Variation on Platinum printing?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by rogein, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. rogein

    rogein Member

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    I read this blurb on the Smith/Chamlee site:

    http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/html/platinumprints.html

    "To make these prints our original negatives are scanned; then five enlarged digital negatives made from each one are printed in register with multiple exposures—a lengthy and arduous process."

    I think I have an idea of what it is but being curious I'd like to know if anyone is familiar with the details of their process?
     
  2. CraigK

    CraigK Member

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    Sounds lengthy and arduous. Must be good.
     
  3. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    5 passes on *translucent handmade Japanese paper*!? How come? (w/o crippling the paper I mean...)

    Besides, why make 5 passes when you can get max density obtainable from a *matte surface* in just one pass? Or, are they implying that their Pt prints have log 2.1 dmax!?

    Sounds like marketing b...lurb :smile:
     
  4. jmdavis

    jmdavis Member

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    salto platinums

    This work is done at Salto in Belgium and has been discussed previously at some length both here and on the Large Format list.

    I have not seen these Platinum Prints. Though my understanding is that George Tice and others have had prints made using the process at Salto.

    Personally, with the high cost (3 digital negs + a shadow mask) involved, I don't think that Tice, Smith, Chamlee and others would be making the investment if the work was not more than just a marketing blurb.


    Mike
     
  5. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    I found the related message by M. Smith:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum54/35145-george-tice-big.html#post411800

    I find hard to believe that they're able to get "dmax just over log 2.0" on matte paper - perhaps they're treating the surface before or after printing!?

    Anyway, I guess the main key word here is "digital"...

     
  6. rogein

    rogein Member

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    Thanks for the link Loris. I don't scour every posting made on the forums so I tend to miss stuff like this. Anyways from Smith's description it sounds like the paper is coated once then several exposures made through varying densities of the same neg? I thought maybe it might be a process like an 'x over y' (ie gum over plat) where the paper was coated, exposed with a neg (mask) of one density then processed and then repeated for each separate neg (mask).
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I suspect they're doing multiple coatings of pt/pd, varying the contrast ratio and pt/pd mix of each coating. That said, I don't know why folks think you can't get good dmax with a single-coated pt/pd print. I can get plenty dark dmax, with a nice tonal range through my highlights with single-coated pd, no contrast agent. Bear in mind who is making the statements about "pd doesn't look good" - folks who drink the Amidol and worship at the church of Azo. To them, black isn't black enough unless it has negative reflectance.

    I don't think you can make multiple exposures on the same coating, but I've never tried. It would make more sense to coat, expose, process, re-coat, re-expose, re-process as long as the paper can handle it. That would also take care of some of the registration issues.
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    The prints on the site look absolutely amazing. Somewhat surreal from a purist stand-point, but nevertheless stunning.

    As I read the description, it does sound like a single coating with multiple exposures. My guess (and that is all it is), is that the multiple exposures would allow for more local control of tones than a single negative would allow...and might be a more precise way to manipulate those tones. I am thinking of all those small dark to black areas thoughout the images.

    Vaughn
     
  9. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I would have to see some prints from a real master platinum prjnter made the traditional way and this way to believe any claims of a superior print using this D------ method.
     
  10. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I forgot to say that I consider Dick Arentz the producer of the best Pt/Pd prints I have seen.
     
  11. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

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    I saw one of these large platinum prints at Photo Paris last year when i met mike smith at the stand, they did look excellent but from what i recall they were not as contrasty as those shown on the web, but that usually happens i suppose.
     
  12. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    Yeah, if you just try to re-expose on the same coating, you would very quickly get to solarization or bronzing. There comes a point with overexposed blacks, that it isn't black anymore. They must be re-coating and then re-exposing. Hey, if it works for them, great, but I am very happy with what I've got working in PtPd.

    If I have one complaint it's that I sometimes don't get as much smoothness in skin tones, and this can vary print-to-print depending on all the personal variables we all put up with.

    Neal
     
  13. donbga

    donbga Member

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    And he also makes prints from digital inkjet negatives!

    And not to take anything away from Dick but there are better platinum printers in the world, IMO, but I'm splitting hairs here so to speak.

    I think if Michael says that the prints are what they are then I would accept his word for it. I've not seen the prints yet first hand but the web versions look stunning.

    I am curious to know how the multiple negative system works but I suspect it is something akin to contrast masks used in other printing disciplines like silver gelatin or Ilfochrome/Cibachrome.
     
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  15. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    A final coating of snake oil is all that is needed to increase the DMAX. It is hard to imagine a 2.1 on a matte paper, but I'll take their word on that. I don't use a densitometer to evaluate print quality.

    From the sales pitch: "but platinum prints can be as rich as silver prints (those by Irving Penn are a good example)". So, if the goal is to make platinum prints look like silver prints, why not just print on Azo? Oh, that's right, they don't make it anymore... IMO, Irving Penn's platinum prints are just painful to look at. Yes, great DMAX, VERY high contrast and mostly lacking any nuance in between. Definitely what he wanted, and he worked and worked until he got it, but it's a look that just doesn't appeal to me.

    MAS is a master salesman and The Pitch is on big time. For anyone wanting to drop $6,500+ on these prints, go for it! And more power to MAS for finding another ad campaign for his work.
     
  16. jmdavis

    jmdavis Member

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    ultimate plan

    I now have the ultimate plan to dispute global warming. All I need to do is get MAS to say that he believes in it and then other people will disagree.

    Granted I am being flippant (sadly a common occurence). But I have seen Michael's (and Paula's) prints. I own one of Michael's prints. And I believe that they produce excellent work. I can't imagine these being different. That being said $6500 is alot of money for me.


    In the context of full disclosure I own one Pt. print and that is by APUG's own Jorge. I own Azo prints by Alex Hawley and MAS. I am very interested in some of Kerik's work as well and hope to see it in person at some point at a workshop.


    Mike
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I agree with Kerik - if you want it to look like a silver gelatin print, just print on silver gelatin paper. Why go to all that effort to make platinum look like silver? I like both kinds of prints; I currently choose to print palladium because I like the look and feel, and I want to explore the medium and what it can do for me that is different from silver gelatin printing. I'm sure that if I monkeyed around enough with multiple exposures and multiple developer baths, I could make a silver gelatin print look like platinum - but why?
     
  18. CraigK

    CraigK Member

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    I've seen quite a few pt/pd and alt prints in my time (geez..I'm sounding like my dad...and with a growing bald patch on my head I'm starting to look like him too..but I digress...)

    Anywho, the two best pt/pd prints I have ever seen were by Dick Arentz (he invited me to demonstate my pt on baryta method in Santa Fe a few years back) and by Kerik Kouklis. I saw a show of his at 8 Elm photo in Toronto. There may be better modern printers and prints out there but I haven't seen them yet.

    Among the worst pt prints I have ever seen were by Irvin Penn. They were displayed at the Corkin gallery in Toronto. They looked like really big Xerox copies...with yellow stains.
     
  19. nze

    nze Member

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    There are many copier of penn print some are really goos other quite badly processed. But Penn print were at his time a new way to print platinum because of he got pure white and pure deep black in his print. For sure a second layer help to get smoother deeper black.
     
  20. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    I use Hydrocote Polyshield Clear Gloss (or Satin) Polyurethane wood finish (non-yellowing) for that. (I apply it with a #30 Meyer coating rod - or is it Meyer?) I must admit that I usually don't prefer to coat Pt/Pd prints with that stuff - it just doesn't feel right if you know what I mean...

    Regards,
    Loris.

     
  21. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    deep blacks and more

    If anyone wants to see the full potential of what the platinum process is capable of they should buy one Mr. Nze's prints. And very reasonable too!!
    Best, Peter
     
  22. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    oh, give me a break guys...they don't realy mean it looks like silver so, gee whiz, why did I even bother with a platinum...good grief..I should have printed it on azo...duh....

    Lot's of folks printing platinum wane over the ability to make blacks 'just like silver'.....and make claims of the such....

    I've seen several of M & P's new platinum prints in person...pretty neat on the thin paper. I can hardly imagine putting the thin paper through developers, clearing etc. and not ruining a few sheets in the process...so how do they look? Great. But to each his own...I think some prints are meant for plat, some for palad., some for silver...Yes, it's pretty neat seeing one printed that big. But would I buy one? Or you? Hey, it's art..to each his own.

    I have also seen other fantastic platinum prints, including Dick's and others...just saw his work at SCC last week. 90% were taken with a DIGITAL Hasselblad....btw.....and then digital negs were made....ony two prints were in camera negs.

    There are quite a few great plat. printers out there. I don't know anyone that has an 'exlcusive' on the process. But imo, if the image sucks, it doesn't matter what its printed on....
     
  23. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Most folks printing platinum could give a rat's ass about making blacks just like silver. Those who do should consider a different medium.

    Amen to that!
     
  24. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    Couldn't agree more! :smile:.
     
  25. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    And a big AMEN to that!

    :smile:

    BTW.. I watched 2 of the GT prints made by Salto fly off the wall at AIPAD for $15,000 each.
     
  26. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    I presume you mean George Tice? If so, I wonder how much of the 15K is because it's Tice relative to the way they were printed...