• Grant Handgis

"Two Lilies" ~ Palladium toned Kallitype

Being a serial confessor, I will say here that printing this image was the most difficult image I have ever worked with, or attempted realize. It was not process I was having a problem with, as I have worked that out long ago. This round was all about interpretation, and the choices to be made to arrive at what I thought I wanted when I began, and that has to do with technique. As I have brought up in earlier posts, I have been moving away from printing with the focus on representing full spectrum tonal range prints representing an image, the shift is in altering the existing tonalities of the image to shape the image to a more dramatic setting, altering the effect of light within the scene.

That process, for me, is discovering the Pictorial Effect of an image. Not, are all the tonalities represented, but what tonalities are to be included, and how much of each. When I began hand coated printing almost forty years ago, that process entailed altering the relationship of the  latent densities chemically, by altering the ASA/ISO, placement of shot, choice of developer, dilution of developer, and development time. All of which result in a global alteration of the densities, hence tonality of the print. Today, with Paintshop Pro x9, and Lightroom 6, I am able to do things to the now digital image in ways one couldn't hardly dream up back then.

Now, I can add an adjustment <curve> [controlling the density range], contrast control, and individual tonal range control, and that isn't even touching on layering and masking, or any of the other Gee Whiz things that are built into those programs. When I worked in IT support, setting up and keeping computer systems running smoothly, 486's were king and DOS was the primary language for the work to be done. That is the Model-T of computing. I won't mention working with mainframes in the '70's, or card readers with sorting machines in the '60's.....

I have worked on this image for over a week now; daily, with the result of six printed negatives, three full size prints, and three dozen test strips, and I'm still not really happy with the finished image. This is the first time I ever attempted to print white objects. The print shows the veins running along the surface of the Lily, all the way to near paper base white; zone 8. The Kallitype printing process tends to make black the lower tonalities, thus, when altering the whites to represent the fuller spectrum of white, it also alters the lower tonalities, thereby deepening them upon printing, and that, increases contrast. That was the battle. The original [inkjet print] to 12"x18" is very, very difficult to replicate. There is also the problem if making the digital copy of the original print with good fidelity. There is a sister print to come, same Lilies, different view. I will keep working this one out, as I really want to print this image as I know it can be.

Palladium toned Kallitype

"Two Lilies" ~ 11"x17"


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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