Palladium coating trouble shooting

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by cperez, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. cperez

    cperez Member

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    Quick question: Does someone have an on-line resource they can point me to regarding Pt/Pd (in my case palladium only) paper coating troubleshooting?

    Over the weekend I tried coating Arches 120# with a brush (soaked in distilled water) using a Photographer's Formulary kit.

    I'm not getting the dark areas as deep as I've seen possible, and the darks are a little "grainy" feeling... leaving me to believe I might not have humidified the paper enough, or maybe that I need to go with a glass coating rod.

    I have a Pt/Pd print from Ray Bidegain to use as reference. His image is super sharp with nice deep blacks, subtle luminous gradations, and none of this "grainy"/"solution didn't soak in enough" feeling that I just stumbled into.
     
  2. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Graininess, and lack of tonal depth may result from a coating problem (not enough liquid for the surface area being coated, or the related problem of extending the coated area too far beyond the intended boundaries of the image). Or, in the conventional Pt/Pd process, you can also get a grainey, anemic image if there is too much of the #2 contrasting agent in the mix.

    A coating rod does allow you do coat an area with less liquid than is required with a brush.
     
  3. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    The first question is, are you sure this is a good paper for pt/pd? In other words, do you know others that are using it successfully? I tried Arches watercolor a few years ago and it gave very poor results, even with acid presoak and the regular bag of tricks.
     
  4. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I've not had the best luck with Arches either. The hot press I have found the best, but only with a good oxalic acid pre-soak. Without you are going to get poor dmax (grainy look) and uneven printing. Is Ray printing on the same paper?

    Bill
     
  5. cperez

    cperez Member

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    Interesting.

    Ray uses Arches (and Crane's too, if memory serves). In fact, Patrick Kolb (Ray taught Pat) showed me his technique and we saw the compared effect between Crane's and Arches.

    In any event, your points regarding paper selection are well taken. Thank you.


     
  6. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Try the pre-soak if you haven't you will be amazed at the difference. A double coat may help as well to get that rich black Ray is getting.

    Good luck!

    Bill
     
  7. cperez

    cperez Member

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    Pre-soak in oxalic acid? Or distilled water?

    While I'm at it, I think I'd better try some Crane's too. :smile:

     
  8. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Are you sure the paper they were using was not Arches Platine vs Cranes Cover Stock (aka Platinotype)? And not Arches Watercolor...just a thought, because there is a BIG difference in Platine and the many other papers made by Arches. Just a thought.
     
  9. payral

    payral Member

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    Be carefull, Arches is a big factory and makes a lot of different paper. Arches Platine only is for pd/pt printing (even if it's possible to print on few others). It's really my favorite but it needs two things: warmth over 20°C (68° F) and a very good humidity over 50% around 60 -70% is the best. My darkroom is always a bit over 50% and I humidify the paper I will use for at least 30mn before printing.
     
  10. cperez

    cperez Member

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    Well... I did pick the paper up from the drawer marked Arches Platine. And there was a nice little note on the badget that said this was specifically for Pt/Pd work. This, even though it was at a local art supply store.

    It looks like I'd better check what I really have. I wonder if they loaded up the wrong paper into the drawer? Something about believe, but verify??? :smile:

     
  11. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    As Comrade Gorbachev put it, "Doveriyai, no Proveriyai". Trust, but Verify.

    You know that in Russian, the word for Peace and the word for World are the same... Mir. So, when Gorbachev says, "I want peace", he's really saying, " I want the world!". -
    Ronald Reagan era joke.
     
  12. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    If you bought full sheets (22x30) there will be a watermark in the corner that says Arches Platine. Platine should not need a pre-soak to work well. But, that paper has been inconsistent over the years.
     
  13. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    That would be in a 1% oxalic acid solution. Weigh out 1 gram per 100 milliliters of water... distilled is preferable. Soak the paper for 5-10 minutes, dry and let hydrate a bit and then coat. If you use the Cranes, you will not have to acid treat. Acid treating is for papers that have a base buffer to make it "acid free". Due to the fact that the process is a slightly acidic one, the acid free papers need to be treated to get the best results.
    The recent batch of Platine I had did benefit from a pre-soak. I was surprised as I had heard it did not require treatment.

    Bill
     
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  15. Ray Bidegain

    Ray Bidegain Member

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    Hi Chris:

    I am thinking the paper you bought from Art media is not the Arches Platine, I was in there not long after you, and did not see any of the platine. You can get if from Daniel Smith on line. The Arches Platine should work fine with out any pre soak hoop jumping. The cranes platinotype from B&S has always been my mainstay but the batch from the spring was really bad and I am not sure they have re stocked yet. I have some of both and maybe we can find a time so I can give you a few sheets.

    Best,

    Ray Bidegain
     
  16. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Ray, Yes the last batch of p-type I ordered was full of the black plague. It almost cost me a show as I was printing the last prints when I broke the new batch open. Good thing I had some old Opaline that I finished printing the show with but that meant using a paper I hadn't used before as I had just bought a batch of Opaline from a printer who no longer was printing. As much as I liked the tone of platinotype in my opinion there are a lot of better papers out there that I can use and not have to worry about the black plague.
     
  17. photomc

    photomc Member

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    I feel your pain here...the local Art Supply I have to access to, is the same way. Lots of paper, in and out of drawers..some labeled, some not and most not what it says it is. Once thought I had gotten luck and found some Fabriono Uno, but it turned out to be Artistico (not a bad thing after all) but was hoping I have found a small cache of Uno. As Kerik suggested, if large sheets, most will have a watermark to identify the paper type.

    To avoid this, latest paper order came from Bostick and Sullivan for some COT320, Talas for Arches Platine and Jerry's Artarama for the Fabriono Artistico Extra White (Had picked up some Cranes Platinotype from B&S earlier). It's always
     
  18. cperez

    cperez Member

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    Taking a look at the watermark and pressed bas relief lettering on the corner, all my sheets say "Aquarelle Arches". The watermark just says "Arches France" followed by an infinity symbol.

    Looks like I struck out. :sad:

    I'll try some of the resources mentioned. Since Ray replied that he prefers Cranes, I think that's what I'll be looking for. :smile:

    Again, thanks for everyone's comments and pointers.

     
  19. Kara LaFleur

    Kara LaFleur Member

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    Hello, it sounds like you solved your problem, but I wanted to give my two cents:

    I'm sure this sounds sacraligious, but I find that graininess and poor depth in color can result in over wetting the brush prior to coating. It really depends on the type of brush you are using, as to wheather or not to use this method.

    Also, Pre-soaking Platine can have adverse effects, as it changes the surface quality of the paper, which is speciffically designed to hold on to the pt/pd in the best possible way. But as the previous poster stated, that paper has had it's weird moments in history.

    Happy Printing!
     
  20. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    With all due respect to Ray, Platinotype would be on the bottom of my list. I'd recommend any of the following over P-type (in no particular order):

    COT 320
    Arches Platine (the real thing)
    Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140 lb hot press (pre-treat w/ 2% oxalic acid for 10-15 minutes)
    Rives BFK White 280 gsm or 175 gsm weight
    Rising Stonehenge in White or Natural
    Strathmore Imperial Watercolor
    Clearprint Drafting Vellum
    Cranes Kid Finish

    and so on...
     
  21. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I spoke with Kevin at B&S last week. He informed me that they have continuing problems with p-type and are not shipping it at this time. Too bad, for I like this paper but I had him ship me some COT 320.
     
  22. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    The platinotype is full of black plague.
     
  23. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Trust me, you'll LOVE the COT 320. It coats so easily, and it is very thrifty on the drop count too... I'm getting 6 drops of #1 and 6 of Palladium for a 5x7, and 13 each for an 8x10.
     
  24. jimcollum

    jimcollum Member

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    second the cot 320. i've been coating 11x14 with 14 Pd and 7 Pt, using the 'magic brush'. great dmax as well
     
  25. cperez

    cperez Member

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    I appreciate the continued commentary and guidance.

    With Ray's and Patrick's help I was able to get a few test sheets of Crane's.

    While my coating technique needs improvement, I'm getting better results.

    I also realized the wisdom of using a contact print frame. My old contact print clamshell simply did not put enough pressure on the neg/paper sandwich. The wavey paper left a few "out of focus" areas on the prints.

    Live. Learn. Repeat. :smile:
     
  26. juanito

    juanito Member

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    With cot 320 I have always good and consistents results. I had try arches platine but no good results for me, to much flocculation problems.