Re: Density Range & Pt/Pd (was: HP5+ for alternative processes)

From: [email protected]
Date: 04/03/04-02:41:55 PM Z
Message-id: <>

In a message dated 03/04/2004 20:02:40 GMT Standard Time,

> Terry,
> A few other questions, if you don't mind.
> 1. With your ratio of 1:4 Platinum to Palladium, are you then mixing that
> 1:1 with Ferric Oxalate?
> 2. Are you using any restrainer?
> 3. What developer are you using?
> 4. Are you using digital negatives, either imagesetter or inkjet? Or,
> "traditional" negatives? I am assuming "traditional" negatives since you
> mentioned you are achieving a base plus fog of .015. Which film? HP4? I would be
> interested in knowing the densitometer you are using that accurately down to
> .015—most of them that I have seen measure no more than log .01 and even at
> that, there is a margin of error of plus or minus .01 or .02 log density.
> 5. Have you tried digital negatives with this "mix"? Results?
> 6. What would you say is the "look" or qualities of the prints that you are
> achieving that seems to set them apart from other Pt/Pd prints?
> Mark Nelson
> PS: I noticed Cyanotype "Rey" — Since Rey means King in Spanish, I assume
> there is a modest connection between you and the process ;)


Taking your questions in turn :


2. No.

3. Potassium oxalate at room temperature.

4. Both image setter and continuous tone negatives. I do not use ink jet
negatives for platinum as I believe that the technology has not caught up yet .But
I do use paper ink jet negatives for gum. The continuous tone negatives are
FP4 developed in amidol or PQ. I use an Agfa densitometer that was intended for
the professional printing industry before digital took over. As a
professional instrument, it needed to be accurate. It gives a reading of 0.015 and one
can tell the difference in the film, from when the reading is 0.15.

5. Yes. I made my first Pt/Pd print from an image setter negative about ten
years ago. They look good but a contact print from a continuous tone in camera
negative looks better.

6. Probably it is better to look at prints made in this way by the master
whose work was my bench mark when I started platinum printing.. There are plenty
illustrations of Frederick Evans's work in photographic histories and in
copies of Camera Work.. There are also examples in LA, San Francisco, New York, and
plenty of other places in the US. Plenty enough, that is, to go to have a
look. Of course every picture will not need a full range of tone
but when the negatives are developed in this way the tones and gradations
appear more subtle. Try to see the original of 'The Attics at Kelmscott Manor' or
even of the 'Sea of Steps'.
and compare the qualities of those platinum prints with those made from
negatives not designed to take advantage of the platinum process. One should
also bear in mind that there was something called the 'platinum aesthetic' which
resulted in dull grey prints, in a radically different style, which
deliberately avoids the use of the full potential of the platinum medium. I will make a
special point of enabling people to see these prints as part of the
arrangements for APIS 2004 so that these comparisons can be made

As to your PS, when, many years ago when the UK had kings, it used to say on
the pennies
'Georgius VI D.G. Rex' which is the Latin for George the Sixth, by the
Grace of God, King'. 'Rey' derives from 'Rex'.

 Chrysotype Rex and Cyanotype Rex are a meant as a cross reference to
'Tyrannosaurus Rex' which means 'big nasty lizard'.

Received on Sat Apr 3 14:42:17 2004

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