Silver Gelatin Hybrid Contact Printing Process

Beginning in 1996, and through the end of 2005, Huntington Witherill produced silver gelatin prints using a Hybrid Contact Printing Process. That technique employed the use of both conventional and digital tools, and the process, itself, involved three separate steps, as outlined below:

Step 1- A high resolution digital scan would be made from the original film negative (using an Imacon 949 Flextite film scanner).

Step 2- The digital scan was then used to produce a digitally generated film inter-negative (using an Agfa Avantra imagesetter).

Step 3- The resulting film inter-negative was then contact printed in a conventional wet darkroom using traditional silver gelatin printing papers and chemical-based printing techniques. Silver gelatin contact prints up to 16"x20"” size were able to be produced.

Note- While the hybrid contact printing process, itself, was relatively short lived due to the rapid disappearance of  imagesetters as a result of industry-wide adoption of newer direct-to-plate technologies, beginning in 2004 – the increased aesthetic potential and unparalleled technical control available through the use of digital components in the hybrid process allowed me, from 1996-2005, to produce what I believe to be some of the very best silver gelatin prints that I was ever able to achieve.

Huntington Witherill
 January 1, 2006