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Lenticular Follow Up (Redacted)


I'm retired and living in Northamptonshire, so plenty of time for photography.
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Lenticular Follow Up (Redacted)

31 Jan 2021 10:26AM   Views : 775 Unique : 547

Hi - I've blurred any parts of the images which might be considered unsuitable, so reposted this without the 18 restriction.

I’ve been trying a few images of my own and another one of John’s, which I think works really well with this treatment.

John had also been looking for other images to try, and sent me one of Joss in a striking pose, in both colour and mono. High key, so very light background, with the figures standing out in a quite light and etherial manner. I thought it would be good to reverse one figure again, then bring the two close so it looked like they were dancing together.

One choice to be made is the lateral overlap of the images. I couldn’t decide quite where to put the reflection plane; It shouldn’t cut through the face or an important feature. I tried two, one with close heads, the other further apart. I took both through to folded prints, relatively small, so I could see which I preferred. Difficult! I put them both side by side on my print viewer. Then I realised I liked them both together, side by side. The concept of two figures, dancing together, and apart, came to mind, so I recompiled the image (the slices were all on 40 different PS layers, so quite quick) and proceeded with the print. I also thought the detail and skin tone on John’s image demanded a larger print, so I loaded up my 17” roll feeder with Pinacle Cotton Rag 310 - a beautiful heavy matte paper which I thought should fold well.

The final print was over 1000mm long, so needed careful handling coming off the printer, At least with the high key treatment, it didn’t use much ink!

Next was a coat of Print Guard( I get this from Marrutt ). Without this, the paper is sensitive to marks and handling. Even so, I used cotton gloves for all the paper handling.

I’ve been round the loop a bit on tools for folding/ scoring. I bought some ‘bone’ crafter tools, which turned out to be plastic and were absolutely useless. I thought about trying a Pizza Wheel, but it was difficult to roll straight. In the end I settled on a pocket knife, smoothed and blunted slightly near the tip so it didn’t cut the paper. Two or three runs with this worked well, and gave a very clean fold line close to the straight edge.

As I mentioned in the previous blog, make valley folds from the print side, mark the peak fold, then score these from the reverse side. To facilitate knowing where to put the fold - it was difficult with the light tones on this image - you could add a one or two pixel gray outline on one image, so the joins at the edge are visible. For each fold, a gentle pull against the straight edge helps start the fold exactly where it is needed.

This shot shows the print with the initial fold started. For the full folds, press on the back of the print not the ink side, and work from both ends, as it gets harder as you approach the middle!

If you have the scoring right, even this heavy paper folds very well, with no ragging or ink loss on the peak folds. Take time and be as precise as you can!

Once you have folded the print you can take a look at how it works artistically. It is quite an exciting moment! I never tire of watching prints emerging from the printer, just like prints appearing as if by magic in wet developer. The same I think will hold for lenticular print viewing.

All these lenticular prints are set to be viewed best at a certain angle. The first ones I made had the two image planes at 90 degrees to each other, so the two images form when viewed 45 degrees away from the viewing normal. For this print I’ve reduced this to 60 degrees, so the side to side movement needed is reduced, giving the images at 30 degrees away from the normal. I think this makes viewing easier. To give the correct viewing aspect, a slight stretch of the image is needed in the horizontal plane, as you aren’t viewing the lenticular square on. About 20% is needed, which is easily done in photoshop by resizing with the horizontal/vertical link deselected. You might not notice, but I thought I should mention this. For the 90 degree case, no stretch is needed.

The next improvement I’ve introduced is to tape the back so the folds are correctly spaced and even. I made hinges with double sided tape and paper for this. The photos show these being made. For the image today, there are 17 peaks, so I needed 34 of these hinges. You can make them quickly and all in one go. I hope the photo shows this. The hinges are scored to fold in the middle and at the correct width near the tape. The hinge length between the areas with double sided tape needs to be the same as the lenticular width for 60 degree ridges or 1.41 times this for 90 degree ridges.

To attach the hinges, lay the print ink side down on clean paper. Tape it down at the edges, making sure everything is straight/ parallel. You need the print compressed slightly so the hinges fit. The photo shows these being attached. It doesn’t take long!

Surprisingly, the print should still fold flat, as shown. It will spring up without a weight or bands to hold it though. Now if you take hold of the ends of the print it will stretch exactly to the right length and geometry. You could tape it down to a board if you are going to frame it. Or put it in a tube if you are going to post it to a friend!

For viewing, I have a home made viewer made from led strips and foam board. The print is taped to a mount board and stands in the viewer. The triptych shot is taken from the front and from 30 degrees each side. The lenticular overlap is only exact when viewed from a distance, but any viewer will be moving their head from side to side and won’t notice.

Artistically, I think the image works really well. Head on it is quite abstract, but the intertwined figures are clear and intriguing. Moving to the side the individual figures form, as a colour/ monochrome pair. Moving to the left, they face each other, moving to the right they face away, as if dancing together or dancing apart. Maybe evocative of wood nymphs? Four different figures from one captured image. The lenticular slicing of the two sets of images is deliberately slightly different - look where the knee aligns to the fold. This gives a subtle difference in lighting/ position for the image parts - they don’t appear quite identical. Needless to say, this wouldn’t work nearly as well without the great image of beautiful Joss from John.

It is hard to convey the appearance of the print when presented like this. It really needs to be seen ‘in the flesh’. Hopefully post lockdown we might be able to show some of these prints. In the meantime, try it yourself. You don’t need a large roll feed printer, just join the sheets in the valley folds, use heavy paper, preferably matte if your printer can take it.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog series. Let me know if you try this, or if you have images that might work. Thanks for reading and your interest.

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