Exploring New Options For My Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints
I have been testing a variety of developers and films over the last couple of months for a new series of platinum prints that I am making. I decided to start creating some exposures and process the large format sheet film via my normal routine (HP5, FP4 in D-76 or Pyrocat HD) in my Jobo processor.
You can view and purchase my limited edition Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine ArtTM gallery prints via my online gallery. You can visit my Platinum Printmaking page to learn more about how I create my Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Prints.
My creative workflow is completely analog, meaning that I create large format sheet film negatives with my large format cameras that produce negatives the same size as my platinum prints. I hand coat my platinum sensitizer on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Paper and follow a well-tested regiment to ultimately create my fine art platinum prints. It is imperative that I have total control over my negative creation process as well as the ability to manage all of the platinum printing variables.
I created some platinum prints from the negatives that I typically create and while they were acceptable, there was something missing that I couldn't exactly put my finger on. I wanted my collectors to feel like they could fall into my platinum prints and offer them something very special.
The negative at the top of this article is a sheet of HP5+ exposed at EI 400 and developed for 2 full stops of highlight expansion using Pyrocat HD using a semi-stand process. I had to conduct my own series of tests, which I will continue to do over time, in order to find the right combination of variables to produce the types of negatives that I needed for the elongated tonal scale required for my platinum prints. I have a lot of printing to do over the next few months, but I feel like I am on a good path now that will elevate my artwork to a new level.
FILM DEVELOPMENT WORKFLOW CHANGE
Because I need to take full advantage of the Pyrocat HD stain, I decided to switch fixers to Formulary's TF-4 archival rapid fixer. This fixer is known to work well with staining developers, so I went ahead and made the change. Technically you don't even need a stop bath when using TF-4 and it also eliminates the need for a hypo-clearing agent, which further simplifies my workflow, not to mention the cost savings too. TF-4 is non-hardening, so if a photographer chooses to tone their prints, it is a good option here as well. I dilute my TF-4 1:3 in distilled water for my large format Pyrocat HD negatives. I routinely travel and develop films in my Sprinter van on the road, so this modification in my workflow significantly helped me while working remote.
As I continue in this new journey, I will create new articles along with images of my platinum prints.
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Keywords: analog photography, black and white, darkroom, film, fine art, large format, photography, platinum, pure platinum prints, pyrocat, pyrocat hd, semi-stand, tf-4
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