First attempt at Na2 Pt/pd printing - along with first foray into "fog" photography

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by scootermm, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    I thought of posting an image or two in the gallery but then realized I had a few questions etc.
    I got from Bostick&Sullivan some Sodium Chloroplatinate (Na2) about 10ml along with my normal order of some palladium #3 and an equal amount of FO. I wanted to try out the Na2 method of contrast control. It had been suggested by numerous people (and people that quite honestly know a whole lot more than I, so I heeded the advice)
    So I tried my hand at it last night.

    Also the last week here in Austin weve had an abnormal amount of fog for our area. So I went out a few days ago in the early part of the morning to explore taking some photos in the fog. Something I have little experience in. But I really enjoyed and have always wanted to try.

    New Sweden Lutheran Church - outside Manor Texas.
    http://www.scootermagruder.com/photography/newwork/7x17_Fog1_pdpt.jpg
    I used 33 drops of FO, 33 Drops of Palladium, 3 Drops of Na2

    just off of IH 35 - south of Austin
    http://www.scootermagruder.com/photography/newwork/7x17_Fog2_pdpt.jpg
    I used 33 drops of FO, 33 Drops of Palladium, 2 Drops of Na2

    Manda cemetery
    http://www.scootermagruder.com/photography/newwork/7x17_Fog3_pdpt.jpg
    I used 33 drops of FO, 33 Drops of Palladium, 3 Drops of Na2

    Oldest 2 room school house in Travis County - Manda School House
    http://www.scootermagruder.com/photography/newwork/7x17_Fog4_pdpt.jpg
    I used 33 drops of FO, 33 Drops of Palladium, 2 Drops of Na2

    my question is Ive gotten a couple different mindsets/opinions about how to make the addition of the Na2. Dick Arentz site mentions it should be used in Addition to the total metal drop count (as in 33 FO drops, 33 Pd Drops, +the Na2 drops)
    while some others have mentioned that the Na2 Drops should be a substitute (33 FO drops, 30 Pd drops, +3 Na2 Drops)
    what if any is the advantage of either method and what are the methods and opinions of those who work with the Na2 contrast method.

    by the way I do quite like the results of it. noticeable nicer and smoother sky tones etc. (the fog shots ended up being a good way to test this out as I did some comparisons between the Na2 method and the traditional FO w/chlorate.

    also, would love anybodys thoughts opinions critiques on the images. '


    thanks.
     
  2. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Have you looked at Dick Arentz' website? He has a table on the Na2 method that should answer most questions about mixture.

    See http://www.dickarentz.com/

    Sandy


     
  3. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I think it does not really matter as long as you are consistent. I would venture to say that if you use less pd then your prints might have a little bit more contrast than if you use the full amount. At least this has been my experience. Even when you are doing pt/pd changing the ratio of pt to pd changes the contrast slightly, enough so that it might save an otherwise dull picture.
     
  4. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Well, what do I know about the process? Nothing.

    But .....

    May I say how much I like these? Yes? OK, I like them a lot, especially #1 and #3.

    cheers
     
  5. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Thanks John....

    Sandy, when I got the Na2 I researched on Dick's site and he mentioned that the Na2 (sodium Chloroplatinate) was used in addition to the total metal count. While Ive heard from Gerhard Bock that he uses the Na2 in substitute of the pt/pd metal drop count.
    for example:
    Arentz suggestion
    10 drops FO, 10 Drops of pd/pt, 1 drop of Na2 = total of 21 drops
    or compared to the method shared with me by Gerhard (Keriks taught him this)
    10 drops FO, 9 drops pd/pt, 1 drop of Na2 = total of 20 drops

    like jorge said it may not make that much of a difference aside from apparent contrast adjustment. But I was just curious about it and what the reasoning behind the substitution/addition differences are.... and likely when making a 5x7 its not as noticeable but when I coat 7x17 areas it can make a slight difference (after many many prints) but the metal costs eventually add up.

    More of a curiousity thing about what (if any thoughts) my fellow platinum/palladium printers had on the subject.... then again, maybe Im thinking too much about it, at which point, a mandatory "shut it" is in order :smile:
     
  6. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Scoot,

    It's really an issue of percentages, and nothing more. If you add the NA2 to the PD, then you are increasing the total amount by a drop, and the percentage of NA2 in the total mixture is lower than if you replace some PD with NA2.

    As Jorge says, it is more important that you are consistant with your approach, but it could be a problem if you start adding enough NA2 to cause your total to be higher than is necessary for an appropriate coating, because you will then have to remove excess solution.

    That is the reason you will see Dick list several dilutions of NA2 in the chart. He needs the different dilutions for two primary reasons; to give fine control over contrast at the lower contrast mixes, and to minimize the amount of added solution that is going into the cup.

    If you are trying to standardize somewhat, I recommend you follow Dick's method, as his testing was done using that approach, and you sould be able to trust his numbers for contrast fairly well. If you just want to get some basic contrast control, then do it whatever way you like, as the consistancy is more important than the actual precision that is implied in Dick's charts, as if it were possible to be that precise anyway.


    ---Michael
     
  7. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Matt,
    In the case of one or 2 drops in 20, you're not going to notice much difference either way. I suggest you try it and see for yourself. Now, if you're adding 3 or 4 drops, then I'd definitely cut back on the amount of Pd. But, if you're adding that much, next time make a better neg for the process!
     
  8. toddstew

    toddstew Member

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    For what it's worth, I mix a dilution of three drops distilled water to one drop na2 in a seperate shot glass, then add a drop to the mixture of pd and fo. For instance, I print 4x5 negs, so I mix 5 drops of pd, 5 drops of fo, and then add one drop of the 1:3 na2. This seems to give my negatives that little bit of zing that they seem to need. Oh, I really like your images! I like that format, and someday when I get a real job, I'd like to try it.
    Todd
     
  9. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    thanks so much kerik, michael and todd. All of those make sense. I made a couple prints in 7x17 one used 3 drops another used 1 drop. There wasnt a HUGE difference but it did seem noticeable and the 1 drop print worked better, so I guess, given Keriks fine descrip, the neg was pretty good. :smile:

    The one thing I love and hate at the same time is the wonderful amount of control that just one or two drops can make in eve a print as big as 7x17. I like that control and will just continue to be methodical about it and stick to how Im doing it because it "seems" to be working. No basis of comparison other than how it looks to me.

    thanks again all for the info.
     
  10. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Scoot,

    I too just began using the Na2 method a couple weeks ago and have been very impressed with both the smoother quality of the prints as well as the control. I have been going the Arentz route running many tests and my results are pretty much right on with his chart.

    Fog is a lot of fun to work with. Give it a try at night. Nice images as well. I do have a question though. I notice how the images fall-off on the edges a bit and am wondering if you know what this is from? Is it simply from the extra "agitation" from the developer running faster over the edges of the film during processing? I am considering the format and am curious. I used to get this in my 4x5 when I used racks and hangers, but not so much when I tray processed.

    Bill
     
  11. buggy

    buggy Member

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    I'm new to this and don't know squat but I had to comment on your images. They are really really nice. I like the subjects, compositions, tones, etc...
     
  12. Donsta

    Donsta Member

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    Personally, I use Dick's numbers but have experimented with other solutions. As Jorge mentioned, consistency..... The only thing I don't like about the Na2 method is the different tones which result from more or less Na2 - the more Na2 you use, the cooler the tone and vice versa. Having said that, I've managed to print negatives using the Na2 method which were previously just way too flat to get a good result before. One good thing though, those fog shots are normally really flat and seem to lend themselves to cooler tones(which is what you'll end up with)!

     
  13. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

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    Others know WAY more than I regarding chemistry, so I'll just comment on the photographs.

    I like them a lot.

    Only nit-pick would be to choose only one receding-road-into-the-distance-shot. Although I like them both. I've been concentrating on the 7x17 format lately, so thanks for sharing your images. It gives me ideas on how others are cropping reality within the rectangle.