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

Re: Cutting polymer plates

SusanV wrote:
So... I handle them only under yellow light before exposure.
Great idea. I need to do that. Of course I'm certain I threw out my old safelights just last summer. :-P

Maybe I can just paint a 40 watt bulb yellow with enamel paint? Anyone do that for poor-person's safelights? Again, the sensitivity low on these plates compared to other processes...maybe on par with Pt/Pd in terms of ISO/ASA. Not sure exactly...

Printing a test of a real image using spray coating and no baby powder today. No patches are visible. We'll see what else happens...and will report back.

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.
Dan Welden's book has many suggestions on how to mitigate plate tone.
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?
Yup. They're definitely more susceptible to scratches than Solarplates. I only wipe the plates with clean phone book pages, newsprint, and tissue for that reason.

On the subject of durability, I spoke with a picky client recently who does lots of editioning and he says they typically don't get more than 30 prints out of a solarplate before the tone and sharpness diminish. I assume the same or less is true for the KM73s. Most I've done is editions of 20 with some changes, but not an unacceptable loss of quality after 20.



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