Jon Lybrook - Art & Intaglio Prints
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Polymer Photogravure Printmaking Q&A

Jon Lybrook has posted his procedure for creating continuous-tone intaglio prints from polymer plates. Since 2006, many people have been helped by this procedure which Jon still uses professionally at Intaglio Editions ( Some of the questions he receives have been reprinted here with permission.

Polymer Gravure / Photogravure for More Photographic Intaglio Prints by Jon Lybrook

On 7/3/2011 5:57 PM, Pamela Congdon wrote:
> Hello Jon,
> I am a newcoming to Photoshop and Printing. You have provided an incredibly detailed description of how to create images for solarplate printing and I have attempted to produce one today. Trouble is I only have PSE8 and it doesn't have the depth of the full photoshop product.
> I did try manipulating the image with some of the automated tools, and it is possible that this will print up OK, but I wonder if this is the 'catch' when you buy the lesser product or if you know any better way to reach the standards you mention talk about.
> Thank you so much for going to this level of training. It is invaluable to me.
> Regards
> Pamela

Hi Pamela,

Thanks for your email. I don't have PSE8, so I don't know what features it has. The main thing is to be able to apply a controlled adjustment curve with multiple points and have the ability to fine tune as you test. The points allow you to map one density to another, to make up for the fact that transferring the image from film to plate causes some loss of fidelity and tone. As you test you'll see your whites may be too blown out, or perhaps your blacks are too dense and you are losing shadow detail. You want to have a way to adjust only certain parts of the image globally. Curves in photoshop is one of the best ways to do this. You can also manipulate the image directly, but by developing a curve that works well you can apply it to all your images and you're not stuck tweaking each image individually.

Automated tools, like "Auto-Adjust" will provide generic results. Who knows? You might get lucky and maybe it will work great for your purposes and taste, but in general you want to have more specific control to get optimal tone.

Best of luck with your process.

Jon Lybrook

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