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Monday, 22 September 2008

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How do these compare with the Duostone(?) process of Sid Rappaport, who printed the Paul Strand book for Aperture?

"How do these compare with the Duostone(?) process of Sid Rappaport, who printed the Paul Strand book for Aperture?"

Bill,
Can you provide a little more information please? What book, and where did you find the name of the printer? Is there a more complete company name for the printer? Are you referring to "Tir a'Mhurain: The Outer Hebrides of Scotland"?

"Duotone" is just a name for multipass printing with different inks. Technically it implies two inks, as the name implies, but it's also sometimes used generally for three- and four-pass printing. The quality of a two-ink duotone is much better than single ink, and if done very skilfully can come close in quality to more involved printing methods. Sometimes black and white repro is made with a black and a gray plate, but more often duotones are done with black and a color, to give the picture what one might call a tone or a tint--a color cast.

Mike J.

I think Mr. Mitchell is referring to "Stonetone", a proprietary process devised by Mr. Rappaport (or his firm) as a means to provide the best-possible reproduction of photographs. This was in the '70s, when repro quality was mostly horrible, and IIRC that's how Ansel himself had his books printed then. I'm relying on my memory here; perhaps someone can chime in with the full story. Should prove interesting..

The "Stonetone" process set was developed at Superior Printing Ink, New York City for Sid Rappaport of Rappaport Press. This special process series was only sold to Sid. He also had special black inks made containing various pigments not normally used in process or black ink production. Sid was quite a character and use to drop by our color lab on Bethune Street to work with the development or fine tuning of the ink shades for his company.

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