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.
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.
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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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