Make Large Format Negatives from digital files

I encounter even film photographers on a regular basis who say they wouldn’t think of printing without the intervention of the computer. That doesn’t mean they all make inkjets; often it’s as simple as digitally optimizing or retouching a file, or creating an unretouched digital output at a massive print size. The only real drawback to digital printing is that it’s not analog. There are some great processes—particularly old-school alternative processes like cyanotypes, platinum prints and lith printing—that just don’t look the same by any other approach. For those, photographers can now use their HP Designjet Z3200 photo printers to create large format negatives that can be used in all sorts of non-digital printing. Care to make an 8×10 contact print of a digital capture in your chemical darkroom? Now you can. The software is free to use for Designjet owners (who are most likely to be serious professionals who can afford the $5000 device). Presumably photographers will begin to see their favorite labs and printing professionals also offering the service too. The only limit is the substrate size and imagination. I’m excited to see a resurgence in non-silver printing as photographers begin to once again explore alternatives to traditional silver and digital printing techniques. Read all about the Large Format Photo Negative application on HP’s web site.

Leave a Comment