Re: shadow density in zone III

From: Jeffrey D. Mathias ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 10/02/05-01:07:29 PM Z
Message-id: <>

Etienne Garbaux wrote:
> It has long been my observation that the print density values of most Pt,
> Pt/Pd, and Pd prints I see in galleries (and for that matter, prints made
> with most of the iron-based processes) do not reach either paper white or a
> Dmax greater than 1.3, which is what I would get with my printing methods
> and negatives with a DR of 1.8 or so. Interestingly, many Pt prints from
> the heyday of Pt have a full density scale rather than the abbreviated
> scale so common today. I have always assumed that modern Pt practitioners
> want their prints to look very different from S-G prints for marketing
> reasons (if it were an artistic choice, it seems suspicious that all and
> only modern alt printers would share it). Could it just be that the
> "common wisdom" of making negs with a DR of 1.8 - 2.0 for Pt (and other
> iron-based processes) has become so enshrined that it has replaced testing?

I really had to go beck and respond to this.

I think a possible reason could be that, as with many processes, Pt/Pd
is fairly easy to do and get a print, but requires a lot of practice and
control to do well. I would say that the majority of those weak prints
you have observed are just that. Unfortunately they will likely still
sell in galleries just because they are Pt/Pd. Fortunately there are
many photographers printing in Pt/Pd who do know what they are doing and
produce excellent prints. Just how many of those weak print are done
that way intentionally is anyone guess.

Jeffrey D. Mathias
Received on Sun Oct 2 13:09:18 2005

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