1st Edition

Digital Negatives with QuadToneRIP Demystifying QTR for Photographers and Printmakers

By Ron Reeder, Christina Anderson Copyright 2021
    314 Pages 343 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    314 Pages 343 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Digital Negatives with QuadToneRIP is a text that fully explores how the QuadToneRIP printer driver can be used to make expert digital negatives. The book takes a comprehensive, Òunder-the-hoodÓ look at how Roy Harrington’s QTR printer driver can be adapted for use by artists in several different creative practice areas. The text is written from the Mac/Photoshop point of view.

    The book is divided into three parts. Part One is a step-by-step how-to section that will appeal to both beginning and more advanced practitioners. Part One includes quickstart guides­ or summary sheets for beginning students who want to jump into using QTR before understanding all of its functional components. Part Two addresses dimroom, darkroom, and printmaking practices, walking the reader through brief workflows from negative to print for lithium palladium, gum bichromate, cyanotype, salted paper, kallitype, silver gelatin and polymer photogravure, with a sample profile for each. It also includes an introduction to a new software iteration of QTR: QuickCurve-DN (QCDN). Part Three is devoted to contemporary practitioners who explain how they use QTR in their creative practice.

    The book includes:

    • A list of supplies and software needed
    • A summary QTR glossary with a simple explanation of how each function works
    • A sample walk-through to create a QTR profile from start to finish
    • How to linearize profiles with simple to more exacting tools
    • A visual guide to modifying functions
    • Quickstart guides for many of the workflows
    • Instructions for crafting monochrome, duotone, tricolor, and quadcolor negatives
    • Instructions for using QTR to print silver gelatin in the darkroom
    • Instructions for using QTR to print alternative processes in the dimroom
    • Instructions for using QTR to print polymer photogravure in the printmaking room
    • Introductory chapter to QuickCurve-DN software
    • Troubleshooting common QTR problems
    • Generic starter profiles for processes discussed
    • Contemporary artists: their work and QTR process.

    Learning how to craft expert digital negatives can be a bit overwhelming at the outset. Digital Negatives with QuadToneRIP makes the process as user-friendly as possible. Like other books in the series, Digital Negatives with QuadToneRIP is thoroughly comprehensive, accessible to different levels of learner, and illustrative of the contemporary arts.






    Chapter 1

    Getting Started

    Why QTR?

    How digital printers work

    Why two-part QTR profiles?

    Sample QTR workflow

    Installing QTR and Print-Tool

    Installing a profile

    Installing the Build QTR Curve tool

    Printing with the Print-Tool App


    Chapter 2


    Safety first!

    The digital workroom

    Computer with Photoshop and Lightroom

    Epson ink jet printer

    QTR and Print-Tool software

    Build QTR Curve software

    Transparency material

    The dimroom

    Stouffer’s step wedge (analog film)

    Digital step tablets/wedges

    Ultraviolet light sources

    Contact and vacuum frames

    Miscellaneous supplies

    Supplies, consumables

    Papers good for all alt processes


    Chapter 3

    Overview of QTR Vocabulary

    Chapter 4

    A Sample QTR Workflow

    Steps to Make a QTR Profile

    Determining basic exposure

    Using the Ink Pattern page

    Writing a Òbest guessÓ QTR profile

    Linearizing a profile

    Assessing actual prints

    Fine tuning with Gray Curve

    Chapter 5

    Linearizing a Profile

    Using a cell phone for image capture

    Using a scanner for image capture

    Linearizing by hand

    Linearizing using Build QTR Curve

    Linearizing using a densitometer

    Linearizing using a spectrophotometer

    Fine tuning your linearization

    Which linearization method is best?

    Chapter 6

    A Visual Guide to Profile Functions

    Sample overview of CurveView

    Toggling CurveView on/off

    Default (and other) ink limits


    Gray parts and inks

    Gray values

    Gray highlight

    Gray shadow

    Gray gamma

    Gray overlap

    Gray curve

    Copy curve commands

    Curving individual inks


    Chapter 7

    Quickstart Guides

    QTR Profile Terminology

    The Ink Pattern Page

    Calculating a UV Exposure Time

    Making a One Part Profile Step by Step

    Making a One-Part Profile for Silver Gelatin

    Making a Two Part Profile Step-by-Step

    Making a Two-Part Profile with Build QTR Curve

    Using Build QTR Curve to Linearize Profiles

    Linearizing a Profile by Hand

    Linearizing a Profile with a Densitometer

    Linearizing a Profile with Data-Tool

    Monochrome Negatives

    Monochrome Negatives for the B&W Darkroom

    Duotone (Warm/Cool) Negatives

    Tricolor (RGB) Negatives

    Quadcolor (CMYK) Negatives

    Chapter 8

    Troubleshooting QTR

    Curve installation issues

    Print-Tool issues

    Prints do not look as expected


    Sample Workflowsfrom Negative to Print

    Chapter 9

    Silver Gelatin by Doug Ethridge

    Quickstart to making a print

    Preparing an image for print

    Building a test file

    Preparing the computer

    Preparing the darkroom

    Deriving the QTR profile

    Setting the black point with exposure

    Setting the white point with ink load

    Adjustments for tonal separation

    Calculating the adjustment curve

    Fine tuning the correction curve

    Personalizing the curves

    Exposure and variable contrast

    One-part vs. two-part profiles

    Advanced Print-Tool tips

    Digital negatives for lith printing

    Quick review of papers

    Chapter 10

    Lithium Palladium

    Lithium palladium formula

    Lithium palladium over ink jet

    Chapter 11

    Gum Bichromate

    Stock gum Arabic

    Stock ammonium dichromate

    Stock color

    Making the gum print

    Gum QTR/Christina Z. Anderson

    Chapter 12


    The classic cyanotype negative

    Cyanotype 10/10 formula

    Coating the paper

    Exposing and processing

    New cyanotype

    New cyanotype formula

    Coating the paper

    Exposing and processing

    Chapter 13

    Salted Paper


    Papers to choose

    Processing solutions

    Silver nitrate solution

    1% gold chloride solution

    Paper salting solution

    5% salted water wash

    Gold sodium carbonate toner

    Alkaline fixer


    Salting the paper

    Sensitizing the paper

    Exposing, processing, and toning

    Chapter 14

    Kallitype by Don Nelson


    Safety first!

    Papers to choose






    Sensitizing the paper

    Exposing, processing, and toning


    Chapter 15

    Polymer Photogravure by Clay Harmon

    The two approaches

    Two-exposure method

    Direct-to-plate (DTP) method

    Tools, materials, software, digital files

    Print measurement device

    Plate calibration

    Install QuadToneRIP

    Direct-to-plate workflow

    Make a carrier for the printer

    Set up the printer

    Establish the matte black ink load

    Create a starter profile

    Refine the profile through iteration

    Two-exposure method

    Create a quadfile starter curve

    Determine screen exposure

    Evaluate the screen test

    Create a limited .quad

    Measure the 21-steps on the test print

    Print A6-StepTest again


    Chapter 16

    QuickCurve-DN by Richard Boutwell

    Technical notes and materials

    Transparency materials

    Printers and ink sets


    Light sources

    QCDN instructions

    Standardizing your practice

    Getting started

    Determining your base exposure

    Finding the blocking density

    Using the blocking density .quad file

    Printing the blocking density test

    Creating the starter curve

    Printing with the starter curve

    Measuring the print of the starter curve


    Loading the measurement data

    Smoothing the measurement data

    Manual curve control

    Saving the linearized .quad curves

    Confirming linearization

    Creative practice

    Creative process



    Contemporary Artists

    Chapter 17

    Contemporary Artists

    Harlan H. Chapman

    Martha E. Davis

    David J. Eisenlord

    Douglas Ethridge

    Kate Jordahl

    Sandy King

    Michael Puff

    Judith Roan

    Michael P. Rosenberg

    Keith Schreiber

    Bill Schwab

    Mark Severson

    John Foxe Sheets

    Ryan Stander

    Sam Wang

    Jeanne Wells

    Tom Wise

    Rebecca Zeiss


    Units of measurement

    Sources for supplies




    Dr. Ron Reeder (1939–2019) was a research molecular biologist, retiring in 2002 from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle at which time he devoted himself to a second career in photography. Reeder’s particular interest was landscape photography. In addition, he relished taking wildlife, portraiture, and still life. Reeder was the first to apply Roy Harrington’s QuadToneRIP software to the making of digital negatives and went on to author books on the subject. This book is Reeder’s third on the technology of making digital negatives using QTR and is a testament to his role as mentor of the photographers included in its pages.

    Christina Z. Anderson’s work focuses on the contemporary vanitas printed in a variety of 19th century photographic processes, primarily gum and casein bichromate, salted paper, cyanotype, and palladium. Anderson’s work has shown internationally in over 100 shows and 50 publications. This is her sixth book on alternative processes. Anderson is Series Editor for the Contemporary Practices in Alternative Process Photography series and Professor of Photography at Montana State University. To see more of her work, visit christinaZanderson.com.