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

From: [email protected]
Date: 04/03/04-08:03:24 PM Z
Message-id: <>


I think imagesetter negatives can make good prints and they are foolproof
since they are actually screen printings—the image is tone simulated with tiny
black dots.

I do think you might want to re-visit other forms of digital negatives
though. They do function more like traditional negatives and the density you require
in your note below (log 2.2) is easily achieved.

If you have in-camera negatives that are large enough, then no reason to go
digital unless there is some major change you wish to make in the image.

Mark Nelson
AKA Dancing Digits

In a message dated 4/3/04 2:45:20 PM, writes:

> In a message dated 03/04/2004 20:02:40 GMT Standard Time,
> writes:
> 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 ;)
> Mark
> Taking your questions in turn :
> 1.Yes.
> 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'.
> M

Mark Nelson
Precision Digital Negatives
Received on Sat Apr 3 20:03:44 2004

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