Last Sunday outing to a cement factory ....

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by scootermm, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    last sunday I had some spare time to spend outside shooting. Woke up way past my normal shooting time. Usually I try and get up before sunrise to enjoy the early morning light, but my eyelids were entirely too heavy sunday morning. so I enjoyed the early morning light from the nice big windows of my folks upstairs guest bedroom on a wonderfully sunny and blue lit lake.

    not quite the same but nonetheless enjoyed it.

    I strolled out of bed around mid morning and loaded film into my 7x17 holders. Id sadly forgotten to bring my 8x10 holders and film so stuck to the 7x17.

    I drove over to the old abandoned Longhorn Cement Factory on Wurzbach Parkway just northeast of San Antonio. Id be lying if I said I didnt see the HUGELY beligerent signs ready "NO TRESPASSING". Although I dont understand this word ?trespassing? that only pertains to deliquent highschool kids with too much time on their hands and too many cans of spraypaint right? I mean Im just a well meaning photographer with a large cumbersome camera who loves these sorts of locales.
    I thought Id take the chance. usually Im big on trying my best to abide by these rules, to not trespass and be a good law abiding citizen. but places like this are way too seductive to pass up. so I resigned to be a lawbreaking rebel and climb the barb wired fence. Actually, there was no barbwire, and for that matter there wasnt even a fence. You can just walk right into this place, no fences, nothing. If thats not a welcome invitation I dont know what is.

    I set my backpack and tripod down inside one of the buildings and began walking around seeing what if anything would resonate. My dog loved the walking around part, I on the other hand loved it but managed to expel every bit of water I had in my body, little bit steamy when its a Texas July day. But I braved it and just used the wonderful towel and bottle of water.

    I managed to shoot 8 negatives and printed 4 of them last night. Thought about putting them in the critique gallery but I dont like when theres more than one image from the same person. So I thought Id ramble on and create a semi useless thread in the ULF forum and hopefully get some peoples thoughts on these.

    I used Arches Platine paper. Ive pretty some 8x10s with it once before but thought Id try out some 7x17 negs on it to see how I like it.
    All four of these are printed on platine, palladium, with Na2, developed in Pot. Oxalate at 120degrees. Would love to hear what people think of them both as a group or as individual images.

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  2. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I wish I had the guts to go into places like that by myself. There's actually a lot of them not far from the Arch (across the river in East St. Louis) that would be neat to photograph, but you need a crew of police with you at least. I'd have to say that I like number 4 the best, but they do work well as a series.

    Can you tell me how you are coating the Arches Platine? I mean, are you humidifying, letting it air dry for some period of time and/or are you double coating the paper? I'm just wondering as I'm still struggling a bit with this paper.
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Matt- does warming up the PoTox make that muc of a difference? I usually print with it at room temperature, and have been for the most part happy with my results. What would printing it warm do for me that it isn't doing at room temperature?
     
  4. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    The fourth one works the most for me - it's the diagonal line I think that does it. Looks like a great place to photograph. Nice prints.

    - Randy
     
  5. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I like the first ones feeling of emptiness.
     
  6. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    You can heat up the developer to near 200F for a warmer effect. If you do a straight pd print in very hot developer, they are quite brown.

    Very nice work Matt
     
  7. SteveH

    SteveH Member

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    Very cool photos Matt. There is an old vinyl coating factory here that is slated to become lux condos (Go figure....$800k condos in a toxic waste site...). Regardless, I requested to photograph the building before it is to be gutted. I have one permit, working on another....
     
  8. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Great images Matt, and great use of the panoramic format. Thanks for sharing. These images are truly fantastic.
     
  9. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    Let me preface this by saying that I know just enough about this to be dangerous! When I took Kerik's workshop we tried warming the developer to 140F. The result was pretty dramatic: strong sepia with rich brown tones. It seemed intuitive: warm = warm. Not for all subjects, but it worked well with the image from that session which is my homepage photo.
     
  10. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Diane, not coating anyway differently to be honest. for these I used 1.2ml of Ferric Oxalate, 1.2ml Palladium, 1 drop of 10% Na2. single coated with a 4" richeson 9010. No humidifying or anything special. Although texas is a high humidity locale. :smile: so maybe thats good enough to keep it humid.
    really it seemed to coat pretty darn well for me.
     
  11. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Scott, the tone is alot warmer Ive found. getting the developer too warm around 160degrees+ Ive noticed some burning in the unexposed areas of the coating. warming it to 120degree compared to room temp the middle tones and middle to shadows give a much warmer tone.

    Thanks everyone for the comments and such.
     
  12. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Matt,

    If you want to experiment a bit, try double-coating the Platine. You can either do 2 full-strength coats or one full coat and one diluted 1:1 with water or 2 coats diluted 2:1 (sensitizer:water). Typically, double-coating Platine will boost your DMAX and contrast somewhat (maybe too much for your contrastier negs). You will also need to increase your exposure about 25% or so. Keep rockin'...
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    ok- so the temperature boost changes the color tone of the image. I'm pretty happy with how warm my images are turning out already, so I don't think I need to heat up my developer, but it's a nice trick to have to add to the arsenal.
     
  14. Steve Sherman

    Steve Sherman Subscriber

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    Third image is an absolute home run. If there aren't 30 triangular shapes in that one photograph there isn't one.

    Outstanding Matt
     
  15. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    thanks alot all. appreciate peoples thoughts.

    Kerik, thanks for the info. I have not tried double coating the Platine yet, have tried with Rives BFK and the distilled water cutting. It made a noticeable difference with an 8x10 HP5 negative in particular. Will have to try it with the Arches Platine as well. Might use that same HP5 neg as it can use the boost in apparent DMAX.

    thanks again all.
     
  16. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    The last two really got me in the gut and made my head swim just a little bit. Thanks for sharing :smile:
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I really agree with this assessment. I'm very fond of the third one, because there are so many dynamic angles that your eye keeps wandering around and around within the image, but never twice in the same path.
     
  18. ron mcelroy

    ron mcelroy Member

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    I like the way the bottom 2 images work together.
     
  19. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Thanks for posting these images. I think they hang together very well as a group and would be best displayed that way. In fact, you might consider returning and adding to the portfolio.

    The inside/outside images look a bit hot to me. If you return and photograph there again consider exposing and developing for a higher SBR to increase shadow density and reduce contrast.

    I take my hat off to you. Photograhing in San Antonio in July/August shows real committment.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2006
  20. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Wow! 200F! With 120F potassium oxalate i get an ES of about 2.3, seems like you would need a real contrasty negative for 200F PO.
     
  21. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I say sleep in more often. You do wonderful things with that light. Only a guess, but it may be needed to so illuminate those scenes so well. The single images are great, but as a series they have even more impact. I visualize a many image show in the making. Congrats on work well done.

    John Powers
     
  22. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Beautiful work, as usual! I wish we had places like that down here. We probably do - I just don't know where they are!

    Thank you for sharing
     
  23. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Matt

    Theres some good work there, especially like the 1st followed by the last. You seem really adept at using the panoramic format on 'irregular' subjects. Well done!

    Phill