Mark I. Nelson Bio
Mark Nelson, a photographer and master printmaker, working with platinum/palladium and photopolymer gravure processes, lives in Elgin, Illinois. He teaches workshops in both processes using the Precision Digital Negatives/Positives System, which he developed. These two processes provide a very broad palette to the artist/printmaker and are believed to be two of the finest printmaking methods available ever invented.
Most recently, Mark was a beta tester for the Hahnemühle Paper Company as they developed their Platinum Rag Paper, the finest paper available for Platinum/Palladium printing and many other Alternative Photographic Processes.
Mark was also the only beta tester for Mitsubishi in the development of they Ultra Premium Pictorico Film, which is Mark's personal choice for crafting his digital negatives.
He often tutors advanced photographers in their studio and creates “turn key” systems for printing these processes with the Precision Digital Negatives System. Mark has taught hundreds of artists his PDN workflow, including: Dick Arentz, Christina Anderson, Sam Wang, Sandy King, Josephine Sacabo, David Michael Kennedy, Beth Moon, and Brigitte Carnochan. He is often consulted for his expertise by master printmakers and has worked on special projects, including works by Sally Mann and Flor Garduño.
Mark has a really great approach to Platinum/Palladium printing that takes the guesswork out of the process. This gives the photographer a great deal of control over printmaking.
Mark has developed the Precision Digital Negatives system for making digital negatives and is author of Precision Digital Negatives for Silver and Other Alternative Photographic Processes. He created and wrote Curve Calculator II, the best possible way to easily generate curves for alternative process negatives or positives, and has also designed his own 31 step tablet. The Precision Digital Negatives Aquatint Screens are considered the best available. Mark tested over 20 formulas for Aquatint Screens before finally designing the Coarse, Medium and Fine Aquatint Screens he sells. These items are available on his website at: www.PrecisionDigitalNegatives.com.
Marks photography and writings have appeared in a number of magazines and books.
Mark is a knowledgeable teacher and problem-solver, whose patience and persistence allows even the most non-techie of artists (like myself) to grasp the principles of his process and to create images true to their artistic vision. It is a gift. —BRIGITTE CARNOCHAN
for more information.
I am currently scheduling private, one-on-one or small group workshops (1-3 people) on Crafting Custom Digital Negatives for beginners and advanced students. These workshops are usually at least 3 full days (depending upon the persons needs) in my home in Elgin, Illinois—just 20 minutes from Chicago's O'Hare airport. Private workshops are becoming very popular, so please contact me in well in advance if you are considering scheduling one.
I teach the PDN system with Platinum/Palladium and use Na2 as the method of contrast control. My workflow for Palladium printing is almost foolproof and produces beautiful, flawless prints. The outcome is very predictable and repeatable.
I provide all the materials, chemistry, and paper. The participant need only bring negatives or RAW camera files to work with. I scan with an Imacon 848 scanner and have a variety of printers to output negatives.
For beginners, I cover the entire book and usually the participant goes home with 5 or more very nice prints and a very concrete understanding of how to implement the PDN system at home with their equipment.
For advanced students, I cover methods of manipulating the negative and chemistry to achieve superior prints that match your vision. This also includes shadow printing, high key printing, print adjustment using a variety of hybrid curves, double hybrid curves and more amazing techniques!
I will also review portfolios and help the participant troubleshoot images that they have found difficult to print.
For advanced professional fine art photographers, I am also doing private workshops in their studio. The focus of these workshops & consultation is to assist them in the transition to digital negatives or to improve their capability with digital negatives in their own studio workflow. There are real advantages to being able to reproduce fine art work consistently and quickly in order to meet the demand for museum quality prints. You might call this a Turnkey approach to getting the most from digital negatives. I have worked with such artists as Dick Arentz, Josephine Sacabo, Beth Moon, Brigitte Carnochan and others.