First Pure Platinum Print with Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag Paper
I started testing the new Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag paper for my St. Francois Mountain Platinum Print Project today. I decided to make a test print with an FP4+ Pyro HD developed 8x10 negative and start the process of exploring the variables and characteristics of this new paper.
I make pure platinum prints, not a mixture of platinum and palladium so paper purity is extremely important for me to be able to achieve high quality prints.
You can view and purchase my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints or my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM from my online gallery. You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints.
I use the standard Ferric Oxalate and Platinum Salts from Bostick and Sullivan to create my sensitizer and I mix my own developer. I like to use Potassium Oxalate with Potassium Dichromate as the restrainer because I have found that I like my pure platinum prints better with this combination. This simplifies the sensitizer formula because I just add equal parts Ferric Oxalate and Platinum and I am ready to coat my paper.
For this initial test, I selected a high contrast negative on purpose to see how the paper would handle this type of negative. For my pure platinum prints I typically use FP4+ on my 4x5 and 8x10 cameras and HP5+ in my 11x14, all developed in Pyro HD. I also use Kodak Ektascan B/RA X-Ray film developed in Rodinal as well.
TEST OVERVIEW & FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Based on experience, I decided to expose the negative for 10 minutes and use my grade 3 developer. I have varying amounts of Potassium Dichromate in 8 different Potassium Oxalate developers and based on the contrast of the negative, I select a developer to use. Based on my test results, I may adjust a number of variables which may include using a different grade developer.
I also normally warm my developer up to get a warmer tone for my landscapes, but I didn't do that this time because I wanted to see how the paper reacted at room temperature. Much to my surprise, the print was much warmer than I expected. During my testing next week, I will be warming up my developer to see if the warm tone continues to increase linear with developer temperature or not. I was expecting a cooler tone image, but I am delighted with this initial result. If I were printing this scene for production purposes, I would have made adjustments, but I wanted to show you the test print as is without any modifications.
I was also testing a new 8-bulb UV exposure unit that I just built to see how it would perform.
I am definitely encouraged to dig in and print more with this new paper and see how I can use it in my projects moving forward. I will be continuing to provide updates as I print more and adjust variables.
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