Here’s another of my 5×12 panoramics of Dupont Circle here in Washington DC. This was several exposures on the same negative, yielding an approximate minute and thirty seconds or thereabouts. We were printing from this negative in my Advanced Topics in Platinum/Palladium Printing class out at Photoworks Glen Echo this past weekend. The print I scanned for this image was printed on Bergger COT320 pre-treated with fumed silica. The fumed silica yields a definite boost in dmax.
The next print is of the same negative, but printed as a Ziatype. Ziatypes are a variation on palladium, but they use either Lithium Palladium or Cesium Palladium and Ammonium Ferric Oxalate instead, which yields a neutral-to-cool tone image more like platinum in color, and they are a printing-out process developed in water as opposed to a develop-out process that requires Potassium Oxalate or Ammonium Citrate as a developer.
The distinction between printing-out and developing-out, in addition to the chemistry variations, is the fact that a printing-out print’s final exposure is judged by visual inspection – what you see when you pull the print from the contact frame is pretty much what you’re going to get when it is washed, cleared, and dried, but a developing-out print will have some kind of ghost image that is anywhere from almost imperceptible to a partial rendition of the final image prior to development. Neither one is better than the other, except that the Ziatype is easier for beginners until they gain confidence in their coating and printing skills. Ziatypes also have a wide range of contrast controls that will also affect image color in addition to contrast.
Here is the first print in a series I’m working on. I’m going back through some negatives I made in 2004 with my Hasselblad on a trip to Spain. This shot is the cathedral in Salamanca, or more specifically, both cathedrals – the Romanesque and the Late Gothic/early Baroque, which oddly enough was built into the older cathedral instead of replacing it. I forget the reasoning off the top of my head. After I get a half-dozen or so printed, they will be going to a new gallery in Charlottesville, Virginia called Manu Propria, which specializes in handmade photography. The print is palladium, made on Bergger COT320 pre-treated with fumed silica.
Here is my first print made with fumed silica as a pre-treatment before coating platinum/palladium. I’m seeing a bit of mottling in the lower left corner which I suspect is from uneven coating. This is on Bergger COT320. 50/50 blend of platinum/palladium, 4 drops 5% Ammonium Dichromate for contrast agent.
I wanted to put in a good mention for Richard Sullivan’s new blog, CarbonWorks. Richard is a brilliant photographer and photo chemist, co-founder of Bostick & Sullivan, the premier source for all things alt-process. I found his blog today and was reading up on some innovations he has discovered and published, including the Athenatype (a silver-based printing technique that yields a near-platinum print look) and a fumed silica treatment for alt process printing that helps boost dmax (maximum black density) a common shortcoming of many antique processes. Richard has been honored as a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society for his work in reviving alternative/antique photographic processes and for inventing new variations on the same, specifically the Ziatype, a printing-out process variant on Platinum/Palladium. He is a master carbon printer (thus the blog title). He also teaches non-silver processes at Santa Fe Community College. Give the blog a read, and follow it if you’re interested in anything antique photo process related!