Well, this thread stimulated me to try out the Ware/Malde method this weekend. It turns out I have all the raw materials necessary to mix up the solutions for making palladium prints using their method. To top it all off, the weather here in Houston was that just-before-the-front-blows-through mugginess that keeps the ambient humidity at a nice 55% or so.
So I mixed up the chemicals and made my first print with a negative I have printed before. I coated, allowed it to completely air dry to an RH of 47%. Wow! Very nice deep brown tones. So I'm feeling pretty smart after one print. I make another. Whoa! This one is neutral and weak. What gives? Same on print #3. I chalk it up to Saturday exhaustion, and some slightly lower contrast negatives on the second two prints.
Sunday comes and I make a print with a negative that I have deliberately made with a higher DR. (you don't want to know how, at least on this forum). The ambient humidity is 55% - perfect warm brown color - almost a walnut color. Again, first print - WOW! This process really seems to like some beefy, high DR negatives. Now I see if I can duplicate it with a second print. The RH has crept up to 58%. I allow it to completely dry to ambient humidity (again, now 58%). Neutral black, but tonally very nice.
Lessons learned - (big man here, with 7 prints under his belt!!)
1) This process is incredibly sensitive to humidity. I was stunned that a 3% change in RH would change the print tonality that much. If you value consistency, then a controllable humidification chamber would be a must.
2) Exposure is easy, since it is a printing out process. Just cook and look.
3) Single coating gives very nice Dmax prints. Mine measure 1.4 with no effort at all.
4) No developer to futz around with. This was nice for me, as I had just done an absolute Gumbie thing the night before and poured my 2 liters of Potassium Oxalate back into a hypo-clear jug. (Dumb way to waste some $$)
Summary: For the casual user who can get a humid workspace, and does not care too much about repeatable print color, this is a nice easy way to go. All you need are a very few chemicals and a printing frame and some sunshine. For serious workers who need repeatable print color and contrast, this process is a little wild.
Interesting results, not surprised though...Thanks for posting your results Clay.
(I did not know the humidity in Houston was ever below 50% - )
Clay... thank you so much for this. From your experience with the process it can obviously be concluded that with the Ware/Malde method the first print always works!! As I do mostly one-offs this is perfect for me!!
I started 6 years ago with a ziatype kit. Try to picture if you will, our normal humidity in Tonopah Nevada of 4-8%. I'm constantly re-soaking towels in warm water and blowing air through them to try to arrive at some humidity, poorly controlled, never the same. Best thing I ever did was give up on that fiasco. Now I'm using the so-called traditional pt/pd method. Drying my coated paper to potatoe chip crispness with a hair dryer set on cool, and getting a rather nice d-max if I do say so. I think success is invariably linked with place and perhaps there is no right or wrong way to do these set in stone. The best case might be for different workers to give some thought to their inherent environment and proceed in a direction that suits it more than less. Be flexible. Experiment. To fuss over whether a pt/pd print should be misnomered as a "Platinum" borders on pure snobbery in my vocabulary.
just a thought.... I believe it is possible that someone can be a 'serious worker' without multiple cloning of their images being a requirement of the process.
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I agree with you. It depends on the artist. In my original statement I intended to imply the premise 'if they need repeatability'. It is just a matter of degree. None of my platinum or gum prints are exactly the same, but the variation is generally pretty small. This process just struck me as being a little wilder in terms of picture to picture variation.
One other thing I forgot to mention. The best looking paper I tried during my experimenation was Buxton. Naturally, this is the most expensive. Platinotype was okay, as was COT 320. I'm going to try some vellums next.
Originally Posted by Annie
I've never tried the Buxton... I think that is the paper that Dr. Ware refers to as the least 'hostile'.
I think that one thing that may be of assistance to those that wish to have precise control of paper RH is the use of a Sword Hygrometer, it is used in paper manufacture in testing the RH of the rolls. With a small stack of paper you could just insert the blade between the sheets and get a very precise reading of the actual RH of the paper.
For myself I think I can solve the humidity problem by sunprinting on rainy days..... cheers
Hi all -
browsing through APUG after many years away from the forum, I found Don's response to this post. Thanks for thinking of me, but I do want to make a correction: I continue to work with the process (many refer to it here as the Ware-Malde process, Mike Ware and I prefer to call it the Ammonium process, or Ammonium pt-pd system), along with whatever other methods that best suite my expressive needs. Please feel free to take a look at my web site for images.
Last edited by pmalde; 02-23-2009 at 09:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I enjoy being able to casually examine various books on interesting photographic processes, and hence I have skimmed Dr. Arentz's book. Far be it from me to comment on the methods and techniques used by those whose results speak for themselves. However, even a casual reading of Dr. Arentz's book reveals a heavy emphasis on densitometry and testing. It is important to know that Dick ( if I might use the first name ) was, I believe, at The University of Michigan with the much admired and sorely missed Phil Davis. If heresay is to be believed, Dr. Arentz ( an oral surgeon I think )took one of the late Mr. Davis's courses in photography. The two became friends, Dr. Arentz is said to have studied with Mr. Davis, and-as they say-the rest is history. It would be expected that Dr. Arentz would be familiar with, and use, the BTZS methodology. As far as understanding Platinum and Palladium printing, a more accessible text might lead one to the Weese and Sullivan book on the subject.
Last edited by Mahler_one; 02-23-2009 at 10:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
palladium toned kallitypes
I frequently choose this process when I want the color and tonality of palladium but don't want to make pure pd/pt prints. The toning method works very well, is easy to do, gives the color and tonality of pd extremely well, and it certainly saves money.
Originally Posted by doughowk
I label these a "Kallitype toned with palladium" on the edge of the print as well as in my notes.
I have tried Dr. Ware's method with some success. I have a humidifier in the darkroom which enables me to easily re-humidify the coated paper to a consistent level. The results are pleasing, but no more so than the traditional methods, and they are certainly more touchy and time consuming.
My preference is for the traditional method using a 1:4 mix of platinum to palladium, or straight palladium.
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