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Friday, 16 September 2016


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Just wanted to thank Carl and you, Mike, for this series. The print sales are a fantastic way to access new art; these 'behind the scenes' bits are really helpful in both appreciating tthat art more, and in giving a hint on how to try something new. Or just as helpfully, convince us that some things maaaay take more time and effort that we currently have...:)

You speak of letting the coated paper "rest for 10 minutes in 60% humidity" which implies that you are able to vary the humidity of your darkroom at will. How do you set or maintain a specific humidity for your printing environment?

Carl, a friend's gallery print storage area in nyc got flooded during hurricane sandy. The only things that survived were pt prints

Lindsay, it's a fairly small space, 11x17 by A-frame ceiling. I have an air conditioner in the wall, a dehumidifier if it's damp but cool, and if it's winter and dry because of heating, you run hot water into the eight-foot darkroom sink, and run a humidifier. And a tool. There's a temperature/humidity meter sitting in the middle of the central counter in the space. I refer to it constantly, and adjust the other tools.

Lyle, don't make me cringe. But I guess there's an upside to that.

I am using B & S's NA2 formula for my pt/Pd prints on Hahnemuhle's new platinum rag. I am so pleased with the results. Since I am using a homemade contact printer. I use transparent Scotch tape to secure my digital negative to the HPR in case I need to reregister the negative. After exposure when I carefully remove the negative the tape also peels the paper causing a defect . Do you have a tip on tape or on removal of negative?

There are only two Platinum printers extant (In my opinion) Carl Weese and Gary Auerbach.
I'd be in the list but I gave up on it years ago...rolling on the floor.
Mi dos pesos.

Bob, not sure why you want to re-register—are you trying to inspect the print partway through exposure? Correct exposure for digital negatives is so hair-trigger I think you just have to go for it. The good side is that if you've prepared your files well, exposure in the darkroom will be very consistent. With HPR in my vac frame and big light box, exposure is 3 min, 45 sec.

If you need to do the tape, try low-tack blue painter's tape, or even the very low-tack sticky edge of, you know, Stickies.

Digital negatives can now reach entirely adequate density range to print in either pure palladium or a Pt/Pd mix (the real, traditional, Pt) without need for Na2 or any other contrast agent.

The number of chemical processes discovered to tattoo images onto stuff is truly remarkable and fascinating, Carl's Pt/Pd certainly ranks among the most troublesome for monochome. I bought one of his wonderful prints from his previous sale specifically to have a top-notch sample of this process. Carl, didn't you make a brief video of your process? Excuse me if I've missed its reference here this week but I recall seeing it during your first sale.

Speaking of videos, the George Eastman House has produced short videos of various printing processes which TOP readers might find fun to watch. Of course GEH also holds classes on some of these processes. (Mike, are you considering attending any from your new HQ location?)

Ken, Pt/Pd is actually quite direct and simple compared to carbon transfer, or albumen, but it does require a high degree of consistency—plus, what you have to do varies from one paper to another.

I had a slide show for the 2010 print offer but it shows me working with an 8x10 in-camera negative which might have confused things this time around. It's a good idea though. I should put making a short video on the list of things to do after we've fulfilled the print offer orders.

Carl - Per your comment about lighting in museums ... YES! As much as I absolutely love the Eastman Museum (formerly George Eastman House,) I have seen Pt and Pt/Pd prints hung there under the "standard", subdued lighting. It drove me nuts.

I don't use anything larger than 4x5 (physical limitations) so I'm intrigued by making digital negatives. I even have some 35mm PanF+ negatives that I suspect might be ripe for Pt/Pd via enlarged digital negs.

Did I miss something here? Is there a part I somewhere?

[You didn't miss anything, I did. Fixed now. Thanks for the heads up. --Mike]

Earl, I'm teaching my "Digital Platinum" workshop at CAP/Penumbra in two weeks, Oct. 1-2. Not sure if there are any spaces left, but just in case...

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