In a recent article, I shared some simple and practical updates that I made to the printer and to my workflow while making platinum prints.
Last year, I shared an article where I upgraded the UV printer to new LED lights and in this article today, I have another big update to share.
These are the LED UV lights that I used in my UV printer.
I have been been making a lot of wild horse platinum and platinum/palladium prints this last month and I decided to see if I could shorten my printing times from the already much improved 3 minute average from the previous 10 minute printing time.
Once I started looking at the existing layout of the lights, I realized something that I did not originally plan.
I decided to place the new bank of lights in between the existing lights to effectively double the volume and density of lights. Since each bank of lights are wired in series, I now have two separate banks of lights.
This means I have two choices that I never had before.
First, I can double the volume of UV light by using both banks of lights.
The two banks of lights together have shortened my exposure times from a 3-minute average to less than half at 1 minute and 15 seconds! Yes, you read that correctly. My exposure times are between 1 minute and 1 minute 15 seconds.
If you know anything about UV exposure times for platinum and palladium, then you know how amazing that truly is.
This isn't just about the shorter exposure time. By having a shorter exposure time, the sensitizer retains more humidity and that should result in deeper and richer tonal values and I think an overall higher quality of print. This is theory at this point, but I do expect to see these improvements and I will report back in the near future to let you know if this has materialized.
Second, I can continue to print with the existing bank of lights for my 3 minute exposure times when desired, and have a failover second set of lights in the event that I ever have a failure.
UPDATE TO LED LIGHTS
As you can see in the photos above, my old lighting setup is on the left and my new setup is on the right. I have effectively doubled my LED lights. I simply installed the new lights in between the existing lights. This only took about 30 minutes and I was up and running.
Here is the link to the LED UV lights that I use in this design.
Also, after making a lot more prints from the last update, I realized I needed one more very minor, but very important update. I added a stopper screw to keep the horizontal 1x2 bar in place and not slide forward when I prop up the heavy glass when working with the paper and negatives. I added a stopper screw to both sides of the printer. Now when I lay the heavy glass on the support bar, it won't shift forward and potentially cause a hazard.
MY FOUR PILLARS THAT DRIVE EVERYTHING I DO
These core principles run like a ribbon through my artwork from beginning to end.
TRUTH: I see truth as a primary objective when I create a new body of work. Truth is the one thing that stands the test of time; without it, we have nothing or no purpose. I seek the truth about wild horses in America and tell their story through my handmade artwork.
JUSTICE: There are many injustices in the world. I am drawn like a moth to a flame to tell the stories of wild horses because they have no voice and are under relentless attacks in the 21st century. Wild horses in America are in the fight of their life, and without help, they will quickly become something future generations only read about in history books.
DIFFERENCE: I sincerely want to help make a difference for wild horses and fight for their right to live wild and free. I have been forever changed because of wild horses. I am on a mission to raise awareness about their current issues and challenges, so people can come together and find lasting and reasonable solutions to the current crisis.
IDENTITY: When I got my first camera in 1975, everything changed because I realized that I had a voice that was much bigger than myself, and I could inspire and motivate people to make a difference in the world. I have always been drawn to the awe of nature and wildlife, and when I started following wild horses regularly in 2015, my eyes were opened, and I realized I was where I needed to be, and they needed my help. My path forward is clear and filled with purpose and joy.