• Grant Handgis ~ Photographer

"Desert Sunset #3" ~ Gold toned Kallitype

The 11x14 Kallitype series continues with this new print, although not each of the prints will be treated the same. This print was developed in sodium acetate then toned in the 1% gold toner formula, the all t once toner, to further cool the print image. Just my interpretation of the scene. I have asked myself how this scene might look developed in the sodium citrate developer, like the last print, for the warm, late afternoon blow of the sun. The fact that I brought it up pretty much insures I will at least run a wide test strip on that idea just for comparison to the cool toned version.

There is also the interpretation of the print image to consider. Back in the day when I was developing 5x7 cut sheet film ,for contacting printing, it was of course via chemical development, which can be altered to shape a negative image, to a degree, but globally, in relation to the density range, with most of the control being mainly in the higher density range; zone 6, 7 & 8. Digitally, all sorts of shenanigans can be performed on an image. Having already confessed to being a traditionalist in black & white photography, with the advent of digital imagery I would add the caveat that altering and manipulation tonalities can now be done without also affecting all the other densities in the image; just the tonal ranges desired.

My manipulations have to do with altering tonalities in an image, for the purpose of creating the most effective lighting for the aesthechic lighting of the setting. I do this using Adobe Lightroom 6, the four primary slides affecting densities; highlights, shadows, white, black. I used to work strictly with the negative image, manipulating the densities visually. Now I have flipped that practice, setting up the lighting in the setting such that it represents exactly, or as close as I can get it, to the image setting I had previsualized. When that is accomplished the image is moved to Paintshop Pro x9 for setting up the image for printing. I don't have Photoshop, and Paintshop is Photoshop for digital photographers, just a whole lot cheaper. I got my CD copy of that program for $20 on Amazon. It does everything Photoshop does.

Once in Paintshop, if the image was a color image (RGB) I then use the "black & white film" filter which shifts the image into a long scaled b&w version, same as if shot in b&w digitally. Once I have a final b&w image it then gets flipped horizontally, then turned into the negative image, and finally a color density <curve> is added. I have two primary adjustment <curves>; one is for gum printing and Na2 (platinum/palladium) prints and the second one is for Kallitype and palladium printing. For a Kallitype print this density range prints at 10 minutes. For a palladium print the print time is closer to 15 minutes.

This developed this print in sodium acetate, then toned it in the 1% gold toner to reap the deepest blacks. However, that also creates shadows, pushing the tonality in some places from a zone 3 to a zone 2, deepening the blacks, but losing texture, and in a sunset situation with the golden glow on things that light quality on the flora is important. Simply saying, I'm not sure yet if I like this interpretation of the image. The print is drying down and I'll take another look at it then to decide. I will also be tying out the warm toned version for comparison. If it is promising I will use that version for the final print. The prints I am making now are all unique. No more editions. One print only, no artist proofs.

Gold toned Kallitype

"Desert Sunset #3" ~ 11x14

Avra Valley, Arizona


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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