I thought about posting some images in the gallery...

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by scootermm, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    I printed like 6 different images yesterday...
    I was going to post a few in the critique gallery but I hate when people post like 5+ images in the gallery so I thought Id just make a thread and see what people think of them... I spent some time printing some negatives Ive been trying to get around to doing some print of these negatives.

    They are all van dyke prints on Cranes Platinotype coated using my newly acquired 2" richeson 9010 brush ("magic brush")

    would love to hear what peoples are on all/any of them.

    http://scootermagruder.com/temp/7x17peytonschoolside.jpg
    http://scootermagruder.com/temp/7x17congressSTparking.jpg
    http://scootermagruder.com/temp/7x17churchauditoriumside.jpg
    http://scootermagruder.com/temp/7x17elginwheatmillsiding.jpg
    http://scootermagruder.com/temp/7x17east6thstreet.jpg
     
  2. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Matt, Thanks for posting these. For some reason which I cannot explain, I like the last one (east6thstreet) the best. The first one (peytonschoolside) is also appealing. It is nice to see your 7x17 in a size that allows some of the details to shine. The 650 pixel limit must be especially confining in this format. Thanks again...
     
  3. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I like the first 3 but I think congress street could have used a tiny bit more contrast. I dont know if you can control contrast with VDB, but I think it has the makings of a great shot.

    Payton school side is the kind of obvious picture I think we should all strive to get away from. Yes it is very nice, perfectly printed, but derivative. I mean no offense and I hope you dont take it that way.

    In any case, you are developing a great eye for the 7x17, congratulations!
     
  4. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I really appreciate the last two. I would sure love to see them in the flesh, I am sure that the scans can't begin to do them justice.

    I think the last one is so interesting because it juxtaposes the linear format with a diagonal line and that just creates something interesting.

    By the way, what kind of scanner are you using? Seems that must be an investment in and of itself, with negs this large.
     
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    The modern car in the last image really stood out to me as it's the first non-static/modern object I've seen in your work in a while. Not a bad thing at all, just a little bit of a shock to see it in there.

    Also, church auditorium side doesn't work that well for me for some reason. It may be the lighter tones in comparison to the other images make it feel washed out when it really isn't. The composition of it works for me though.

    Well, you know what I'm going to say: these are all so bad that you shouldn't even pollute your trash can with them so you should just send them to me :smile:
     
  6. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    Well done, indeed. Good use of the format and I especially like 1,3,and 4. As you know, Matt, I just bought a 7x17 this weekend and I am getting acquainted with the panoramic format. It's a very different ball game format-wise from my 8x10 but I really like it. Looking forward to actually shooting with it.

    Can you point me to a well documented procedure for the Van Dyke process?
    And, can you tell us a bit more about the lens/film/processing you've opted for?

    Congrats.

    PS... what's the deal with your "magic" brush anyway :wink:
     
  7. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Like them all but 1 and 2 the best. I just posted a 717 vertical in Les's thread. Go have a look and tell me what you think. Excellent use of the format these! Bravo!
     
  8. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I like the graphic nature of the images but agree that the images could use some contrast. My favorite was #3
     
  9. photomc

    photomc Member

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  10. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    The church auditorium side is my favorite, especially the right half of the photo. With some more contrast, the congress street parking one would be a close second. I always enjoy seeing your van dykes. It seems well suited to your choice of subject. Thanks for sharing these.
     
  11. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    thanks for all the replys... I got busy with work stress and forgot I posted this... saw it and was amazed at all the replies...

    Jorge no offense taken. Ive tried using potassium dichromate as a contrasting agent and just hated the muddy results it gave. Im really wanting to try out pd printing to be able to adjust contrast especially with the image like the congress one you mentioned jorge.

    All the images (except the east6thstreet) were shot with my 14" commercial Ektar f6.3 lens. The east6hstreet image was shot with a 300mm Konica GRII process lens. I used JandC classic 200 developed in 1:1.5:100 using development by inspection and the brush developing method in trays.

    Jeremy, the BMW in that one shot was something I wavered back and forth on removing or leaving in... I kinda liked the resulting twinge of "modern" it gave. and Ill be sure and toss them all out immediately :D

    Mike the congress street one was actually shot in complete rain. I had a black garbage bag over the beastly 7x17 that shot is one Ive wanted to take for some time now... usually that parking lot is filled with cars... but given the rain and the early sunday morning it was wonderfully empty. I do want to try and take another negative of it to gain more contrast. .... eventually I will.

    Daniel, all the images are printed on platinotype. I was suggested to try out the Richeson 9010 brushes (what many refer to as the "magic" brush) it coats wonderfully and doesnt absorb barely any chemistry. I can manage to coat for a 7x17 sized negative with as little as 2.75ml so its worth its weight in gold. ( I bought two 2" brushes one for van dyke and one for the eventual pd printing :smile: )
     
  12. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I dont know if it would work, but with pt/pd sometimes people use hydrogen peroxide. This might work for you. I have to brush up on VDB, but it seems to me you could use many of the tricks we use with pt/pd. Restrainer in the developer as opposed to the emulsion. Maybe potassium chlorate instead of dichromate.

    In any case, just wondering around Austin you are comming up with great shots.

    I dont know if it is still there, but there used to be a Holiday Inn that had a cilindrical shape right next to a bridge and the lake, seems to me this bridge with the water would make a nice under the bridge shot... :smile:
     
  13. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Nice shots! Really makes me want to see the actual prints.

    Regarding contrast, I notice Wynn White's article on unblinkingeye, http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Vandyke/vandyke.html, mentions the use of a reducer to increase contrast after fixing. This is what I do with cyanotypes: develop, then reduce to proper contrast with an alkaline bath.
     
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  15. sanking

    sanking Member

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    None one of the things that work with Pt./Pd. for adjusting contrast work with VDB. Many of the experts, includiing people like James, suggest that you can control contrast in VDB by adding dichromat to the sensitzing solution or to the developing water, but this just repeats the same BS you see in previous books. It won't work, all it does is make exposure times longer without changing the exposure scale.

    The only way I ever found to control contrast with VDB was to mix up a separate solution using ferric citrate and then combine this in varying proportions with the regular VDB solution. Don Bryant I believe has used this. It work, but changes the color of VDB from brown to a rust brown.

    If you want to continue to use VDB with your in-camera negatives you will need to develop for more contrast. Assuming you agree with those who have suggested that your images need some more contrast. Or, you can try kallitype based on ferric oxalate, where you have all of the contrast controls available with Pt./Pd.

    In any even, thanks for posting the images. I like them a lot.

    Sandy
     
  16. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Yes, this technique does increae conrtrast slightly, but not very much, but it also reduces Dmax. I don't recommend it.

    Sandy
     
  17. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    thanks for the reply sandy.
    Im finding I prefer the method of tailoring the negative for the process as opposed to going through the numerous chemical contrast adjustment possibilities.
    Im a bit of a simplist in that regards... for me at least, it seems easier to go about it in this manner. Some of my negatives end up working amazing in VDB then others dont.... still learning. :smile:
     
  18. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Basically VDB requires a negative with a very high DR, at least 1.95 and sometimes higher, if one wishes to print the entire scale. As you can see VDB has a much longer ES than even straight palladium.

    If you are shooting in low contrast situations most films available in 7X17 format will not give you enough contrast, no matter how long you develop. So yes, we always want to adjust the negative as much as possibole to the process, but the films that we use limit us to certain contrast range scenes in VDB much more than is the case with kallitype or Pt./Pd. This assumes that we want to capture the entire tonal range of the scene.

    Sandy
     
  19. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    interesting sandy... your statement "this assumes that we want to capture the entire tonal range of the scene" or the entire tonal range possible with the print.... It feels like, for me, in my limited knowledge and experience, that its more about what tonal range makes the print look how I wanted it to look when I decided to capture the scene. for instance (to use two of the prints I posted) the congressST image doesnt create the tonal range I saw and wanted at least not to its best potential. The tonal range (which may not be the full extent of the scale possible with VDB) in the peyton image does and did result in a scale I wanted and saw. The door being bright and vibrant and the shadows and mid tones being just how I saw them.

    so its an interesting point you bring up sandy. lots to think about and likely lots to eventually learn and experience on my end.

    sidenote: what sorts of films would, in your opinion, work better to achieve this range? films like efke 25? etc?
     
  20. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Something to try that I've had some early success with is Freestyle APHS ortho film. It's available in 1417 I believe so you would just cut it down under a red lamp. Efke 25 is beautiful but pricey. I splurged for some for the 11X14.
     
  21. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Matt, looks like you've hit stride with the 717. Of this group, I like the last two best. Wonderful job!
     
  22. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Actually that one looks like it has a full tonal range to me. A full tonal range is when the ares of the print that should be very dark are indeed very dark and when areas that should be very light with just a bit of texture are indeed very light and have just a bit of texture. Your negative for the Peyton school looks to have been about right to me to do that.

    As for film, if Efke 25 or 50 is available to you in 7X17 format those would be good films for devloping lots of contrast for VDB. Efke 100 is also pretty good, as is FP4+. I would leave films like JandC 200 and 400, HP5+, and TRI-X at home, though, if shooting for VDB. The only time they will give enough contrast is when the sun is out.

    Sandy
     
  23. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately the best film I've found for building loooooong scales in staining developers is - APX100.

    Sometimes "clearing" the highlights with very dilute rapid fix saves an otherwise dull print.

    When I added a pinch of oxalic acid to the mix, the contrast seemed to go up a bit.

    All of the above may be wrong.

    But I like your pictures!
     
  24. roy

    roy Member

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    I like looking at the images you post Matt and have often wondered about the contrast. Not having made a Van Dyke print, I have no knowledge of that side of the process. Fully accepting your right to produce prints to look as you want and as you visualised the scene, I was wondering if you try to achieve a specific density range when you develop your film.
     
  25. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I can not comment about APX-100 or clearing the highlights with very dilute rapid fix. However, I am about 99.9% certain that adding oxalic acid to classic VDB mixture will not change the ES of the process. Some years ago I devoted several weeks trying to find a way to alter the ES of VDB, during which time i experimented with numerous additives to the regular VDB forumula, including oxalic acid. Some of the additive changed the sensitivty of the process, but basically nothing I did changed the ES, and I tested this very carefully.

    Granted, I could have made a mistake but at this point in time my opinion is that the only way to change the ES of VDB is via the ferric citrate method I mentioned earlier.

    It has always surprised me how many sources from past literature mention ways of changing the contrast of VDB, but when you really test their methods you find they are simply all wrong.

    The fact that you can not change the ES of the process means that for all practical purposes in-camera negatives must be perfectly exposed and developed if one is to get a print with a full range of tones. And of course, in some low contrast lighting situations this is simply impossible owing to the extremely long ES of the process.

    Sandy
     
  26. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Well, Matt.... I love these! And because I am the only one who absolutely loves that first one... perhaps it should come & live here with me where it will be appreciated every day! :wink:

    Your work is great! I have no clue about pt/pd/pc/pdq-whatever, and the only VanDyke I know about is the only who plays on Diagnosis Murder... but I just love looking at your photos! :smile: Thanks for putting them up!