Category Archives: Polymer Photogravure

"Well played!" whispered Monica.

I have been acquisitive of books on photography from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s for a few reasons. First and foremost is to get original source material on photographic printing processes that were not yet considered historical at the time. Second, I’ve been looking for images of vintage equipment and advertisements for use in […]

A Treatise on Photogravure

The Internet is a wonderful place. Really. I am carrying around on my vacation a 1974 reprint by the Visual Studies Workshop of Herbert Denison’s A Treatise on Photogravure (in Intaglio by the Talbot-Klič Process). It is available used at a price of $275 (for the reprint) at today, which may put it out of […]

Wash out

Let’s talk about washing out the Toyobo KM73 photopolymer plate. On Jon Lybrook’s recommendation I eventually purchased the Boxcar Press brush. Dianne Longley talks about any flat soft bristle brush being usable for washout. After constructing my own using taped together bristle paint brushes from Home Depot, I decided to buy the Boxcar brush. At […]

Paul Strand

I just finished watching the documentary Strand: Under the Dark Cloth. The commentary went “[Late in life] Paul Strand went to Ghana… where he used a handheld camera for the first time.” Yeah, what looks to be Graflex RB single lens reflex.  Cataracts waylaid him briefly in his old age but still he printed – […]

Printing the Crown Point Press Way

I’ve come down with something and am mostly staying warm and catching up on reading. Jon Lybrook mentioned in passing that Crown Point Press was having a sale, and that he really loved their books. I have to say, if it wasn’t for Jon’s whole-hearted recommendation I would, as a rule, pass up books whose titles […]


I spent this evening completing calibration of my polymer photogravure process. Using Mark Nelson’s PDN system I generated process correction curves for the Toyobo Printight KM 73 plates, Rives BFK paper and Charbonnel Universal Black. I was trading e-mails with Jon Lybrook over the course of the evening discussing Takach’s synchronized pressure system (I love […]

Early Morning is for Printing

I woke this morning at 6AM to catch up on printing, turned off the clock and slept for another hour. That said, at 7AM I went to my darkroom, trimmed a steel backed Toyobo Printight KM 73 photopolymer plate to size using a sturdy 18″ Dahle guillotine paper cutter (using the polymer plate on the […]

Polymer Photogravure – Closeup of the inked plate

The Toyobo Printight KM 73 plate is a steel backed photopolymer plate. It is used primarily in the letterpress industry for commercial applications. As the catalog on Anderson & Vreeland shows, the KM series comes in a variety of thicknesses, and the plate is harder after processing than other types of plate. The KM 73 […]

Starting with Polymer Photogravure

Forget my last post where I said I would be doing cyanotypes. That’s a story for another day. I got distracted doing some initial work at home with photopolymer gravure, or polymer photogravure, or photopolymer etching. This is a process I really want to get my arms around. Let’s start with some basics. Photogravure is […]