I must say I was blown away! This method is everything that I have been preaching and more so!
Phil was kind enough to review the eBook for technical correctness—Mark, first let me congratulate you for having conceived and produced an ingenious control procedure for producing digital negatives. I’m impressed by both the concept and the thoroughness of your documentation. The palladium print made with the Precision Digital Negative process is gorgeous. I don’t see any way a silver negative could do a better job, in fact it would be hard to match this quality with a normal negative.
SANDY KING, educator, writer, photographer and master carbon printer:
I have used Mark Nelson’s PDN system for making digital negatives for printing with several different processes, including carbon. PDN has many advantages over other methods for making digital negatives, the most important of which is that it can be calibrated precisely for any process and printer output. Other popular methods for making digital negatives produce generic curves that work well enough, but without the flexibility and precision of PDN.
Another advantage of PDN is that it allows one to adjust the curve to exploit the full potential of a process to produce maximum possible Dmax in the shadows while still retaining texture in the highest highlights. Most of my work is done with large format cameras but my experience in almost every case is that I can make a print with greater Dmax and a wider range of tones by scanning my in-camera negatives and making a digital negative with PDN. The consistent printing qualities of digital negatives made with the PDN system has allowed me to be much more productive with a time-intensive process such as carbon.
I congratulate Mark for an outstanding system that has greatly facilitated my own work and has the potential to do so for many other photographers.
SAM WANG, Photographer and Photographic Educator at Clemson University:
I would compare Precision Digital Negatives to Phil Davis' Beyond the Zone System for film negatives. Both systems help free the serious worker from technical uncertainties so that creative energies may be spent on expressions instead.
AMY GEORGE, Photographer and Photographic Educator at Stephen F. Austin State University:
I was so impressed with the PDN system that I am now teaching a course based on the book. This system is particularly appealing because of its ease of use and versatility of application. But more importantly, it is tailored to the individual's workflow for optimal results.
CHRISTINA ANDERSON, Photographer and Photographic Educator at Montana State University:
I've taught PDN in my alternative processes class since 2006. Students begin calibrating black and white paper, then move on to cyanotype, gum bichromate, van dyke brown or argyrotype, and platinum.Errors that occur most always lead back to a workflow issue, easily discovered with the PDN system. PDN is also a great system to learn about a process. So many myths abound about alternative processes, and all it really takes is a simple step wedge, CDRP, and tonal palette to prove or disprove these myths.