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  1. #1
    Shinnya's Avatar
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    After my dinner with my friends....

    Hi,

    I was making some Pd prints tonight, and they were coming out OK. No, problems with clearing. Then I had to go to my friend's house for a dinner. After staying there for about 4 hours, I came back to continue the darkroom work.

    I coated enough papers to use up for tonight before I left, and start making some more exposures on them. But these prints came out very weak. I am not a maximum-D-Max person, but they were unacceptably weak. The details in the shadow were not separating, and the prints looked as if they were in HCA for a long time even though they were still in the developer. I used all the same chemicals, and even left a humidifier on while I was away.

    Why these papers were not acting the same way? Is there a certain time limit in which I have to use up the papers? Any insight would be appreciated.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi
    ----- P R O J E C T B A S H O -----
    Re-introducing Photography to Philadelphia
    Summer '11 Photography Workshops

  2. #2

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    Tsuyoshi,

    No, 4 hours in the dark 'resting' should not have a negative impact on the prints like you have described. It may change the speed of the paper slightly, and it may make them a little harder to clear, but these will be subtle changes, not substantial differences.

    I know some people who will age all their paper for several hours to help it normalize on humidity. They believe it provides the best consistancy that they are able to get in their darkrooms. It doesn't negatively affect the image quality in any way.

    Did you use hot developer for the first batch, and room temperature developer for the later batch? That can substantially affect the speed of the paper, and if the developer were at room temperature, you might have to leave the paper in a good bit longer to get full dmax out of the print, if you gave it enough exposure to get it to dmax.


    ---Michael
    www.mutmansky.com
    B&W photography in Silver, Palladium, and gum bichromate.

  3. #3

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    Tsuyoshi, I have seen that happen with Ziatypes...but would expect that since it is a POP process that "depends" on humidity as part of the developing process. I am guessing that you were processing the more traditional DOP Pd process, in which case I have no experience at all. I would ask if there was any changes in humidity during the time you were away. Keep us posted, I for one, am very interested in what the possible cause would be. Perhaps step by step details of your process might give some on here a clue as to what happened. Then, Michael may be correct - after all he is one of the guys I would stop and listen to when asking for help.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  4. #4
    Shinnya's Avatar
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    Thanks Micheal and Mike,

    I thought 4 hours should not make any difference... Here's what my printin environment was:

    Paper: Fabriano Artistico (soaked in 2% O.A. for 10 min.)
    Coating: single coat and air-dry for 30min after coating
    Developer: P.O. around 40 degrees in celsius (fresh mix from raw chemicals)
    Humidity: anywhere from 55-65%
    Clearing agent: HCA

    I was printing four different negatives at the same time. I run test strips for each of them, and made one print of each (7x17). Exposures were anywhere from 5 to 12 minutes under my UV box. Washed them and dried them on screens. I put the developer back into a bottle, washed a tray for developer, left one of the humidifiers on, kept unexposed papers in a paper box, and turned off the light in darkroom when I left.

    I think the humidity was around 50% when I came back. I turned on the other humidifier (actually a steamer from my kitchen), and start making exposures on papers out of the box. I made some adjustment based on dried prints. I exposed 5 sheets with four negatives first while I was bringing up the temperature of P.O. and doing other things.

    Did I cover everything I can cover? Let me know if I can provide more information. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi
    ----- P R O J E C T B A S H O -----
    Re-introducing Photography to Philadelphia
    Summer '11 Photography Workshops

  5. #5

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    Tsuyoshi,

    In theory, what you describe will not cause any problems. I often print on Artistico and have coated paper sitting around for that long with no problems at all. The changes in speed that are experienced are mostly related to the humidity of the paper, which is why some people make a point of curing the paper for a while to obtain better consistancy.

    Regardless, the speed difference with humidity in develop-out pt/pd is subtle, not drastic, so that is unlikely to be the problem.

    Did the paper have any trouble clearing? Look carefully for a slight yellow/brown stain in the highlights. If they are not absolutely paper white, then you may have a problem with the paper which I can discuss if that appears to be the problem. The paper may also have low dmax (as you experienced) and possibly mottling of tones in shadow regions.

    Was the UV exposure unit cold when you did the second round of prints? That will heavily affect the exposure initially if you are using a fluorescent UV exposure unit without the benefit of an integrating timer. There are ways to work around this as well.

    Other than those two items, I would probably chalk it up to pilot error somewhere in the mixing of chemicals, exposure, or development. Especially if it is not possible to replicate the problem a second time.

    I typically onnly use the Artistico for combination gum bichromate and pt/pd prints, as I prefer Platine or COT-320 for straight pt/pd. However, it can make a great pt/pd print in it's own right if it is treated properly.


    ---Michael
    www.mutmansky.com
    B&W photography in Silver, Palladium, and gum bichromate.

  6. #6
    Kerik's Avatar
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    Hello Tsuyoshi,

    I suspect waiting that long allowed the sensitizer to sink too deeply into the paper. This won't happen with most papers, but it used to be a problem with Fabriano Uno which was the predecessor to Artistico Extra White. With this paper I coat, let it sit for a minute or two then place it under a cool fan. After a few minutes under the fan I complete the drying process with a hair dryer on warm.

    Kerik
    Kerik Kouklis
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  7. #7

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    Tsuyoshi, great information as you can Michael and Kerik know this stuff...I'm still pretty new at it. Since you mentioned you were using Fabriano Artistico, thought I would pass on something I found out yesterday. I had some Artistico that I tried on some VDB, and they came out really weak - almost like the substrate washed off, real flat. Was telling Mateo about it yesterday and he ask if I had hot pressed or cold pressed....hmmmm I did not know. Turns out it was cold press and it sucked the substrate up like a sponge. Mateo indicated that the cold press would not be as smooth as the hot press, texture would be obvious - which it was.

    Don't know if that helps, but hey thought I would at least share what I knew. You are getting help from the guys that know this stuff...they are really good at it.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  8. #8

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    Kerik,

    That would have been my first suggestion if he had said that he had done the first batch and dried them after 5 minutes or if it were summertime in PA with 85% RH. Since he said he left them for 30 minutes, I don't suspect this to be the problem, because in my experience in Pennsylvania weather, it is dry enough in the winter for the prints to be completely dry in 30 minutes. It hovers around 35% in the winter in PA, and I humidify up to 50% in the darkroom. Beyond 30 minutes, there should be no additional migration of the solutions that will make a noticable difference.

    However, it is another thing to consider, especially if the ambient temperature of the drying room is low, or if the humidifier raised the humidity up to a high level.

    ---Michael
    www.mutmansky.com
    B&W photography in Silver, Palladium, and gum bichromate.

  9. #9
    Kerik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Mutmansky
    or if the humidifier raised the humidity up to a high level.---Michael
    Right. That's why I suggested it.
    Kerik Kouklis
    Platinum/Gum/Collodion
    www.kerik.com
    2013 Workshop Schedule Online



 

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