Platinum and Other Alternative Processes – Equipment and Materials Required to Make the Fine Print

This article discusses quite in detail what is needed, from a novice factor of view, to make touch prints in platinum-palladium with a particular emphasis on virtual negatives. We may even see what is needed to provide the first-class print, i.E. Recognizing and mounting. Finally, how you could prepare your personal chemical compounds and, due to the fact that some system may be home built, DIY commands are also included.

Equipment and components required and wherein to get them.

Making the negatives:
self-healing mats………………………………………………You likely already have it
Ink-jet printer………………………………………………………….You in all likelihood already have it

Darkroom/Printing:
UV unit……………………………………………………………………DIY / electrical substances providers
Contact printing body………………………………………………..DIY
1,five” Wash brush (best first-class no longer cheap)…………………………Art shop or on-line
Short glass, 2ml syringes…………………………………………….Hardware shop / chemist
Amber bottles with dropper………………………………………….Bostick&Sullivan
Dryer……………………………………………………………………..Hardware keep + DIY
Blotting paper…………………………………………………………..Neighborhood artwork save
Electronic Timer………………………………………………………..Stores /on line
Mechanical timer……………………………………………………….Darkroom equip. Provider / on line
five Trays, 2 tongs………………………………………………………..Darkroom equip. Supplier
Drying rack………………………………………………………………DIY
Scales…………………………………………………………………….EBay / stores

Hot air heater……………………………………………………………Toilet fixtures dealer
Press………………………………………………………………………DIY / hardware keep

Spotting:
Scalpel (right excellent)………………………………………………….Framing equip. Dealer
Loupe (large size)………………………………………………………Photograph equip. Dealer
0000 brush (true exceptional)…………………………………………….Artwork keep

Mounting:
Mount cutter………………………………………………………………Framing equip. Provider

As you may see nothing too tough to find. If you do not have Photoshop (you do not need the trendy version of course, any version will be enough) there are several different image programs which value much less or are even unfastened. To print, I could say that any present day ink-jet may be up to the activity. Since Epson printers are very diffused we will talk a curve that have to work on any Epson model with ultrachrome inks (beginning with the economic Epson R 800/1800).

Supposing then that you have already got a computer with Photoshop and a printer, the subsequent maximum costly object is the UV unit. This is easy to make and it took me less than one weekend to construct it. I made a simple wooden body, and then I used 10 x 450mm Philips UV lamps related each with ballast and a starter, that is the minimal to make 8×10″ prints. When ordering those materials additionally get some electric leads for the wiring, a switch, a few fans big and small (like those inside a PC, from the electricity supply and from the CPU) and the plastic fitting for the bulbs. The enthusiasts are advocated however now not mandatory.

There may be very little if not anything to solder and the schematics are very simple. Here is the distinctive list of the parts:

10 Lamp 15W 450mm duration (or greater) 1″ diameter 365nm wavelength G13 cap
10 Ballast 15W (also referred to as transfer start/choke)
10 Starter for fluorescent lamp
10 Starter holders
20 Lamp holders
1 Switch
1 Computer power deliver fan one hundred ten/220V
2 CPU fanatics 12V
1 Power deliver 12V
1 Electrical leads for fluorescent wiring

These lamps are regularly referred to as bugs lamps, or black light lamps. Just make sure the wavelength is round 350/365nm. I am not sure whether tanning lamps are properly for us due to the fact they may be round 300nm.

The wiring could be very easy. Connect the starter to 2 of the pins on the extremity of the tube. Of the remaining two unfastened pins, one is going without delay to the power (N), the other is going to the ballast and then to the power (H). So, just an clean wiring to be repeated for ten instances. Please observe that double-ballasts that feed lamps exist, so you could want simplest 5 of them. However, I tried and that they did no longer paintings for me, so I might stick to one ballast per lamp.

The cupboard is crafted from separate portions, made with MDF. The bottom element, with a sliding tray and simply three vertical frames, and a hinged front to allow get admission to. The higher component, which includes on one side the lamps and on the opposite the “electronics”, snugs into the bottom element from above. I can placed spacers, to move the lamps better, or I can get rid of a few wooden to decrease them. As it’s miles, the space between the lamps (15W x 10 = 150W) is 4 inches which gives me the publicity time I want (~4 minutes).

In the top part there is a small electricity supply which feeds more than one 12V CPU enthusiasts in the pinnacle to take the warmth off the ballasts. In the lower component there may be a larger one hundred ten/220V fan due to the fact there’s warmth there too. The entire unit is certainly quite heavy. One element that I did no longer do is to color the interior white, however as stated I changed into glad with my exposure time because it was. The lamps are quite close (5mm hole). In a few years of use I actually have in no way changed a lamp or some other aspect and, notwithstanding the “home made” look, a simple unit like this one will serve you well.

Next aspect to construct ourselves is the touch printing frame, that’s truly a wooden plate included with a rubber sheet and a pitcher on pinnacle. To keep away from choppy stress, use a heavy glass (the heaviest you may find) secured with 8 robust massive paper clips all round. There is no need to purchase one of these pricey “alternative technique” middle hinged touch frames, the ones are to investigate the print below the solar. Avoid side hinges and whatever fancy or you may find out maybe at you twenty fifth print that within the middle (or in other components) your prints are not sharp. Remember one of the beauties of contact printing is sharpness, despite the fact that pt-pd print cannot show off the identical sharpness as contact prints in silver, due to the paper. Before printing in platinum I changed into used to contact prints in silver, and Newton rings have usually been an difficulty. Since I switched to platinum, the trouble has disappeared, likely due to the rough paper I guess. Anyway, I agree with there may be no want to shop for luxurious anti-Newton glass.

The relaxation of the device wanted within the darkroom is quite much trustworthy; an important item is the comb. I just like the Grumbacher Golden Edge (length 1,five inch) which is perfect for coating from 4×5 to 11×14 and larger. This brush has metallic parts in order to corrode. In my case I had been the use of mine for almost 3 years. I would not propose both a reasonably-priced wash brush (too thin), and those Japanese brushes that seem attractive due to the fact not high priced and without metal parts, but in fact, they do no longer paintings and also go away heaps of bristles. Finally, my advice approximately glass coating rods is: do now not purchase them, just use a broom.

At this factor earlier than beginning buying and building you want to make your mind on what size you are going to print. Many books suggest 4×5″ to beginners, this is to me no longer a terrific advice, for you cannot verify small prints without problems. Personally I discover small prints even more tough to make than huge prints. From a advertising factor of view, and commonly speakme, not only 4×5″ prints are extra frequently unnoticed, however many collectors discover 8×10″ the minimum size to make a purchase. So, I might go instantly to 8×10″ and stay there even when you will be printing “professionally”, or as a minimum until you are a actual grasp. It is a handy length, it does not require plenty coating, and it is perfect to be installed either to 13×15″ or 16×20″ and subsequently offered mail order. It is also a terrific compromise between size and value of the print and mounting board. With a fashionable sheet of mounting board you’ll be capable of make either 3 13×15″ mounts or 16×20″ mounts (with over mount) with little waste. If you pass for 8×10″ you’ll want barely large trays, but not too much: I print my 8×10″ pix on 10×12″ paper or much less, there is no need to go away a massive border around the photo if you want to be raveled besides. No doubt that huge 10×20″ or 11×14″ platinum prints are some thing to behold, so for that reason, one issue that I would construct outsized is the UV unit. Longer lamps do now not value plenty extra and if within the destiny you sincerely would like to attempt larger prints you may have just to shop for new trays and make a new touch printing frame.

The five trays in the shopping list are for developer, clearing baths (three trays) and the 5th is for a bathing tray. This can be larger than the others (however, you may usually wash one print at time). It is straightforward to make: on the give up, make one hole on every vertical facet, one in front of the opposite, simply under the top side. Slide thru the holes a inflexible plastic pipe (I used one from a toy) which you may have previously furnished with equally spaced (half of”) holes. Connect a tube from the faucet to 1 facet of the pipe. Close the opposite side with a cork. You have got your reasonably-priced washer.

You will need to make a drying unit for the lined sheets (not for the final prints, so that you can be left to air dry overnight). I sincerely purchased one of these hot air heaters for lavatories, which I hooked up on top of a easy home made wood container. The container has one facet hinged and the bottom could be meshed to permit air and moisture to break out. I simply lay the freshly covered paper at the bottom and the recent air will dry it up in a couple of minutes or much less. Do no longer use hair dryers, for their warmth is too concentrated and also they tend to spit debris (from the motor) at the paper. Drying the very last prints isn’t always a trouble. With some greater plastic mesh (purchased from a garden middle, they also have sheets of rubber to pad the contact printing body) I made 4 or five very fundamental drying frames, stacked one on top of the other and spaced approximately eight inch.

Last factor in the list is a cold press to flatten the prints. Leaving the prints to flat beneath a group of books isn’t always very professional! I used a big sheet of thick MDF for the base, then I made a sort of big flat field the same size of the base with two handles at the pinnacle, within the field I geared up several sheets of lead (bought from developers or roofing providers) so that it will make for a heavy pinnacle certainly. Between pinnacle and base, five or 6 sheets of acid unfastened mount board equal length of the base/lid will permit to flatten up to fifteen-20 prints at a time. One night is sufficient to make the prints sufficiently flat, two days is even higher (that’s essential due to the fact we’re going to mount them with corner tabs, i.E. Now not glued of route).

There are two timers inside the list. I typically use a virtual one (with alarm) for exposing the print (so I can do some thing else when exposing) and a traditional one (analogue) inside the moist part of the darkroom to test developing and clearing/washing instances.

In the darkroom you do no longer need the regular red or amber silver gelatin darkroom lights. I use two forty Watt tungsten bulbs, one ordinary, and the alternative one blue. I use separate switches so I can take a look at the colour of the print in daylight hours-like conditions (blue bulb) or any aggregate/power of the 2. Finally assessment of the print can not be made, however, when is wet.

You do not want a densitometer or a step wedge (except you need to print conventional negatives).

Purchase some dark brown bottles from B&S, I could purchase six 100ml with regular cap and 12 small 25ml bottles with dropper caps. You could be the use of seven small “operating” bottles (pd, pt, sensitizer, Na2 x four) when printing, and the others will serve to shop the combined solutions used to fill up the working bottles.

The scale ought to be quite accurate; I use a 50 grams digital scale to put together the metals, and one large and not so precise for blending the developer chemicals.

Spotting is performed with a very good scalpel (consisting of Swann-Morton with flat handle ‘3’ and C10 blades) and a good great small brush. The loupe need to be huge sufficient to assist you to paintings with both eyes open.

You will want a mount cutter. I use a Logan, nothing fancy however it does the job perfectly. I sold the ‘intermediate’ version many years ago and then I made numerous changes to beautify it (consisting of stops and so on.). Store it vertically or flat in any other case it will warp. I use a new blade for almost every mounting session. Before being discarded, the used blades are recycled for some time into the Logan utility knife (cheaper to buy) which is used to cut the full length forums. To try this, you may both want a directly side (pricey) or you may use the equal mount cutter, which I suggest. In this situation buy a mount cutter wide enough to reduce complete sheets.

Many novices normally recall leaving the mounting activity to a nearby framer: please do no longer do that. They are very pricey and what’s worse, they frequently do now not do a good process, not to mention the annoyance to get them the prints, gather the paintings later etc. Also the paintings needs to be very correct because in case you sell established prints (i.E. Now not framed), human beings will hold them in their arms and could see every flaw. I also advocate shopping an cheaper ‘burnishing bone’ used to flatten down the raised edges all around the mount, so your customers will no longer experience them with their arms whilst keeping the installed print. Last cause to mount your self is that in case you observe my recommendation someplace else in the articles about overlaying the black brush strokes with the over mount, you may use the bevel window to make some past due minute adjustment to the cropping of the photo. See Part 6 for element approximately mounting.

One ultimate factor you will want: loosen up! Especially in case you come from printing in silver, you’ll revel in the transfer. Printing in platinum is a good deal more herbal and kind of laid returned. After many years of traditional printing in silver (enlarging after which touch) I have located that a printing consultation in platinum is generally greater fun. Another first-rate advantage while printing from virtual negatives is that you could be almost sure, even earlier than you step into the darkroom, that the print could be OK and simplest minor tweaks may be required.

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