Re: QUID PRO QUO-Long 'un

From: Michael Healy ^lt;>
Date: 11/19/04-04:45:47 PM Z
Message-id: <419E152B.21170.6BC27CA@localhost>

Bob, thanks for sharing your adventure with us. At several points, I found myself saying,
"Self, you know THAT took a lot longer for him to figure out than it took to read the
sentence about it." Do you still have all your hair?


On 16 Nov 2004 at 10:30, Bob Kiss wrote:

 I remember a string around 1999, not long after I joined this list,
referring to "feeders at the trough" who eat but don't contribute. I
have endeavored to contribute when possible but, sadly, as a relative
newcomer to alt processes, I often left it to the more experienced
members to answer.
 Sooooooooooo, now I propose to bring a bucket the
i.e., to relate the story of my print order for the large hotel chain.
 They ordered three 11X14 and three 16X20 (image size on 15X18 and
paper respectively) platinum/palladium prints of the 8X10 negatives of
my Chattel House images. (I am documenting these little architectural
gems which stemmed from emancipation in the British Empire in 1838).
 As a result of advice from the list I priced the 11X14s at $500 U.S.
the 16X20s at $700 U.S. which, given that they ordered 6 prints, was
reasonable and accepted.
 At present I only do DOP Pt/Pd prints on Cranes Platinotype "Natural"
Sodium Citrate dev at 40 C with an Oxalic acid first clear, two
EDTA/sulfite clears, a quick dip into some hypoclear to buffer it
(love that metaborate), 1/2 hour wash and 2 min rinse in distilled
water followed by screen drying.
 I don't have my 8X10 enlarger set up yet as I just moved homes so I
to go to a service bureau, have my 8X10s scanned on a drum scanner and
digitally enlarged negs output on an Image Setter. It was lovely to
be able to "Frotoshop" the images to fine tune them for printing.
 I checked with the digital gurus and couldn't get curves to get me
so, instead, I asked myself, "What does Pt/Pd to best and what does it
do worst?" Pt/Pd prints have wonderful highlight separation and scale
but rather flat, compressed shadow rendition. So I said to myself,
"Self! Kick up the shadow contrast and midtone densities and slightly
reduce the highlight contrast". ***NOTA BENE: I will always be
referring to the negative unless otherwise stated.
 This is very easily achieved in Frotoshop by going to the "curves"
when viewing the negative and "pulling" the middle of the curve
substantially upward. This increases the slope (contrast) of the
curve in the shadow areas, increases the midtone density, and
decreases the slope of the curve (contrast) in the highlight region.
The resulting negative looks good but when you invert it to a positive
on the monitor it looks too light and washed out. I then went back to
curves and pulled up the shadow contrast and density even further,
leaving the midtone to highlight portion as a straight line into the
corner of the box. I was working with a service bureau here in
Barbados that had never even heard of Pt/Pd prints before, let alone
seen a good Pt/Pd neg so it was a fight all the way. They kept trying
to sneak negs by me which would have printed well in ink-on-paper but
looked flat and muddy in Pt/Pd. Making them redo them cured them of
THAT habit. We did have some problems with vertical banding in the
flat sky areas (seemed to be rf interference) and processor streaking
but they were solved.
 What I also did was set the whitest highlight at 98% dot (remember,
negative) and the thinnest shadow at 2% dot. I got GREAT prints...I
am ashamed to say, some better than my contact Pt/Pd prints from the
original negs!
 The reason for all of this curve pulling was that I need at least 100
exposure units (Nu-Arc metal halide plate burner) with clear film to
get a 1.5 density on my Pt/Pd paper. I tried more contrast agent (OA
"B" of the chlorate variety) to no avail. Seems best to have a good
negative to start with.
 I found that Pt/Pd prints made from continuous tone negs tend to dry
"normally"; highlights get a little darker, shadows lighter, with a
small loss of contrast. It appears that prints from digital negatives
dry differently. The shadows do get lighter but the highlight density
and contrast both seem to increase. I observed some of the prints
over the drying time and realized that the paper itself looked
"grayer" when wet and whiter when dry. I suggest that, as prints from
digital negatives are actually composed of a whole array of dots of
D-Max and D-min, the D-min of the paper base actually gets lighter
resulting in lighter, more contrasty highlights. Go figure!
 A few other observations (also not scientifically confirmed):
1) Keep the dev pH below 7 (slightly acid). If it goes above 7 (some
suggest from the paper sizing dissolving in it) the D-max falls off
rapidly. 2) Good even re-moistening 5 min. prior to exposure necessary
to good D-max. 3) Seems better to get from exposure to dev ASAP. I
found that delays affected the D-max.
 Well, that should fill the trough with something. I will leave it to
to judge.
 Again, a great thanks to Eric Neilsen, Dick Arentz, and all the
 people on
the list who answered my numerous questions and made great
suggestions. Thanks to the authors of the great books I have read;
James, Nadeau, Webb & Reed, and Sullivan & Weese. Thanks to the
person who suggested using large sheets of plastic mosquito screen
under the large prints while processing to give them added "wet
strength". Without this I would have had trays full of pulp on a few
occasions. Thanks to Melody Bostic who shipped me some BIG paper on
short notice. And, without fail, thanks to Judy, WJPFP, and all the
contributors who made me believe, "I think I can, I think I can..." I

Please check my website:
Received on Fri Nov 19 16:46:09 2004

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