Jay, I am by far and in no sense an expert pt/pd printer, but if you like to send me your address by email I will send you a 4x5 pt/pd print. It would have to be in a few weeks as I am leaving for Houston but I would gladly do this so you can judge if you would like to jump into this.
Ok, cool! send me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org and as soon as I get back from HOuston will work on making a few prints and will make yours.
Later all. You all behave.hear!
Another question for the platinum printers--how many prints does it take to get it right typically, compared to what you would usually do when printing on silver? Does the ability to inspect the print as it develops using a split-back frame usually make it easier, or is there still a certain amount of unpredictability in accounting for clearing, toning, drying, and anything else that may happen later on in the process?
This is a good question. Once you've "got your chops" it generally takes fewer sheets to get a good Pt/Pd print than one in silver. In fact I more or less _expect_ my first or second print (no tests) to be really satisfying. I think this has to do mainly with the very long scale negative and very soft paper and partial self-masking. Inspection works great with the POP versions of Pt/Pd, but is of questionable value with the develop-out methods
The way it works out, your first good print (after you've been doing this a while) may be easier and cheaper and quicker to get than your first good print working in silver. However, when you need to make five more of them, it will take far longer, and cost a whole lot more, to do them in Pt/Pd than in silver (where it should take about half an hour).
Thanks. That's useful information.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (carlweese @ Oct 31 2002, 12:58 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>In fact I more or less _expect_ my first or second print (no tests) to be really satisfying. I think this has to do mainly with the very long scale negative and very soft paper and partial self-masking. </td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
I am starting to believe that a good portion of the beauty found in the alt-processes are more due to the long-scale negative and soft medium than the medium itself. There are a lot of parallels between the hand-coated papers and azo and amidol.
Of course I recognize there are important differences as well, I am mostly talking about the negativemaking/printmaking relationship.
I just stumbled upon this thread today, but as I have recently taken up alt processes myself, I can offer a few observations from the perspective of the recently initiated.
I began with the Van Dyke Brown process and found it very pleasing, though I do feel in retrospect that my results would have been better had I used a different paper to print on. If you are contemplating platinum as a future endeavor (as I was at the time) it is a nice starting point to get you used to the printing out-concept as well as coating, etc.
I tried the kalllitype process next, and found it to be difficult. (Granted, I did not give it much time.) From images I have seen reproduced, it is obvious that this process is capapble to extraordinary results in the right hands.
So, slightly humbled by the kallitype process, I took the big step and ordered the chemicals necessary to try the Dreaded, Expensive, Magical, Nearly Impossible, Time-Consuming Palladium printing. I started with palladium mainly because using any platinum seemd a bit to costly at the outset. Here are my observations (these are personal observations only, so your results may vary):
1. It is NOT difficult. If anything, it is a bit easier than silver printing. I am far from a master, and the second print I processed was very nice (if I say so myself). Dick Arenz and Carl Weese both have great books on the process. Do get these if you are interested in the process.
2. It is NOT time-consuming (at least not in terms of the time required to make a print. It may be time cosuming when you become obsessed with it!). I can coat paper, expose, and process a print in under an hour, and most of that time is spent standing around waiting -- and it can be done with the lights on.
3. It is really not that expensive. It certainly is not cheap, but then no one would say that photography is a cheap hobby! I do not think it is very much more expensive than silver printing. When using conventional silver paper, I usually go through several sheets (at best) before I get an acceptable print, not to mention a good one. With palladium, I can often do this in one sheet!
Try it. If you use small negatives (2 1/4x 2 1/4 or 4/5) the chemistry will last you quite a while. I think I calculated that for roughtly $100 you can whip up 45 ml of palladium chloride, which should be enough to coat 36 or so 8x10s (or 124 4x5s!). That's not too bad if you do the division.
I assume the acceptable first or second print in platinum is the result of using a UV light source that's not the sun? Or do people do platinum prints at all using the sun? I would assume not, considering the cost... I sometimes do cyanotypes (always in the sun), and they turn out pretty good usually, although if I mess up it's nothing to cry over.
I have used both the sun and artificial uv light. I use the latter now that I set up a reliable system of lights. Both ways work, uv light is just more convenient. Even using the sun, you should be able to get a good print pretty fast once you have a sense of the materials.
Paul I just ordered my Pd from B&S ...$90 gave 50 ml solution of pd. I guess if we include shipping you are correct for about $100 you can get 50 ml of pd.
Pt OTOH is another story!.... http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/sad.gif