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Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Malcolm_Stewart, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I'm puzzled by the term "Duotone". In Photoshop there's a feature which allows the user to alter the darker tones in a grey toned image away from pure grey to another tint/colour.

    Looking at David Bailey's 1992 book "If we shadows" it seems well printed but the book states that the plates are "Duotones". I'm afraid that I don't see any hint of colour in the images - they're all shades of (dark) neutral grey from black to clear paper, as far as I can tell. Could it have been used at the time to suggest a better (darker?) quality of printing? In his later book, "Democracy", the printing is generally lighter, and I think, somewhat better - there's no mention of "Duotone".

    Or does the term have quite different meanings in the print domain as opposed to its use in Photoshop?
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

  3. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Thanks Andrew - before posting I had read, and re-read the Wiki entry. I'm now wondering if I misinterpreted what I read.
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Interestingly Duotones can be very subtle, and there are many shades of "Black ink"
    They can also be "Black on Black" which was a technique favoured in the 1960's as it increased the tonality especially in the darker tones.
    You can also run an under colour using the same printing plate. This gives a lift especially on Matt paper. As the dots superimpose each other, they often use quite a strong under colour.

    Much the same technique is used by running a heatset or UV varnish, using the same plate as a second run, to give a high gloss lift in the printed image only.

    Printers have many techniques at their disposal, but most photographers have no idea that they exist, or what the benefits are.

    Two interesting techniques is the use of under colour removal where the neutral element is removed and replaced on the black printer.
    Another that gives a very high quality result, is the use of stochastic screens which have random dots rather than forming the usual rosettes.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    Roger Hicks likes this.

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