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  1. #21
    artonpaper's Avatar
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    Thanks, Vlad for being so forthcoming. I'm wrestling with carbon right now, but I definitely will try VDB again. Personally I don't consider Pt/Pd a more sophisticated method of printing. I like that there's no fixer, and the image is very stable. it just gets a bit darker when dry. I can make a test on Monday, my finished print on Friday, and everything works like 90% of the time. Sadly the number of paper choices regarding paper is becoming more and more limited. I was surprised how easy that process is after working in just about every other alt process first. My first print went in a group show and I still have it. This has been a great thread. And thanks jmarkov for starting it.

  2. #22
    Vlad Soare's Avatar
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    The funny thing is that your experience with vandyke mirrors mine with cyanotypes. Everybody says how easy it is to make cyanotypes, how simple the process is, how it's the perfect choice for getting into alternative processes, and so on, but I could never make a decent one. I found the process capricious and uncontrollable. So I understand very well how you feel when everybody says it's easy but you just can't seem to make it.

    I don't think Pt/Pd is sophisticated, just frustratingly expensive. What I do like about it is not necessarily the lack of a fixing step, because fixer is cheap and easy to mix (and besides, you may not need any fixer, but you need a developer), but the contrast control. I'd like to be able to use negatives of various contrast indices, which I can't with vandyke. That's the only thing that might persuade me to take up kallitypes. But that will have to wait because in the meantime I've discovered the carbon transfer.
    Last edited by Vlad Soare; 03-30-2011 at 01:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #23
    eclarke's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'll try it this weekend..Evan


    Quote Originally Posted by paulie View Post
    i vary the ammount of p dichro for each print, lets say 50 drops of 6% dichro in 400ml of water, approx

    2 min wash in the dichro water and then a 3 min wash in plain water, try making a test strip and cutting it into two, one goes in the dichro and the other just water.

    yo will see if you like the effect,

    i used to add it directly to the sensitiser but had problems with consitancy and clearing,i now only use this technique when im doing a combined cyanotype and vdb, helps to slow down the vdb so the cyanotype can get enough exposure

  4. #24
    dodphotography's Avatar
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    I'm having a hard time myself... I am using a 16 CFL (1/2 normal, 1/2 black light) unit that I use for collodion. My first time making Van Dykes I set up and exposed for 18 minutes... now I am an idiot and didn't test strip. When washed and fixed, then washed again the print was very very light and seems to be fading away. I will scan later, the print is washing now. I'm thinking maybe a coffee tone can help bring some detail back, is my logic wrong?

  5. #25
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    How many watts are the UV units? I ask because with my 1000W unit it takes about 30 minutes to expose to full dmax.
    K.S. Klain

  6. #26
    dodphotography's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    How many watts are the UV units? I ask because with my 1000W unit it takes about 30 minutes to expose to full dmax.
    Geez, I'd have to go add that up.

    Am I a moron? I'm thinking I'm just underexposing these... so they appear too light? I'm used to underexposed being too dark! Agh, I'm a newbie to this process.

    Using standard fixer, dilluted down to 1:9 without a hardener.

  7. #27
    dodphotography's Avatar
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    (8x) 30W Normal CFL = 240 Watts
    (8x) 15W Black Light CFL = 120 Watts

    Total 360 Watts

  8. #28
    dodphotography's Avatar
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    here are my first two attempts... I have a kit from formulary for ages and mixed probably 2 months ago before using it today. People make this process seem to be a fun and EASY process but I beg to differ. Just like collodion, nailing down exposure times is a task... and like with varnishing, the fixing and drying process alters the final product drastically.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #29
    Vlad Soare's Avatar
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    Indeed, there are a lot of variables that affect the end result. The trick is to change them one by one, until you find an optimum value for each, then keep everything as constant as possible.
    The only thing that will always vary from a negative to the next is the exposure time. But that's easy to nail down. Make a few test prints with different exposure times, process them exactly as you would process the final prints (including toning, if you plan to do that with the final prints), then let them dry over night. Assess them the next day. That's all.
    It's really easy once you get the hang of it.
    Anyway, the second print doesn't look bad at all. You're getting very close. I think it needs just a bit more contrast, but that depends entirely on the negative you're using - it's not a vandyke processing error.

  10. #30
    dodphotography's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad Soare View Post
    Indeed, there are a lot of variables that affect the end result. The trick is to change them one by one, until you find an optimum value for each, then keep everything as constant as possible.
    The only thing that will always vary from a negative to the next is the exposure time. But that's easy to nail down. Make a few test prints with different exposure times, process them exactly as you would process the final prints (including toning, if you plan to do that with the final prints), then let them dry over night. Assess them the next day. That's all.
    It's really easy once you get the hang of it.
    Anyway, the second print doesn't look bad at all. You're getting very close. I think it needs just a bit more contrast, but that depends entirely on the negative you're using - it's not a vandyke processing error.
    serious light leak in my holders lol... I hate the holders, personally. I don't like how the only thing keeping the darkslide in are those little puny clip that turn way too easily.

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