U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Help! Pt/Pd probs

Re: Help! Pt/Pd probs


Are you sure your lamps arent too far apart or too far from the negatıve, or both


On Jul 6 2009, Jon Reid wrote:

Hi all,

Thanks to all for the advice re masking Pt/Pd prints last week. I
printed again over the weekend and the Rubylith mask worked well. The
edge is a little softer than I would like but I remember it is about
the same as film edges used to print (before I printed from digital-
internegs for a few years). Perhaps I am just used to the crisp edge
of a digi-neg print.

Another problem persists though. Remember I mentioned that my father
had modified my contact printing frame so as to create more pressure
because I suffered soft bands across the frame? Well, that
modification definitely improved things, but I am still getting, even
with incremental exposure, soft areas.

I am printing 5"x7" pyro developed Tri-X in the middle of an 11"x14"
piece of Cranes Weston Diploma Parchmont (old stock bought from
Bostick + Sullivan, not the newer stuff from Butler Deardan). I
finally decided I wanted to use this paper in this size for this
series which I hope to exhibit.

Salient points:

1) I've only ever printed Pt/Pd on Arches Platine before this and
i've never had softness problems even before the frame modification.

1.5) The paper was buckling quite a lot when being coated. I reduced
my drop count by a reasonable amount and am using 6 drops sensitiser,
one drop contrast agent (NA2 or whatever it is) and 7 drops metals.

2) By incrementally building up the exposure (2mins exposure, lamps
off for 1-2m; 2m exposure, lamps off etc) I can significantly reduce
the corrugations that appear in the paper after the 10m exposure. I
still think the problem is connected to paper weight and heat in my
pizza oven.

3) I am resting the paper for a full ten minutes on a plastic rack
over a tray of water after blow drying the sensitiser, and resting
again for 5 minutes after exposure is complete.

4) I am centering the paper/neg etc in the printing frame. My last
idea for remedying the problem is to place the paper sideways in the
printing frame right underneath one of the springs.

5) I have to basically stop printing this series until I solve this
problem as I simply cannot afford to keep printing otherwise perfect
prints that have small soft patches on them. Any paper or Pt/Pd
chemistry I need I must ship from the US and it is very expensive. I
have a stack of ten or so that I must throw out that could otherwise
be hung in the gallery.

I'm getting desperate. I have upwards of 20 negs to print perfectly
and more to shoot for my first solo show but it's hardly off to a
great start....

It's late now...

Thanks for listening,