• Grant Handgis

"Stairway to the Past" ~ Gold toned Kallitype

I'm not sure if it's just me or if other printers have urge to print an image more than one way to come to the "best light" print. Traditionally, I have preferred a warm toned print image over a cold toned image, for most of my work. That isn't a hard and fast rule though. Some images need to be cool toned black and white image, warmth not needed. My image of "Bicycle on the Stairs" being a good example. A bicyclist is carrying his bike over his shoulder in an underground walking tunnel, just coming up the stairs into the bright daylight. The rich blacks and pewter like tones of the highlights work quite well together.

I had thought I was going to like this image printed in the warm tone developer, sodium citrate. But then I hadn't counted on finding myself short of it when needing to remix. That seemed a rather perfect time to try cooling the image tone by developing the print in sodium acetate, the cool toned developer for Kallitype prints. I confess I was mildly surprised seeing the final print, expecting it to be a poor representation of the stone texture in the sunlight of the image. The image is not all that far away from the tonal range and textural quality of the print developed in the citrate developer.

There are actually three variations between this print and the first one. The first is different developers; sodium citrate for the first print and sodium acetate for the second print. The second change is the toner; the first being a palladium toner (5ml/liter 7 min); and the second print toned in Gold toner (5ml 5% gold chloride ~ 7 min) Both have citric acid added. Those two variables account for print color, mostly, with the third variable being the print paper. The first print image was printed on Hahnemuhle peper and this version was printed on Revere Platinum. For my own personal tastes I tend to favor the Revere paper for printing. But that's just me. They are both excellent papers. I use the Hahnemuhle paper paper exclusively for the gum over palladium prints.

This print image is actually from a print series I began fifteen years ago, when I photographed the Tumacacori Mission the first time. The first two prints of this image exist as digital inkjet prints. I have a copy and my daughter has a copy. The only two such copies that will ever exist. That allows me to make three copies of this image before it is retired and the negative destroyed. I believe I like this version the best. It just appears to me to be a bit smoother, texturally creamier. I attribute that to the paper.

Gold toned Kallitype

"Stairway to the Past" ~ 11"x14"

Tumacacori, Arizona


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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