Digital Negatives with QuadToneRIP : Demystifying QTR for Photographers and Printmakers book cover
1st Edition

Digital Negatives with QuadToneRIP
Demystifying QTR for Photographers and Printmakers

ISBN 9780367862299
Published October 30, 2020 by Routledge
314 Pages 343 Color Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $11.39
was $56.95
USD $45.56

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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.

Table of Contents






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



View More



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