POP pt/pd - is this the best you can achieve?
I've been playing around with POP pt/pd. I find the look of the print too flat, the quality looks like a cheap newspaper print.
Is there anything I can do to enhance the print? Toning?
Have you tried using a contrastier negative (or intensifying the neg to get a contrastier print)?
I've seen POP pt/pd prints before- this is not indicative of the potential results. A POP print should be all but indistinguishable from a regular pt/pd print. I'd second David's comment about either using a contrasting agent or picking a better negative.
If you are married to the idea of saving THIS print, you can try to tone it. I've had some success with boosting contrast using selenium toner on the final print - it will kill your selenium bath though. Depending on the concentration you use, you might get three or four prints toned in 1 liter of selenium toner. Diluted enough, you'll get just one (and when I say diluted enough, I'm talking about a 1:7 or 1:15 dilution, not particularly weak dilution).
I'm not familiar with POP Pt/Pd, and unfortunately, Pt/Pd prints don't scan as well as silver prints. That said, the example you have shown seems to be suffering from a problem called "brassing".
Brassing generally means that there is not enough metal salts (Pt and/or Pd) in the sensitizing solution, and can occur for a couple of reasons. One is that you simply need to add more metal salt to the solution.
Brassing can also occur when the solution is correct but is applied to thinly to the paper. If you are making a 4x5 print, for example, most standard formulas call for 12 drops of sensitizer (6 drops of ferric oxylate and 6 drops of metal salts). But if those 12 drops of solution are then applied over a significantly larger area (say 35 square inches for a 5x7 print rather than 20 square inches for a 4x5 print), there won't be enough sensitizer and brassing can result.
You can have a look at some POP palladium prints (Zia) here and you will see it's possible to get good results may you need negatives made for it.
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I do a lot of POP Ziatype , pizzigheli or Ware method and for sure I get better result than that quite similar to DOP and often with better in the low light detail due to the print out self masking image.
You can see some on my flickr account
and other still llife.
In your case , after looking to the scan , I think you have a paper problem , this grainy aspect may be due to the paper. Do you use pure palladium or platinum palladium mix??
Second , POP print need longer DR negative, a negative I print on pure palladium DOP without contrasting agent will need some contrasting agent or will be flat. And the oppposite is that I can't print a neg made for POP wihtout contrasting agent on a dop paper without loosing part of the detail in the low or highlight.
Now days my choice for DOp or POP is likned to the tone of the print that I want, For neutral I often use POP fot warm I play with one or the oether sependign on the warmer tone I Want
Another possible answer, I noticed that you used Arches Satin paper - one I am not familiar with. Try one of the papers that are more mainstream, like Arches Platine, COT-320 or the Weston Diploma paper that has been discussed recently.
I have run through this process and have had prints just like this. IIRC, when this happened it was due to 'wash off' because the paper did not work well for the process. Do you recall if the print looked good just after you put it in the rinse after developing? If so, then that really leads me to think that is part of the issue. If you do not mask around the negative, then the area around the negative where the substrate is exposed should be a nice rich black - if not then there are a few possible thoughts.
1. there was not enough substrate (AFO+LiPd)
2. the substrate was there and washed off with the first rinse, or came off in the clearing baths (the paper issue)
3. the negative does not match the process. Here a step wedge is invaluable, it will let you see what your process is doing and not have to worry if it is a negative problem or not.
Take a look at this print and you will notice how the edges tend to be 'washed out', due to the fact that the coating is thin there. However, the overall image is what you should be able to get. POP plt/pld is quite finicky sometimes, humidity plays a BIG role with these and like most plt/pld process paper is also a major player. You will get what you want, it may just take time. It took me the better part of a year before I was able to get a print that I could reproduce more than one time (it was off and on though, not every week).
There are several people here that have worked with the process, so one of them may see something I have not. If all else, send an email to Bostick and Sullivan, they are always great to help out. Good Luck!!
thanks a lot for the comments and poining out so many possible solutions!
I used a ready-made pt/pd solution from www.permadocument.be - they have an introduction kit. As a result, I can't really say what's in it :-)
I may add that while exposing, the edges not covered by the negative, go deep black within a few minutes. Total exposure of this print went over 30 minutes.
It can help to say that it is Wephota (made by Forte) 100ASA film, developed in Tanol 1+1+100, a staining developer by www.moersch-photochemie.de
Since I don't have a densitometer, I can't give you any details, but my negatives usually print well on grade I 1/2 to II 1/2, sometimes even on grade I. I rarely have to use a grade 3. The negative in the example is a grade II
I won't kill my selenium on it. I'm just learning the process.
the scan is true to the print. I got a new scanner that helps me a lot in this. Your evaluation might be correct. I'll continue tonight with other brands and types of papers. I've got plenty of them from my efforts in gum printing.
Fabriano Artistico Cold Pressed is even worse. The build up of density takes ages and this was with a grade I negative!
Sounds like you need contrasting agent. I've found that the best results I get with pt/pd printing are with negs that print around grade 1 on silver. I think you'll also be very pleased with the performance boost you'll get from COT320 - it will yield a naturally contrastier print, and it seems to print faster for me as well.
Moving from POP to DOP and gum-over palladium I found Fabriano Artistico Extra White (Hot pressed) works well for palladium - IF I give it a bath in some oxalic acid first, otherwise it will yield a print much like you posted - OK, much worse than that, but the effect was quite like it. So, you might be able to use the Satin paper, by giving it a bath in some OA for a few minutes (wait until it the bubbles stop), let it dry then coat and process.
Originally Posted by argus