Photographs by Frank

25 January 2022

More Pt/Pd Prints

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Pt/Pd Prints — Frank @ 9:00 PM

I have been ‘mining’ my archive for photos that I think will look good as platinum/palladium prints.

The first photo below, an industrial building on the shore of Lake Michigan was made in 2007 while I was on sabbatical in Milwaukee.

The botanical photo was made in 2010 according to the data the camera recorded. I have no recollection of where it was made.

The reflection photo was made on Star Island in 2017.

The photo of the Goodell Mill building is the newest of the bunch. The exposure was made in 2019 using my camera obscura.

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01_industrial
01_industrial
02_botanical
02_botanical
03_reflection
03_reflection
04_goodell-mill
04_goodell-mill

13 January 2022

Greetings From Brattleboro, VT

Filed under: architecture,Landscapes,Misc.,Winter — Frank @ 11:30 PM

This afternoon, I made a visit to the Vermont Center for Photography in Brattleboro to see the members exhibition. I have two prints in the show.

After I finished taking in the exhibit, I took a walk around downtown with camera in hand.

There were few people around even though it was quite mild. The temperature was right around freezing. I’m not much of a “people photographer anyway. However, I found plenty of other things to photograph.

This is probably not the impression of Brattleboro that the Chamber of Commerce would like one to have… but here it is!

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Greetings
Greetings
Three Windows (The Old VCP)
Three Windows (The Old VCP)
Functional Fun/Cheap Thrills
Functional Fun/Cheap Thrills
Poetry
Poetry
Window/Vines
Window/Vines
Sushi
Sushi
Untitled
Untitled
Ghost Window
Ghost Window
View from the Top (of the garage)
View from the Top (of the garage)

Once I warmed up my visual sensibility, as I often do, I saw interesting details everywhere.

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Untitled #1
Untitled #1
Untiled #2
Untiled #2
Untiled #3
Untiled #3
Untiled #4
Untiled #4
Untiled #5
Untiled #5
Untiled #6
Untiled #6
Untiled #7
Untiled #7
Untiled #8
Untiled #8
Untiled #9
Untiled #9
Untiled #10
Untiled #10
Vine #1
Vine #1
Vine #2
Vine #2
Untiled #11
Untiled #11
(Tri)Angles
(Tri)Angles

The alley way that runs behind the buildings on the east (river) side of Main Street is, most definitely, not what most visitors see of Brattleboro. It is interesting none-the-less.

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No War But...
No War But...
Bogus Lives
Bogus Lives
Growth
Growth
EGKO?
EGKO?
Alien
Alien
Peace
Peace
Found You
Found You
More Trouble
More Trouble
Love
Love
Sell Out
Sell Out
Soul Tramp
Soul Tramp
Feeling Free
Feeling Free

11 January 2022

More Pt/Pd Prints

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Pt/Pd Prints — Frank @ 8:45 PM

I have spent two more days in my dim room (i.e. the basement) making platinum/palladium (Pt/Pd) prints.

I have the wood stove cranked up so the basement is a good place to spend a couple of very cold days. It was 6 deg F below zero when I got up this morning. The high today was 6 above zero. It is -2 deg F as I write this about 8:30 in the evening. Brrrr!

All of these are small “draft” prints (4×5 inch images on 5x7ish Lenox 100 paper). I will eventually make larger prints (6×7.5 inch images on 8×10 inch paper) of all or most of these.

As with all alternative process prints, the scans are barely adequate facsimiles. One really needs to hold the actual object in ones hand to get the full effect.

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Skull
Skull
Ruin (Hovenweep National Monument, AZ)
Ruin (Hovenweep National Monument, AZ)
Bison (Yellowstone NP)
Bison (Yellowstone NP)
Beaver Lodge
Beaver Lodge
Headland, Cape Breton Island, NS
Headland, Cape Breton Island, NS

2 January 2022

First Finished Pt/Pd Prints

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Pt/Pd Prints — Frank @ 1:00 PM

Since my last post about platinum/palladium prints (one week ago), I have spent two full days and one partial day in the basement ‘perfecting’ (are things ever perfect?) my Pt/Pd process. I have learned a lot but I won’t bore you with the technical details.

Here are four finished prints. All either 4×5 inches or 4.5 inches square on 5×7 inch Lenox 100 paper. I have made larger (6×7.5 inch images on 8×10 inch paper) versions of the first two as well.

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Coquina Lake (Idaho)
Coquina Lake (Idaho)
Church Window/Stairs
Church Window/Stairs
Flag/Shovel/Window
Flag/Shovel/Window
Barn (Chichester, NH) (with the camera obscura)
Barn (Chichester, NH) (with the camera obscura)

1 January 2022

Adams Dozen – 2021 Edition

Filed under: Adams Dozen — Frank @ 7:00 PM

Back at the end of 2011, I started a tradition of posting twelve photographs made during the year, see that post for a further explanation of the idea. I seem to have missed a post about my ‘Adams Dozen” for 2012, but here are all of the subsequent posts.

Anyway, here is my “Adams Dozen” for 2021:

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A Short Story (Jan 2021)
A Short Story (Jan 2021)
Canterbury Center, NH (April 2021, with the camera obscura)
Canterbury Center, NH (April 2021, with the camera obscura)
Feeding Time - Loons (June 2021)
Feeding Time - Loons (June 2021)
Widow Skimmer (female) (July 2021)
Widow Skimmer (female) (July 2021)
Untiled (Orange and White) (August 2021)
Untiled (Orange and White) (August 2021)
Salmon River (Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness, September 2021)
Salmon River (Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness, September 2021)
Early Morning on the River (September 2021)
Early Morning on the River (September 2021)
Elk Bugling (CW Russell NWR, MT) (September 2021)
Elk Bugling (CW Russell NWR, MT) (September 2021)
Prarie Dog (Teddy Roosvelt NP, ND) (September 2021)
Prarie Dog (Teddy Roosvelt NP, ND) (September 2021)
Lake Superior Shore / Stones (October 2021)
Lake Superior Shore / Stones (October 2021)
Quaker Street Welcoming Committee (November 2021)
Quaker Street Welcoming Committee (November 2021)
Ragged Old Glory (December 2021)
Ragged Old Glory (December 2021)

For the those keeping track of such things. My Lightroom catalog says that I made 12,936 exposures in 2021, including 2,719 made on our five week trip in September and October. This is number is very close to my average of 12,157 exposures per year since 2013, the first full year that I used Lightroom.

26 December 2021

Pt/Pd Prints — Five Papers

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Pt/Pd Prints — Frank @ 12:30 PM

Having discovered that Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag (HPR) paper gave a much warmer platinum/palladium (Pt/Pd) print than Legion Lenox 100, I decided to try a few other papers just to see what happens.

All of the prints show below were made under identical conditions (e.g. negative, exposure, processing) except for the paper used.

The papers I used were:

  1. Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag (300 gsm)
  2. Legion Lenox 100 (250 gsm)
  3. Rives BFK (280 gsm)
  4. Fabriano Artistico (Hot Press) (300 gsm)
  5. Arches Johannot (240 gsm)

All of these papers are high quality “art” papers and all, except for the Johannot, are 100% cotton. The HPR is designed specifically for alternative process printing such as I am doing here.

In addition to these papers, I tried to coat a sheet of Arches Platine (310 gsm), another paper designed specifically for alternative process printing. In this case the paper soaked up the sensitizer so rapidly that I could not spread out the puddle to cover the image area.

The results are quite striking. All of the papers except for the HPR resulted in a neutral print while the HPR gave a very warm print. All of the papers except for the HPR could use a bit more exposure (and maybe a tweak to the curve used to print the negative), especially the Johannot, but I wanted to change only one variable so the conditions were optimized for the HPR.

I have a few more papers that I want to try and then I’ll need to decide which one will be my “go to” paper for Pt/Pd printing. After that, it will be time to stop testing and make some larger finished prints.

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Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag
Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag
Legion Lenox 100
Legion Lenox 100
Rives BFK
Rives BFK
Fabriano Artistico (Hot Press)
Fabriano Artistico (Hot Press)
Arches Johannot
Arches Johannot

Pt/Pd Printing – “Dialing It In”

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Pt/Pd Prints — Frank @ 12:00 AM

Learning a new process such as platinum/palladium (Pt/Pd) printing involves two distinct things. First, one needs to learn the physical process of making a print… what solutions to make, how to coat paper, what exposure to use, etc., etc.

Additionally (at least with digital negatives), one needs to “dial in” the processing of your digital photo in order to match the negative to the process. Without going into any real details, this involves two things. One needs to get the maximum density (Dmax) of the negative correctly adjusted. Then one needs to get the contrast correctly adjusted using the appropriate curve.

Getting things “dialed in” is an iterative process. One makes changes based on prior experience, prints a negative and then uses the negative to make (in this case) a Pt/Pd print. The resulting print is used to make further adjustments and the process is repeated.

Yesterday, I made three versions of the “Salmon River” negative in order to get the first print shown below. The “Church Window” negative took only two versions and the “Courthouse” negative was pretty good on my first attempt.

Hopefully, as one gains experience a negative get “dialed “in” more quickly and easily. With cyanotypes and salted-paper prints, I rarely have to make more than one negative… maybe ten-percent of photographs get a second negative. For those familiar processes the changes are usually to the dodging and burning in order to “fix” nature’s light. With experience, I’ll get to the same point with negative for Pt/Pd printing.

For my first set of Pt/Pd prints I used Legion Lenox 100 paper. This paper has been working well for my salted-paper prints and so I tried it. For the current prints, I used Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag (HPR).

HPR is (as its name implies) designed for Pt/Pd printing… it is sort of the “gold standard” <grin> of alt process papers. It is a heavy (300 gsm), 100% cotton paper. Lenox 100, on the other hand, is a bit lighter (250 gsm) 100% cotton paper designed for traditional ink on paper printmaking. The Lenox 100 is about one-third the cost of the HPR so it has that advantage.

I was surprised on how warm the prints on HPR came out. Pt/Pd printing is know for being quite neutral in tone and certainly the prints I made on the Lenox 100 were quite neutral. Hmmm… to check and see if I had done something different with the new batch of prints, I made a second print (the last image shown below) of the “Salmon River” photograph on Lenox 100. The only difference between the first and the last print is the paper.

Very interesting! And… I haven’t a clue why they are different.

This result, of course, suggest a further experiment… what about other papers? I did that experiment today. The prints are drying as I write and I’ll scan them tomorrow. Patience!!!

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Salmon River (on Hahn. Pt Rag)
Salmon River (on Hahn. Pt Rag)
Church Window with Stairs
Church Window with Stairs
Courthouse (Newfane, VT)
Courthouse (Newfane, VT)
Salmon River (on Legion Lenox 100)
Salmon River (on Legion Lenox 100)

22 December 2021

Holiday Spirit

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Winter — Frank @ 10:00 PM

I pass by this yard every time I head to town. The decorations go up before Thanksgiving and the display seems to grow with each passing year. (This is the third or fourth year, if my memory is correct.)

There are literally hundreds of objects scattered throughout the yard. It is quite a statement about the holidays.

I’m not sure exactly what these folks are trying to say. However, I doubt that it is the message that comes through to me!

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The Whole Shebang
The Whole Shebang
Detail #1
Detail #1
Detail #2
Detail #2
Santa with Modern Transportation
Santa with Modern Transportation
My Favorite Detail
My Favorite Detail

The Twin Cabins

Filed under: architecture,Monadnock Region — Frank @ 9:00 AM

Real estate on Gregg Lake rarely comes up for sale on the open market. Rather, it is mostly passed from one generation to the next within families. Last winter, the “twin cabins” as we call them (two small cabins squeezed onto a tiny lake shore plot) were sold.

Come spring there was some “sprucing up” activity, but no significant change to the cabin’s exteriors with the exception two small signs that appeared, one above the door of each cabin. Clearly the new owners are baby boomers with a wonderfully understated wit!

If you are not a baby boomer, or otherwise need a hint, see this.

While I had the ultra-wide angle lens* on the camera, I also made a photograph of one of my favorite views as I passed by on the way home.

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The Twin Cabins with Gregg Lake in the Background
The Twin Cabins with Gregg Lake in the Background
Cabin on the Left (detail)
Cabin on the Left (detail)
Cabin on the Right (detail)
Cabin on the Right (detail)
Looking North from the Gregg Lake Road Bridge
Looking North from the Gregg Lake Road Bridge

* The first and last photos in this post were made with a 10.5 mm fisheye lens. I was the only way to get both cabins in the same frame.

21 December 2021

First Platinum/Palladium Prints

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank @ 11:00 PM

I have spent the last two days experimenting with making platinum/palladium (Pt/Pd) prints. I made two very preliminary prints on Sunday afternoon and five more prints yesterday.

Pt/Pd prints represent (at least to some folks) the pinnacle of alternative process printing. The prints are a very beautiful neutral black/grey. The process is considered to result in some of the most stable (archival) prints possible.

Traditional Pt/Pd printing is a very finicky process because it is critically dependent on controlling the humidity of the paper within a narrow range. I have chosen to begin my exploration of Pt/Pd printing using a “renegade” method described by a Texan Richard Eugene Puckett. His method is purported to work without close control of the humidity.

Over the course of two days, I made seven small (4×5 inch) Pt/Pd prints following Puckett’s method. I used a mixture of 25% Pt and 75% Pd. The paper is Legion Lenox 100.

I still have a way to go to perfect this process*. However, here I present two fairly successful prints.

As with most of these alt process prints, the scans don’t do justice to the prints. In this case the contrast of the scans is somewhat lower than the actual print.

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Church Window with Stairs
Church Window with Stairs
Salmon River, Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness (Idaho)
Salmon River, Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness (Idaho)

* The curve I use to tailor the density and contrast of my digital negative to the printing process, still needs some tweaking, especially in the highlights.

I also need to work on getting a consistent result. The last two prints I made had significantly lower contrast that those shown here. I suspect that this has something to do with the temperature and humidity in my basement dim room.

Yesterday, the first prints were made when the wood stove was going. The temperature was about 57 deg. F and the humidity about 36% (which I suspect is pushing the limits of acceptability). I stopped feeding the stove about the time I began work. Thus, the temperature was down around 50 deg. F when I finished.

I am guessing that a warmer, slightly more humid environment will yield more consistent results. I think that I will have to wait until spring to find out if this is indeed true! Meanwhile, I’ll go back to salted-paper prints and experiment with toning procedures. Stay tuned!

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