• Grant Handgis

"Two Lilies" ~ Final Print ~ Palladium

I will say here, that this image was the most difficult image I've ever tried to print. Printing a full tonal range  of a print image has to do with the entire range of tonalities/densities. Printing a completely white object(s) is not really the same. That requires printing in one tonal range, with inclusion of other tonalities in the shadowed range. That can be from zone 3 [full shadow detail] and zone 2 [deep enough any objects can only be detected, no details], and that is a vast difference as tones go. That left me with the task of figuring out an image contrast, and density range of the negative, such that, the printing will realize the brightest white; zone 7, will just reach its maximum tonal range without pushing the shadow area from fully detailed texture into zone 2, dark shadow, no detail.

The first two posts of earlier prints reveals that gap closing each new print, until reaching that balance between the whites and shadows; the textural zones. A bit annoying to me it took as many tries as it did. First error being sampling the wrong area of the print for an informed interpretation of the whole image. That led me astray for a while, before enlightenment to the situation. I have never attempted to [hand coated] print two white objects, with shadows. Works so much easier in digital heaven.

This is also the first image I've printed to the full 11"x17" format. I've been working in 11"x14", being that is the prevailing pre-cut mat size. Then I stumbled upon this pre-cut mat size from one of the vendors I use for my supplies, and this, will allow me to  print images that just can't be cropped from their original digital format [8x12 ~ instead of film; 8x10]. I crop to just what I want, when I snap the shutter. I'm not a shoot wide angle then look for something to crop out after look over the original scene. Amateurs do that.

This final print was printed on Revere Platinum paper, developed in sodium acetate developer, then toned in Palladium; the print is a Palladium print now. The palladium toning does two things, the first being the obvious, the palladium salts completely replacing all the silver salts in on the paper, leaving a palladium print; the "poor man's" Palladium print. There were many of those produced during the early years of the twentieth century. The more commonly known moniker was the 'poor man's platinum", as platinum was then as now, amazingly expensive. Over the period of this last year, palladium has almost tripled in price, making it now a rather expensive material to use for large print sizes. I've been corresponding with a gentleman that has been using a 16"x20" view camera, and making platinum prints. I don't know about the reader's take on that, but it boggled my mind, having the ability to actually make that happen.

Final print; this digital image of the original print is a bit misleading, as this image appears at those the highlight white on the left side of the primary lily has gone blank white. It has not. There is texture throughout that area on the original  print. My failing eyesight and ignorance of digital ways lave only a crappy replica of what is a much better image on paper, than on the screen. My apologies for that failing The stem shadow remains soft, as desired. The whitest white on the print, at the edges of the primary lily, are textured whites.

Palladium toned Kallitype Print

"Two Lilies" ~ 11"x17" ~ Unique


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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