RE: QUID PRO QUO-you asked for more!

From: Bob Kiss ^lt;>
Date: 11/20/04-04:04:28 PM Z
Message-id: <>

        Thanks for your observations and comments. I wanted to include the info
you suggested but I thought I had already produced such a tome that I would
be barred from the list for making it any longer.
        For those who are interested:
The 11X14s were rod coated (Bostic & Sullivan)
The 16X20s were coated with a Richeson Magic Brush, I think 4". ("Too much!
Magic Brush!" Aren't those lyrics from a song by the WHOM?)
***My darkroom stays at 50 to 60 % relative humidity year round (really!)
and I bring the paper (as mentioned, Cranes Platinotype "natural") that I am
going to use in from the very air-conditioned (much drier) studio and leave
it in the darkroom for 24 hours before coating.
        As mentioned in a previous posting I like the color and contrast I get by
using a ratio of Pt to Pd of 4:14. Regardless of the mix of Soln A (FO) and
B (FO + chlorate) I used a total solution equal to the total of the metal
solution, e.g., 18 drops total of metals and 18 total of A & B. How did I
arrive at THAT??? Just trial and error with different mixes over the last
two years. I regret not being more scientific about those tests...I look
forward to some of Jeffrey's optimization experiments when I am finally set
up in my new darkroom right next to our new house. I also add 2 drops of
PVA and 2 of pure alcohol (for 8X10 and increased proportionally for each
size). I don't need to search for Everclear...they sell pure cane alcohol
in the grocery store!?!?
        I used double the solution for the 11X14 than I use for an 8X10 rod
coating. If I could have rod coated I would simply have used 4 times the
8X10 volume for the 16X20 but even the Magic Brush carries off a bit but I
did get away with 5 times the volume of solution with complete and rather
even coatings, considering I was a virgin at coating 16X20 image areas on a
20X24 piece of paper. (Man, did I sweat even in an air-conditioned
darkroom. Blowing that coating costs some $$$!)
        I mixed the solution in a small beaker and poured a diagonal line then
brushed like heck, around the outside first (to make sure I had enough image
area), moving into the center to smooth the coating out. I found the
biggest trick is to know when to stop!. I kept the Magic brush sitting in
distilled water and gave it a few shakes just before coating, rinsed it a
few times in tap water after coating and then back into a distilled water
holding beaker.
        I dried the coatings with a small hair dryer on low/warm setting by blowing
the warm air in continuous circular motions first on the coated side, then
the back, then the coated side again. I hung the paper up for 10 minutes to
stabilize and it was ready to print. If the paper sat for more than an
hour, I would moisten it by holding about 18" above an electric kettle
letting the warm moist air hit the back of the paper while moving it in
circular (elliptical, really) motions. I then let it stabilize for 5 mins
and printed. Good results.
        I am more than willing to answer any other questions but I wanted so much
to share my experiences for the benefit of anyone who might use
the spirit of this List which has been such a great help to me.

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Neilsen []
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2004 11:26 AM
Subject: RE: QUID PRO QUO-Long 'un

Bob, Your observations would have more clarity if you also included your
process/procedure for coating; including paper preparations, coating
solution mixture (30/70 i.e.), etc. The observation and control of
humidity is perhaps the most important part of platinum/palladium printing
as it affects how the coating solution is absorbed by the paper, the resting
humidity will affect speed and color of the print both prior to and post

The lack of dmax separation from digital negs came home to me long ago when
a customer sent a dot neg to be printed. You should be able to make great
prints from digital negs, but the low end needs special attention which was
not in the neg supplied to me.

Congratulations for sticking to it and getting good prints through a trying
process. Now a real test will present itself to you when you need to make
more prints (since you'll get more sales of those same prints) at a
different time of year. Monsoon, west winds, ???

EJ Neilsen

Eric Neilsen Photography
4101 Commerce Street
Suite 9
Dallas, TX 75226

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bob Kiss []
> Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 8:30 AM
> Subject: QUID PRO QUO-Long 'un
> 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
> trough,
> 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
> 20X24
> 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.
> and
> 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" in
> 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
> decided
> 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
> started
> 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"
> function
> 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
> down
> "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 y'all
> 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 Sat Nov 20 16:04:21 2004

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