Platinum, Carbon or Silver?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Christian Olivet, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. Christian Olivet

    Christian Olivet Member

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    All right. I am new! I have been using large format cameras for three years now. I have dedicated al lot of my time to the learning of technique and I seem to be reaching a point where it is easy to come back home with some decent negatives. I have printed all my negatives on AZO paper. It is a wonderful paper but many times I feel the need for some other qualities in the print that a silver paper can not provide. Have you been there too?

    What I mean is that I feel the need to explore into other photographic processes. I have printed some negatives with palladium ziatypes but not enough to became proficient at extracting the full range of tonalities of my negatives. I am sure that more dedication will get me there. What I love about Ziatipes is the velvety texture and the warm tones.

    I have read many books on alt processes. From all that I have read I seem to have developed an interest in the carbon process. This process seems one of the most involved and difficult to master, yet there is something that calls me towards it. Seeing a good print with the full range of tones would probably dispell any doubts about whether it is worth the sweat or not.

    This is my dream: To be able to print a 12x20" negative on a beautiful watercolor paper and obtain a stunning image full of the most luscious creamy velvety tones that go from a slight warm white to the depest and well separated bitter chocolate brown black. All of this with the sharpness of a contact print on silver paper.

    My question: Is this dream of mine something I should leave for future reincarnations, or is the carbon printing process capable of rendering what I am looking for?
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    *paging Sandy King


    Hopefully, Sandy will read your post as he is considered by many to be the preeminent printer in the field of carbon.


    I've gone to printing palladium and there is a depth there that you cannot get with any silver paper I've seen from AZO to Seagull.
     
  3. roy

    roy Member

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  4. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I think of it this way (and I could be wrong): Silver is great for the middle tones, platinum for the high tones, and carbon for the deep dark tones (plus the 3D quality). If you start carbon, you need to be part scientist, very patient, and take a class from someone who teaches it regularly. There are a couple of folks out there. It is easy to have that beautiful image turn into a black noodle and run down the drain instead of transferring to the paper.
     
  5. cjarvis

    cjarvis Member

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    Then the answer must be kallitype.