U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Cutting polymer plates

Re: Cutting polymer plates

  • To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
  • Subject: Re: Cutting polymer plates
  • From: SusanV <susanvoss3@gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2007 13:27:40 -0400
  • Comments: "alt-photo-process mailing list"
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  • Reply-to: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca

Jon and all,

Being very new to this process, I've been scared to let light hit them
for fear of total ruin :o)  I'm already getting more lax though... I
have lots of windows in the studio but they have blinds that block out
most of the light.  I put a clamp-on lamp near my work area with 60
watt bug light in it.  Just this weekend though, I got a 24 inch
flourescent (the kind with the skinny bulb tho... 13 watt?) made for
under cabinet use.  I attached it with duct tape ( the very tasteful
and attractive black kind ), to my NuArc.  it fit perfectly under the
head, at the very rear up against the glass.  I painted the plastic
lens with orange transparent paint.  it works great at helping me see
if I get splotches happening during vacuum drawdown.

So... I handle them only under yellow light before exposure.

As far as plate tone... I don't want much if any plate tone unless I
choose to achieve it during wiping, so a certain amount of flashing
isn't a bad thing for me, and I may eventually choose to do a
pre-exposure flash, once I get my workflow all figured out.  In other
words, I don't want any tone "built in" to my plate... I want the top
surfaces to be glassy-hard and smooth.

Speaking of that... sometimes I think the surface feels "soft" after
development and hardening.  easily scratched... my fingernail can feel
a give in the material.  is that the nature of a correctly hardened
poly plate?


On 3/13/07, Camden Hardy <camden@hardyphotography.net> wrote:
> Question:  How particular are people about keeping their plates in the
> dark when handling/cutting?  My newest batch I've been a little picky
> about in terms of keeping them out of the light sort of as a test.  The
> results so far have been greater plate tone, presumably due to their
> "fresher" state and greater sensitivity.  Used to be, I'd cut them in
> all conditions short of being in full direct sunlight -- ambient or
> reflected light was OK.  Now I'm not so sure that was a good idea.
> David Hoptman would recommend only cutting plates in a dark room under
> safe lights.  Seems like a reasonable precaution to take.  What do
> others do/think?

I think you're on to something, Jon.  I've been cutting my plates under
fluorescent lights, which I recently discovered significantly fog my pt/pd
prints in a matter of 1-2 minutes.  Since km73 is faster under UVBL than
pt/pd, I wouldn't be surprised if my plates have been "fogging" too.  That
may account for my utter lack of plate tone...  :)

Camden Hardy


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