Well I think I may had discovered the source of my printing problems..... I think B&S sent me the wrong solutions with my platinum kits........ The solutions in my kit for platinum are Ferric Oxalate Solution #1, Ferric Oxalate Solution #2, & Sodium Chloroplatinate (NA2). Looks like I have been printing platinum with the contrasting agent & with a little more ferric oxalate just to make it interesting. I was snivelling about the high contrast of my images on another forum several months ago, now I think I have the reason. The only print I have ever had success with was when I used pure Palladium and I only did that once (I wanted to be a Platinum Printer!)... I have been using 70-80% NA2 for every single print I have done. I know that in some universe this would be hilarious....but not in mine (at least not at the moment). Please someone tell me....are my suspicions correct is this the source of my Pt problems or do I have the worst negatives on the planet? (feel free to laugh amongst yourselves while I pout in the darkroom)
Seriously? You may be one of the first people around to print entirely with Na2! Call Kevin and see if you can track down what got messed up with the order. Keep the Na2. It will come in handy later as a substitute for the Ferric oxalate #2, which I would throw in the trash. (Bias creeping in here)
Yes seriously!!!! I have been trying to learn the process on my own with the wrong chemistry...... and I have over 40 prints to prove it!!
There is none left I used it all in my wonderful experience in Platinum Printing!!!
Keep the Na2. It will come in handy later...
Bummer Annie!, if what you say is accurate yes they sent you the wrong chemical....BTW, is very hard to make a "pure" platinum print, most mix equal parts of pt and pd. I hope you have been doing this, or this might be another source of your problems.
Don't despair Annie. You now know many things that don't work! You're getting advice from Clay and Jorge and after you call Kevin Sullivan, things will work out for you.
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LOL! Jorge I have not been mixing Pt & Pd because I have NEVER been in possession of a single drop of the Pt coating mixture. The entire comedy has been an exercise in Ultra High Contrast Palladium printing.
Also, a demonstration of how one will bend their perceptions of reality to conform to an existing belief... I thought I was printing with platinum so... extreme exposure times, must be the latitude.... no midtones must be the developer or the humidity or the paper or static in the coating rod.... I even went as far as to develop my own method of coating FB silver paper and getting a friend to build me a new contact printing frame in case the one I had was holding some kind of vaporous grudge!! I have been spinning like a dervish for hours in the darkroom trying to bring my negatives into line... which isn't easy when the 'curve' is in fact dead straight vertical but you still need zingy negs!!
Another interesting thing to contemplate.... What was 'really' happening in that toning test I tried a few days ago...the Pt in my 'formula' was in fact NA2... Might explain why that baby jumped a paper grade instantly and oh...those crazy extended midtones... (secretly I think NA2 might have potential with silver based papers in modifying the curve).
So there you have it... the Photo gods have had a wonderful laugh at my expense.... (literally.... those supplies aren't cheap!)
Joe... I guess I was composing my 'opus' when you posted... no I am not in despair I am genuinely amused at the absurdity of it all!
That's a real problem. I think you need to talk to Kevin, and firmly ask them to replace your chemicals, paper, and the time you wasted on their mistake. They need to understand how important it is that they get those starter kits right, because a person who tries a buggered starter kit may never continue on with pt/pd.
Look at the color of the solution in the dropper. If it is a bright yellow, you have NA2, if it's a magenta-brownish, you have the normal platinum #3. That'll determine it for sure.
Mistakes do happen, so I think that you might want to give them an opportunity to make it right.
I recently discovered that the 3 months and dozens upon dozens of film tests that I had been struggling with was completely wasted, because the supplier sent me the wrong (inferior) version of the film that I was working on a developer formula for. 'Darn, so that explains why I couldn't get a decent curve out of the stuff'.
FWIW, most people print mostly in palladium, either 100% palladium, or 75/25. Some do print in 50/50, and few print in pure platinum. There are very few papers that will accept a pure platinum image gracefully, and the efforts to make a pure platinum image are much more difficult.
I recommend you put away the platinum for a little while, and start making some images with pure palladium. It's cheaper, so you can be a little more carefree with the printing and experimentation, and it eliminates one variable from the process for a little while. Once you have gotten competent with the process, you can start adding in the pt to the mix.
I am quite disappointed to hear about your poor experience with the kit. I am on the verge of just starting my first attempt at Pt/Pd printing and this is not a good sign.
I am wondering if you would be so good as to explain in very, very simple terms why you believe that you have received the wrong chemicals. I am not experienced enough to understand what is the correct stuff and what is not. I just wish to decide whether I should go with the kit (and take a risk as it seems now) or just buy things piecemeal to ensure I get what I need.
My condolences to your other attempts. RIP Pt/Pd.
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
Yes, the solution was a lovely Kodak yellow!!