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Creating real black & white silver gelatin prints up to 48" wide, using digital photographic laser technology.
Creating real black & white silver gelatin prints up to 48" wide, using digital photographic laser technology.
455 backers pledged $50,761 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$50,761

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• Pixiq Picks Us
• Dwell Magazine picked us Kickstarter of the Week.

• We've added scanning to the Rewards

The silver gelatin print is the “high water mark” of black & white photographic printing. Advances in digital photography threaten the very existence of this time-honored process. At Digital Silver Imaging we have made it our mission to bring the silver gelatin print into the realm of digital photography. Our hybrid process allows us to make true black & white prints directly from digital files.

With your help we will build and install a processor that can make real silver gelatin prints up to 4x10 feet from digital files.

How our Process Works

At Digital Silver Imaging (DSI) we currently use a 20” photographic laser enlarger to expose Ilford photographic black & white silver gelatin paper. The digital file is used to create the image on the paper, no film or negative required. Once exposed, the real light sensitive black & white photo paper is processed in traditional photo chemicals, resulting in beautiful, neutral tone, archival prints.

Printing with DSI gives the photographer all the control of a digital workflow with the unparalleled beauty and quality of a traditional darkroom print.

© Jörg Meyer Photography
© Jörg Meyer Photography

Benefits of our Process

Our printing process uses real silver, not color dyes or inks. Unlike inkjet or digital c-printing (Fuji Crystal Archive and Kodak Endura), our prints have greater detail and separation in shadow areas and are more fade resistant. Our photographic process does not utilize color materials. The prints we make are beautiful, always neutral, and can be chemically toned with selenium or sepia to enhance permanence.

50" Photographic Laser Enlarger
50" Photographic Laser Enlarger
Kreonite 50" Black & White paper processor
Kreonite 50" Black & White paper processor

Why this Kickstarter campaign?

Our current processor is limited to making prints up to 20” wide. We want to build a processor that can make prints up to 48” wide! Photographers and artists have been asking for larger prints since we started DSI in 2008. A new processor and exposure unit would allow us to provide this service. 

We have already invested funds to build a darkroom for the digital enlarger and contracted a firm to start building the print processor. We need additional funds to pay for the equipment,  transportation across the country, installation, calibration and setup. We can’t do it without your help.

Your contribution will provide real silver gelatin black & white prints for years to come. Join us in our pursuit of fine black & white imagery and support our campaign today.

©Eric Luden - 5x7 RC Print and "Thank You" reward
©Eric Luden - 5x7 RC Print and "Thank You" reward

Rewards

We are offering two types of rewards; black & white prints, RC or fiber, from your digital files and signed collectable black & white photographs.  We also are offering a special reward of one photographic portfolio of prints by Herb Greene. Herb's limited edition images of Led Zeppelin are sure to be the ultimate Led Zeppelin collectable.

Not a photographer? Choose our DSI shirt and help spread the word - true silver printing lives!

Images available as rewards:

© Dave Beckerman 2008 - Brooklyn Bridge.  12x16 signed & matted Silver Gelatin Fiber Print
© Dave Beckerman 2008 - Brooklyn Bridge. 12x16 signed & matted Silver Gelatin Fiber Print
© Keith Johnson - Yuma Rocks. 16x20 signed & matted Silver Gelatin Fiber Print
© Keith Johnson - Yuma Rocks. 16x20 signed & matted Silver Gelatin Fiber Print
© Herb Greene - 1969 Led Zeppelin 8x10 signed & matted Silver Gelatin Fiber Print
© Herb Greene - 1969 Led Zeppelin 8x10 signed & matted Silver Gelatin Fiber Print
Led Zeppelin Portfolio #3 of 21
Led Zeppelin Portfolio #3 of 21

Join us on our mission to preserve the silver the silver print!

The DSI Team - including Eric, Christopher, Annie, Andrea, Sybylla, Eliza and many interns!
The DSI Team - including Eric, Christopher, Annie, Andrea, Sybylla, Eliza and many interns!

Risks and challenges

We believe that there is minimal risk involved in this project. Installation of the new machinery will require some additional construction; such as, a darkroom to house the exposure unit and some modification to our electrical and plumbing. New construction entails coordinating contractors and acquiring building permits, there could be some delays in this process but we are motivated to get this machinery up and running as soon as possible.

The exposure unit and the processor are currently being prepared. We have already made a cash deposit on both pieces of equipment. The companies preparing our new equipment are established, and have a good history of on time delivery. We are an existing business, so production of real silver gelatin prints will only be briefly interrupted when we transition to the larger print processor.

The delivery of rewards, especially prints above 20", are dependent on the installation and operation of the new equipment. Any delay in installation could effect the delivery of the larger silver gelatin print rewards.

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FAQ

  • Visit the project page and click “Manage Your Pledge.” Enter a new amount in the pledge amount box. Note that you are not adding to your existing pledge; the amount you enter will be the total amount collected if the project is successfully funded.

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  • We added scanning because many people have film that they need scanned before they can make a print. All our scans are done on the finest quality Imacon scanners.

    We return the scan to you using http://yousendit.com via email. We will return your film via US Priority Mail. If you prefer another method of shipment those arrangements can be made after the campaign. However you may need to pay for that shipping yourself.

    We will send you mailing information after our campaign ends. Our scanning service is described on our web page in detail: http://digitalsilverimaging.com/scanning_retouching

    Last updated:
  • When you pledge simply enter the amount of the combined rewards. For example, if you want a 20x24 fiber print ($100) and a 35mm scan ($25), just select one of the rewards and manually enter the combined amount ($125) manually in the price box. We will honor your request, just let us know what you'd like.

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Receive a thank you card with a real 5x7 black & white RC print, signed by the photographer Eric Luden, founder/owner of DSI.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Receive an 11x14 silver gelatin RC print from one of your digital files ($32 Value). Includes postage within the continental US.

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    62 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Receive a high resolution scan of your 35mm, 120 b&w /color negative or transparency. Includes basic spotting. Scan will be sent to your email via yousendit.com. Returned film sent via Priority Mail. See FAQ section for more details. ($45 value)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    Receive an 8x10 silver gelatin fiber print from one of your digital files ($38 Value). Includes postage within the continental US.

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    50 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Receive our fashionable DSI black t shirt with our logo & tagline - "The Art of Black & White in a Digital World." Available in men's and women's sizes from small to XL. Check our group photo at the bottom of our page.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Receive a 16x20 silver gelatin RC print from one of your digital files. We will print your file as large as possible on the 16x20 paper. ($70 value)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Receive an 11x14 silver gelatin fiber print from one of your digital files. ($68 Value)

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    Limited 66 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Receive a high resolution scan of your 4x5 b&w /color negative or transparency. Includes basic spotting. Scan will be sent to your email via yousendit.com. Returned film sent via Priority Mail. See FAQ section for more details. ($75 value)

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    2 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Receive a 16x20 silver gelatin fiber print from one of your files. ($125 value)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Receive a 20x24 silver gelatin fiber print from one of your digital files. ($175 Value)

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Receive a 20x30 silver gelatin fiber print from one of your digital files. ($249 Value)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Receive a 30x40 silver gelatin fiber print from one of your digital files. ($399 Value)

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Receive a 30x40 silver gelatin fiber print from one of your digital files. ($399 Value)

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Signed and numbered 12x16 silver gelatin fiber print in a 16x20 mat by fine art photographer Dave Beckerman. Recognized for his 30 year documentation of New York City. Beckerman is featured in an upcoming documentary film on the subject. Check out David's other work http://www.beckermanphoto.com

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Receive a 40x50 silver gelatin fiber print from one of your digital files or receive $500 in black & white silver gelatin printing services on our new equipment.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Signed and numbered 8x10 silver gelatin fiber print of Led Zeppelin (from unpublished 1969 portrait session) in an 11x14 4ply mat by noted rock & roll photographer, Herb Greene. Visit Herbie at http://www.herbgreenefoto.com or more Led Zeppelin prints at www.ledzeppelinportfolio.com

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Receive $900 in black & white silver gelatin printing services on our new equipment. International shipping charges apply to a single shipment only.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Signed and numbered 16x20 silver gelatin fiber print in a 20x24 mat by nationally recognized photographer and educator, Keith Johnson. Our colleague and friend has been photographing for over 40 years. Working with grids, and mostly in color, we printed his first black & white image in years. Keith's work can be found in the collections of the George Eastman House, Visual Studies Workshop and the New Orleans Museum of Art, to name just a few. Visit him at www.keithjohnsonphotographs.com

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Our SELENIUM Reward: Receive $2,000 in black & white silver gelatin printing services on our new equipment. (International shipping charges will apply, depending on print sizes)

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Receive $1,900 in black & white silver gelatin printing services on our new equipment. (International shipping charges will apply, depending on print sizes)

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    4 backers
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    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    Our SILVER Reward: Have DSI print your own black & white silver gelatin exhibition. This reward includes printing twelve prints up to 16x24 on fiber black & white paper with archival selenium toning. Prints will be matted and framed in either Nielsen metal or Larson Juhl wooden frames including hanging hardware, ready for your next gallery show. Reward includes a shipping case, but shipping costs are additional.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Our Led Zeppelin limited edition portfolio, #3 of 21. This collection consists of eighteen 18x22 silver gelatin fiber prints, signed by photographer, Herb Greene, in a custom handmade embossed box. These prints show the young Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones in Herbie's studio in San Francisco in 1969.
    This portfolio is listed at $12,000
    More info: www.ledzeppelinportfolio.com

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Funding period

- (30 days)