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  1. #31

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    Hi Sandy,

    Absolutely no objections to your subjective statement below. As a matter of fact, I don't like that "blingy" look too; what draws me to Pt/Pd (and other iron processes) is the matte / easy-to-view result I can have with them. But as I said before, the varnished prints definitely look considerably more punchy/dark (and they'ree more suitable to exhibit w/o glazing). Therefore learning and practicing various procedures to produce shiny/higher dmax alt-process prints can be most useful to photogs who want that particular look...

    Regards,
    Loris.


    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    ... the look after treatment was less appealing to me than before treatment. Like I said, just not worth the trouble IMO.

  2. #32

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    I don't think I ever tried waxing, but I varnished, and that does not only rise dmax (this is not the reason I do it), but increases shadow differentiation, getting back a bit from the magic the image held when seen under water.

  3. #33

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    Hi Lukas,

    If what you're after is just better shadow detail, maybe you can just manipulate the negatives so that the resulting print exhibit good shadow tones separation "without varnising it"... e.g. slightly more exposure (reduction in film speed) and slightly less development with your current coating solution, or, just use negatives with more density range and suit your coating solution to that -> for instance, I use negatives calibrated for cyanotype (having a density range of log 1.5) for printing gum... That way, I have very good shadow separation.

    Regards,
    Loris.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loris Medici View Post
    Hi Lukas,

    If what you're after is just better shadow detail, maybe you can just manipulate the negatives so that the resulting print exhibit good shadow tones separation "without varnising it"... e.g. slightly more exposure (reduction in film speed) and slightly less development with your current coating solution, or, just use negatives with more density range and suit your coating solution to that -> for instance, I use negatives calibrated for cyanotype (having a density range of log 1.5) for printing gum... That way, I have very good shadow separation.

    Regards,
    Loris.
    Loris,
    I don't think this is a matter of improving the negative/contrast control. It is principally the case that a platinum picture (other alternative prints, too) has a shine and debth, that is, a shadow separation which it loses when dry. This dry-down effect is due to the different light reflection of the paper fibres when dry and can never be mended by optimizing the print, because it is due to the nature of the substrate. If you varnish the print, however, at least a part of that lustre it showed under water may be regained. But the difference is clearly there! The shadows simply shine!
    So, I often read that the paper, "haptic" quality of platinum or other alternative prints, including he matte surface, is very much cherished and part of the attraction of these prints. I cannot help thinking, however, that this particular aesthetic perception should not be written in stone, but open to re-evaluation. After all, paintings are also routinely varnished, and nobody complains.

  5. #35

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    Lukas you're right, my suggestion was -> if you don't like the extra step of varnishing and all you care is to have more shadow detail in the print you can just push the shadow tones in the negative to the straight portion of the print's curve by manipulating the negative. I often do this with dig. negatives. If you pay attention to leave some blank parts in the negative (dmax in the print), nobody seems to - notice that and - complaint that the medium is low contrast (because all significant tones are compressed between the upper-shadows and highlights). This practice give the "illusion" of punch and better shadow detail pretty successfully. On the other hand, it's not the same as a properly dark/deep varnished print.

    Regards,
    Loris.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lukas Werth View Post
    Loris,
    I don't think this is a matter of improving the negative/contrast control. It is principally the case that a platinum picture (other alternative prints, too) has a shine and debth, that is, a shadow separation which it loses when dry. This dry-down effect is due to the different light reflection of the paper fibres when dry and can never be mended by optimizing the print, because it is due to the nature of the substrate. If you varnish the print, however, at least a part of that lustre it showed under water may be regained. But the difference is clearly there! The shadows simply shine!
    So, I often read that the paper, "haptic" quality of platinum or other alternative prints, including he matte surface, is very much cherished and part of the attraction of these prints. I cannot help thinking, however, that this particular aesthetic perception should not be written in stone, but open to re-evaluation. After all, paintings are also routinely varnished, and nobody complains.
    Last edited by Loris Medici; 04-11-2009 at 03:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukas Werth View Post
    I cannot help thinking, however, that this particular aesthetic perception should not be written in stone, but open to re-evaluation. After all, paintings are also routinely varnished, and nobody complains.
    Lukas
    There is nothing written in stone in alt process -- you do what works for you. Most of us don't like the shine with waxing (or coating with whatever product to produce gloss) but at the end of the day -- you have to please yourself (and/or clients that may purchase your work).
    regards
    Don

  7. #37
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    Waxing or coating can not increase the shadow detail in a print. It can create the illusion of raising dmax but technically it can not add any detail that is not already there. If your are after more sheen or shine and want maximum dmax why not just choose a paper like azo to print on? Of course, like Don said, what ever floats your boat.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertP View Post
    Waxing or coating can not increase the shadow detail in a print. It can create the illusion of raising dmax but technically it can not add any detail that is not already there. If your are after more sheen or shine and want maximum dmax why not just choose a paper like azo to print on? Of course, like Don said, what ever floats your boat.
    Well, I contend it can. The point I tried to make is not about technical properties, but about appearances, about looks. Remember the dry-down effect! You may also say that technically there is nothing more in the picture than when it is dry - but it looks different. Technically I would say that the dry-down compresses shadow tones.

    I am grateful, of course, that I am allowed to do as I please; however, this thread looks a bit to me like an effort to nail down a conventional aesthetic standard, this is why I feel I should argue my point.
    By the way, I also sometimes like the matte look of a print (though there are also matt and semi-matte varnishes), but this is very much also a matter of what you want to do with a print.

    Another thought which occurs to me right now is: do some people cherish the matte look of a print so much because they take it as a distinguishing mark of a hand-crafted print?

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukas Werth View Post
    ...this thread looks a bit to me like an effort to nail down a conventional aesthetic standard, this is why I feel I should argue my point...

    ...Another thought which occurs to me right now is: do some people cherish the matte look of a print so much because they take it as a distinguishing mark of a hand-crafted print?...
    Hi Lukas,

    Not that I believe that comment was about me, just for the records: I don't believe in strict standards (why to struggle with alt-process if I did?) and use the freedom of both varnishing the prints or not. (Remember my Hydrocote suggestion? Been there done that...)

    I personally like the matte surface because it's easy to view and exhibit matte prints. Not every exhibition place has perfect/adequate lighting. For instance in Turkey, specifically, such exhibition places are exceptions!

    Regards,
    Loris.

  10. #40

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    Well, I for one am not making an effort to nail down a conventional aesthetic standard. I just don't like the look of waxed pt/pd prints and since I have a perfect right to say what I think that is what I have done. I have tried waxing and just don't like the look. Period. If indeed waxing could return the look of a pt/pd print when wet that would be another thing, but it does not in my opinion.

    As for what people see as a hand crafted print it has nothing to do with matte look as far a I am concerned. All of my hand made carbon transfer prints have some sheen, and some of them are as glossy as silver gelatin prints on glossy papers, with the added feature of the relief of course.

    Sandy






    Quote Originally Posted by Lukas Werth View Post
    I am grateful, of course, that I am allowed to do as I please; however, this thread looks a bit to me like an effort to nail down a conventional aesthetic standard, this is why I feel I should argue my point.
    By the way, I also sometimes like the matte look of a print (though there are also matt and semi-matte varnishes), but this is very much also a matter of what you want to do with a print.

    Another thought which occurs to me right now is: do some people cherish the matte look of a print so much because they take it as a distinguishing mark of a hand-crafted print?

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