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  1. #1

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    Pd and solarization + richeson 9010 question

    Since this is not the cheapest of processes I am doing a lot of reading before jumping in. It looks like I have all my bases covered, and I want to make my first print soon In my reading I noticed that people say solarization can be a problem with pure Pd. But, none say how to avoid it. Is this something that just happens? What causes solarization? Is there a way to avoid it? I have never seen solarization, what does it look like?

    RIcheson Question
    SOmeone here a while ago said when you use the risheson 9010 you use it wet, and only give it a couple hard shakes before use. Is this true, or should it only be slightly damp, as Arentze says in his first book when talking about brush (which does not in anyway mention the richeson) coating?


    Edit: I should have said I have seen solarization in regular BW prints but not in any other process. Is it the same effect?
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #2
    colrehogan's Avatar
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    I think the solarization occurs because of overexposure. As for the brush, if you don't have it wet when using, it will cause streaks in your coating. I don't give the brushes hard shakes, but they aren't dripping wet either.
    Diane

    Halak 41

  3. #3

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    Mark,

    Solarization can be a slightly greater problem with pure palladium, and when I started out, I avoided pure palladium because there were so many warnings about this in the books. However, I have found that will good printing skills, it is essentially a non-issue.

    In an image, solarization can appear as somewhat anemic blacks. On the edge of the print beyond the negative, it will often look like the overcoat area is less dense than the the black areas in the negative, and is especially noticable in the rebate area of the negative right next to the overcoat area.

    Rarely have I seen it actually start to ovbviously reverse density in the print, but that is essentially what is happening when a print starts to solarize. Just because you may get some solarization in the overcoat doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting it in the image, though, so minor solarization may not be of any concern.

    Often a print will solarize a bit because too little solution was used in the coating of the paper. This will be much more apparent if you single coat the paper, and especially if you use a rod to coat, because a rod makes it possible to put the solution on in a nice even coat, but with much too little solution for necessary print quality. It doesn't pay to skimp on the solutions much.

    Another issue is the proper exposure and development of the negative. If you heavily overexpose your film, and/or develop in a manner that creates a large B+F (many staining developers do this), you will require much more exposure than is required for an ideal negative. This will create a situation where solarization can become more of a problem.

    -----

    The Richeson brush should be used soaking wet, but not dripping. It is a completely different approach to the burshes the Dick talks about in his book. I think the Richeson brush is far superior, so I believe it is worth the cost of these brushes, as long as you are not abusive of your equipment. A $50 brush (for a 3") seems like a lot, but I have been using mine for hundreds of prints, and they are still going strong. There's a balancing act between too much water and just right. That takes some practice, but with a 2" brush, 4-6 strong shakes toward the floor works well for me.

    Amazingly, if you do it right, when you go to wash the brush almost no solution will wash out, because it didn't absorb any. It doesn't take long to make up the cost of the brush in solution saved compared to the hake brushes discussed in Dick's book. They really are excellent brushes.


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

  4. #4
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    This effect is not the same as solarization in a silver print. In Pd printing the effect is that your darkest shadows start getting lighter - a reversal of the darkest tones, not true solarization. It is most common causes are 1) not enough sensitizer, ie the coating is too thin. This is by far the most common error made by beginners to this process. 2) An exessively contrasty negative that requires a long exposure to get the highlights to print. In both cases this can usually be remedied by either laying down a heavier coat or double-coating. Also, adding some platinum to your mix usually does the trick. And it doesn't take much. The added platinum will increase contrast a bit and move the image tone towards neutral.

    As a rule of thumb, use APPROXIMATELY 0.5 drops of sensitizer (ferric + Pd) per square inch coated. For example, for a 4x5 print you probably want to coat an area about 5x6 or 30 square inches or 15 drops of sensitizer. Since you use equal portions of both, use 7 drops each of Pd and ferric as a starting point. Depending on the paper, you may require a little more or a little less than this, but it's a good place to start.

    Finally, Pd printing is NOT an expensive process. Especially compared to the rising cost of silver printing materials as they become more scarce. It's cheaper than inkjet printing, too! So, don't scrimp on materials because of the perceived high cost. As you print more and start buying in bulk, the cost goes way down. I can make a 14x17 Pd print on a paper like Fabriano Artistico for less than 5 bucks.
    Kerik Kouklis
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  5. #5

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    Mark, Michael and Kerik have this stuff down...so they KNOW what they are talking about. I can only offer you my own experience with the Richeson brush...and that has been I let it soak in some distilled water before using it, think I give a hard 'flick' of the wrist, a few times...if I see the bristles seperate - ie a gap/space between them, it goes back in the water again. Find that if 'looks' wet, but not dripping I get a good coating - plus the bristles do not seperate while coating.

    Kerik, good information about the expense...as traditional silver products change how they are mfg and cost go up (and hey silver has gone up quite a bit recently) the cost of using any process will start to even out. The good news, IMO, is with the help from so many people and threads like this one, we actually save money by doing a better job, learn faster, and make (hopefully) fewer mistakes....thus saving money. Sounds like a good case for taking a workshop ....hmnmmmmm, really Honey, if I take a workshop it will save money
    Mike C

    Rambles

  6. #6

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    Okay, So now I have another problem. My negs are built for POP which calls for a REALLY contrasty neg. This is one of the reasons I chose Pd ove Pt/Pd as the scale is longer for Pd. To get the contrast I need, in some cases I have had to develope the hell out of my negs, so they are pretty dense.

    Should I avoid using the negs made for POP and make some new that are less contrasty or can I use them? I will test on my own, but would like your opinion.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  7. #7

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    Mark,

    What DR were you aiming for? 2.3 to 2.4?I have a feeling you should be able to use them just fine, because I have a handful of pd prints that are made from negatives that use absolutely no contrasting agent at all, and I would prefer a little less contrast (this was a very high contrast subject, and I gave the film a bit too much development time). These would probably print well on pd as long as you don't have an additional .7 or so B+F kicking in at the bottom, or a similar large density to overcome due to overexposure. In that case, you will probably start having problems.

    If you do detect solarization in the image (like I said, it may happen in the overcoat, but not be affecting the image at all), a little PT (5% or 10% should be plenty) will help that. There may be other things that will help as well, but since I have not run into the problem as a matter of course, I don't have a kit of tools to mitigate the problem.

    I completely agree with Kerik that the cost of a PD print is surprisingly small, and if you use an 'expensive' paper like Platine or COT-320 or worse, Buxton, the cost of the paper will be higher than the cost of the chemicals, when you buy in a reasonable volume. As silver becomes harder to find and more expensive as well, the alternative processes become more and more attractive, especially when considering the very low dependance on specialized photo manufacturers that the alternative processes have.


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

  8. #8
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    I had a pd print the other night where the black areas looked like someone had taken a pencil and made them shiny. Is this solarization?
    Diane

    Halak 41

  9. #9
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    colrehogan - If it looks kind of shiny, you may have too much sensitizer in that particular spot. You are actually seeing the metal on top of the paper.

    mark - one of the joys of Pt/Pd is you can vary the contrast of the paper to match the negative. It will require some experimentation, but you can do it.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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