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Thread: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    An excellent tutorial on doing Platinum prints in a digital environment.

    Full article...

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    I'll disagree, this guy's tutorial has a lot of hearsay and myth in it. For instance, he talks about the extreme cost of printing platinum, but if you read through he prints in palladium not platinum. The cost for 25mL of palladium is $70 if purchased from Bostick and Sullivan or you can buy 25g of palladium and mix up your own palladium chloride. 25g will run you about $250 right now and make 300mL of palladium. Additionally, he talks about Ron Reeder & Brad Hinkel's QTR method as a rabbit hole, but it is by far the best (I have found) method of creating digital negatives--it just requires effort and patience.

    I wasn't impressed. Maybe Jim Collum will chime in, too, as I know he prints gorgeous pd/pt prints from digital negatives.

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    I'll have to agree with Jeremy. Cost isn't nearly as bad as advertised. I use a printing out method (a Ziatype

    http://www.bostick-sullivan.com/articles/ziatype.html

    http://glsmyth.com/AltProcess/Articl...pe/Ziatype.htm

    ), which I find gives me good control over the tone. By default, it gives you a dead neutral b/w print, with excellent (by Platinum standards) dmax. I've used almost all of the different methods for computing the curve for printing. When I was using the Epson for printing the negs, the QTR gave the best results. I'm using an HP z3100 now, and use a combination of Chartthrob and the PDN method ( http://www.precisiondigitalnegatives.com ). Chartthrob was able to give me a real nice curve with good separation in the highlights and shadows.

    I also use a combination of Pt and Pd. While a bit more expensive, I like the midtone contrast that this combination gives me.

    I noticed in Tim's article, he was quoting times of 1 - 2 hours of exposure. Pt/Pd prints are humidity sensitive.. which means color and contrast can change depending on the humidity of the print (especially Ziatypes). I found that getting a used UV plate burner (NuArc 26k) will decrease the exposure time to 5 min. or less. It also allows for precise control over the UV exposure.

    If you're into deep black high contrast silver images, then platinum might not be your cup of tea.. But if you live in midtones and highlights.. then there's no other process that can come close.

    .. and no.. you cannot duplicate the look of a platinum print using inkjet...


    jim
    Last edited by JimCollum; 8th June 2009 at 00:58.

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    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post

    ... then platinum might not be your cup of tea.. But if you live in midtones and highlights.. then there's no other process that can come close.

    Photogravure ??? As far as I know photogravure remains the only true continuous-tone printing process.

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    If you're into deep black high contrast silver images, then platinum might not be your cup of tea.. But if you live in midtones and highlights.. then there's no other process that can come close.

    .. and no.. you cannot duplicate the look of a platinum print using inkjet...


    jim
    Jim, I need to send you one of my waxed vellum prints once I return from Europe (though I'll see if I can get to the post office this week). The dmax rates up there with my silver gelatin prints according to a reflective densitometer and still has the midtones and highlights of pure palladium. My work, as you so eloquently say, lives more in the midtones and highlights, but I have some images which sink all the way into the deep shadows. Fun stuff, though I think its more from the vellum than the waxing--the waxing adds about as much dmax as a coat of Breathing Color varnish or similar (I believe you were testing these out...? Or I may be thinking of someone else).

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Photogravure ??? As far as I know photogravure remains the only true continuous-tone printing process.
    You're still dealing with a process where the ink resides on top of the substrate as opposed to the feeling of depth introduced by the emulsion soaking into the cotton rag as with palladium.

    The woodburytype and collotype could arguably be included in the list of continuous-tone printing processes along with photogravure (and there are more!).

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    I'll disagree, this guy's tutorial has a lot of hearsay and myth in it. For instance, he talks about the extreme cost of printing platinum, but if you read through he prints in palladium not platinum. The cost for 25mL of palladium is $70 if purchased from Bostick and Sullivan or you can buy 25g of palladium and mix up your own palladium chloride. 25g will run you about $250 right now and make 300mL of palladium. Additionally, he talks about Ron Reeder & Brad Hinkel's QTR method as a rabbit hole, but it is by far the best (I have found) method of creating digital negatives--it just requires effort and patience.

    I wasn't impressed. Maybe Jim Collum will chime in, too, as I know he prints gorgeous pd/pt prints from digital negatives.
    Hi Jeremy,

    I'm in agreement with Jermey about the article, there is more than a little misguided information in the article.

    Don Bryant (another palladium printer lurking most of the time)

    PS FWIW I've seen both Jeremy and Jim's prints first hand and both are excellent printers and photographers, so for those that don't know they know what they are talking about, but I'm probably singing to the choir.

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    ...
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 31st October 2009 at 14:50.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Would I get deep blacks with the platinum method? My stuff is rather moody.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Would I get deep blacks with the platinum method? My stuff is rather moody.
    not like you would with silver or b/w digital. The best you can expect in Pt is about a dmax of about 1.5-1.6 (and it's hard to get that.. takes some consistency in printing ). With silver or digital, > 2 is easy to accomplish.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Would a picture like this work?

    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Would I get deep blacks with the platinum method? My stuff is rather moody.
    I think it does quite well with moody, this is palladium on vellum (caveat: judging the digital representation of a palladium print is like judging a ferrari in 2nd gear, you still haven't seen what this puppy can do )



    edit: wow, look at the barrel distortion in that quick pic! the print is matted which is what the white is

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    and if you add a layer of gum on top we're talking luscious moody:


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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Doing some research, Ziatype might be the best method for me, I'm looking for more neutral than sepia and given that I'm going to have to have the chemicals shipped to either the UK or Jerusalem, the costs could be astronomical if I have to do a lot of experimentation. The POP method of Ziatype would be very useful to cut that down. In Jerusalem at least sun is not a wanting commodity , I would really want to keep it as much KISS as possible.

    Digital Negatives and Ziatypes, given that the paper needs a high level of humidity apparently, do you end up ruining a lot of negs due to them getting wet? The whole negative printing thingy seems rather confusing, different methods (apparently needing a decent scanner as well), lots of trial and error. Is it easier to just download a decent curve for a specific printer and then match chemisty to get it to work rather than the other way round?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Not that I can find any source for either type chemicals in the UK...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Oooh, Oooh, Oooh, Oooh. Just called up Bostick and Sullivan, they will ship the Ziatype chemicals to the UK (eventhough one of the chemicals is on their hazerdous list, apparently in liquid form it's not an issue). That means that this project is actually viable.

    Thinking of starting a new thread on the subject to ask for advice is starting up. What do you guys think?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Cut it out Jeremy... you're going to have all these digital guys doing alt processes ;-P

    I think possibly the best master of low-tone platinum is the printer who does the images for Flor Guardunio. Look here:

    http://www.iphotocentral.com/andrews...duno/0/FG-1300

    I think this was printed by John Marcy.

    Anyway, unless pt/pd is masterfully done, low key images just look plain flat. It can be done, but it's very difficult to do.


    ---Michael
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Heheh, I do what I can.

    I think the biggest problem with low key pt/pd is producing a digital image that retains the je ne sais quois of one viewed in hand--still haven't yet.

    I have one hanging on the wall that I'll take a snapshot of and post here tonight to see what you think. It's framed and I'm in a sling (dominant arm) so I won't take it out to digitize, but it should still give an idea of low key pt/pd.

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Michael, the image you linked to is described as being silver gelatin by Andrew Smith Gallery.

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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Jeremy,

    It's been done in pt/pd as well. The best low-key image that I have ever seen. Clay would probably agree as well, unless he's seen one better since that APIS 4 years ago or so.


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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    I think the intelligent thing to do would be to keep the pt/pd option open only for images that suit it rather than some of the darker low key images?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Well, I think that you can certainly work with low-key images in pt/pd and especially in combination gum and pt/pd images. You just have to understand the limitations of the process, and then work to craft a negative that will get what you want out of the process.

    This is much easier if you use digital negatives, as the contrast can be explicitly adjusted to give you more of what you want, easier than is possible in traditional negatives.

    Included are two in-camera combination gum pt/pd images, both somewhat low-key in nature, but these two images could have been more successful if I were using digital negatives from the start.


    ---Michael
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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: Doing a Platinum Print in a Digital Environment

    Recently found mention of the work HP has done on a profile for their Z3200 large-format printer to make transnegatives for platinum and palladium printing.

    Looks like a wonderful hybrid! Elliott Erwitt likes the process too.

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