• Grant Handgis

"Old Wagon Wheel" ~ Palladium toned Kallitype

I've made it back into the darkroom again, having been rather focused on home affairs that were sufficiently important to absorb my full attention over the past few weeks. There is also a slight change that has begun to unfold, becoming a partner in creative endeavors. With a list of eleven book I have in print at this time it isn't much of a secret I am also a writer. Technically, my first calling. Long story, that.

This print was planned as an addition to the four recent 11"x17" palladium toned Kallitype prints I made. Two considerations to this  particular series of prints is their size, the maximum a wide body printer can make a negative, and, the prints all being unique. I am becoming ever more vigilante in selecting an image for printing now. Not just any image will do. Because of the above conditions of these  prints, the image should be really good. Something a viewer would see as "wow, I really like that". My photographic eye as well as my tastes and preferences have changed a lot over the years, I've begun second guessing my choices of images to print. This one being a prime example.

I have wanted to print this image for a few years now, but up until recently I hadn't connected up with matting to accommodate the 11"x17" format, so I stayed with 11"x14". This image was shot to be seen as is, and cropping alters the dimensions enough to lose the original appeal of the old wood, and bright sunlight contrast. I  made the negative image using the Kallitype <curve> I created in Paintshop Pro x9, [Photoshop for photography] That curve has a normal reciprocal print time of ten minutes, give or take a minute on either side, depending on the highlight to shadow ratio. I had thought this printing would be what I had envisioned it to be. Turns out, now, I see it as too contrasty, as there are a lot more wood textures in the middle of the image, that are now in zone 2, instead of zone 3 where I want them.

All of which means, I will be printing this image again. I have already reprinted another negative , using another curve I made for platinum/palladium printing; Na2 <curve> this is a softer, shorter density range, negative. The print time will be very close to the current one, at ten minutes, as the highlights in the image won't be altered all that much, perhaps just a bit. What will be far more visually apparent will be the middle  tones, where all the wood texture resides. I am intending on altering the middle tones a lot, the  zone 2 areas will be zone 3 areas, the zone 4s will be closer to zone5, zone 6 will be slightly darker and zone 7 will be the highlight area I will be printing to.

Palladium toned Kallitype

"Old Wagon Wheel" ~ 11"x17"

Mesilla, New Mexico

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