is the availability of numerous ink shades. Piezography uses seven shades of carbon based black ink, while OEM systems typically use only three, requiring dithering to make up for the missing tones. In a dithered image, colors that are not available in the palette are approximated by a diffusion of colored pixels from within the available palette. The human eye perceives the diffusion as a mixture of the colors within it. Dithered images, particularly those with relatively few colors, can often be distinguished by a characteristic graininess or speckled appearance. As a result, this graininess increases with the size of the print. while Piezography tones become more defined in larger prints.

 

 

 

 

Smooth graduated Piezography print shading is achieved from linearized curves made from 129 step targets.

 

 

 

 

 

The advantages of Piezography extend beyond the comparison to black and white OEM systems, exceeding the highlight and shadow detail of traditional darkroom processes.

 

 

 

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My inkjet results from Piezography printmaking are frequently mistaken for darkroom development. The multi-monochromatic tones and linearization of the image exceed, by far, what I have achieved with Epson Advanced Black and White inkjet printmaking.

 

See ya around,

Bob


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