• Grant Handgis

"Datura Blooms I" ~ Palladium Print

This is the first blog post showing my photographic prints. Something very new here, yet very old for me. I have been blogging for some years now on another blog. I will now be posting my photography posts here from now on. That old blog was;

I spent two weeks testing a negative to print on palladium, for a specific look. That entails controlling several variables. Palladium printers will be up to speed on this, but for those not familiar with the process, or hand coated photographic processes, the simple accounting of it. Using the same negative, the variables are the light source(s) and light intensity, print time, developer and developer temperature., plus a couple other more subtle variables like paper choice, sizing, etc.

What I was seeking with the two images I was working on, was to arrive at a warm toned image of white flowers. Palladium can do that, using the right developer at the right temperature. I also tested four light sources, my UV printer, north light, reflected (bounced) light, and full direct sun. Each of those sources has a different intensity. The lowest being my UV printer, at 160W UV light at 365nm spectrum. North light is tends to be between 200-400 lumens/foot candles. Reflected light, bright morning sun bounced off a western wall holding steady between 400-500 lumens/foot candles. Full sunlight far exceeds any light meter I've ever used so that is but a guess. Extremely bright.

What that converts to is print time variations, with full sun printing at 4 minutes, reflective at about 7 minutes, north light at 12 minutes, and the final print time for the print shown this p[ost is 15 minutes in my UV printer, and that, is pretty much within the sweet spot of print time fo me. A 10-12 minute print time would be great but the extra time equates to deeper blacks, at that light intensity. The full sun creates the deepest blacks at 4 minutes. That also tends to flatten the middle tones a bit, compared to a less intense light source. The extreme light intensity affects the highlights at a faster rate than the shadows, thereby, in a way, shortening the tonal range just a skosh, again, compared to a softer light source. A very contrasty negative printed in a soft light tends to never seemingly print in well, leaving the image less visually saturated than expected. Print times for such negatives as say Log 1.8 would be a thirty minute print time fo rmy UV printer. That density range prints quite well in full sun, at 10 minutes. I know I have a portfolio of such prints from negatives of Log 1.9.

This negative had a density range of approximately Log 1.2 at the brightest white. My densitometer is old, like me, and could be off a tad, but that would be close. For palladium, that density range is very good for printing in the UV printer. I used potassium oxalate warmed to 85 degrees for these prints, to get the warmest tone possible. I haven't tried warming to 100 degrees so don't know what happens. The ammonium citrate developer didn't seem to fit the flowers as well.

Palladium Print

"Datura Blooms I" ~ 8x10 ~ 1/3

Sonoran Desert, Arizona


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