View Full Version : Platinum printing bug has bitten me

Nate Battles
10-Dec-2007, 13:01
So what's a good resource? Where should I start? I shoot 5x7, but I would be interested in enlarging my negatives. :confused:

matthew blais
10-Dec-2007, 13:09
Bostick & Sullivan for supplies and info
Unblinking Eye for info

Start with padding your bank account twofold :)

Brian Bullen
10-Dec-2007, 13:30
His book is an excellent resource and great to have close by.

10-Dec-2007, 15:09
His book is an excellent resource and great to have close by.

Second the recommendation for Dick Arentz' book. It is the most complete and comprehensive reference you will find on pt./pd. printing.

Sandy King

10-Dec-2007, 22:22
I would consider starting with your camera negs rather than enlarging. 5x7 is a nice size to learn the process with. And you get to learn of the quality one can get out of a camera negative. This is important so that you have something to judge any future enlarged negatives by. A 5x7 platinum print is a sweet thing...mounted perhaps 12x16, they are intimate pieces.

If you do digitally enlarge your negs, you will have the advantage of dialing in your negs to consistantly print at the contrast you want and almost the same exposure times.

The cost really is not that high. I use to make 16x20 silver gelatin prints (from 4x5 negs) and the paper was 2 bucks or more a sheet. I'd blow through 10 sheets to get a couple good prints. Two good 8x10 platinum prints certainly do not cost me $25 even including the rejects. I just consider my best 8x10 platinum prints to be equal or better than my best 16x20 silver gelatin prints (and I charge about the same for them).

Have fun!


Dave Aharonian
10-Dec-2007, 23:49
You might want to consider taking a workshop. I have read Dick's book and its very good, but I recently took a Platinum Printing workshop with Kerik Kouklis and it provided me with far more information - especially hands-on - than I could ever get in a book. And it didn't hurt that Kerik is a mighty fine instructor too!

Scott Davis
11-Dec-2007, 08:28
I'll put in another vote for not only 5x7 as a great format, but also for a workshop to get your feet wet FAST. 5x7 is a terrific format for pt/pd printing - nice aspect ratio, easy to work with, and a nice viewing size without being expensive to work with. When I took my Pt/Pd class, we used a 5x7 to shoot our class negatives.

You can certainly teach yourself the basics from just playing with the Bostick & Sullivan kit. There are two basic changes to the kit I would strongly recommend - the first time you order the kit, just go with the kit as configured. Get a handle on the basics with the kit. The NEXT time, replace the FeOx#2 contrasting agent with NA2 or Ammonium Dichromate, and replace the Ammonium Citrate developer with the Potassium Oxalate developer. Once you understand the shortcomings of the kit, you'll find how much better the substitutions are, but more importantly, you'll know how and why to use them.

There are a number of very good classes out there, with some terrific instructors. Since you're in the middle of the country, it probably isn't much different going to either coast to learn this stuff - Kerik out west (or back east, depending on when and where), or Carl Weese (I took his course at the Center For Antique and Historic Processes... http://www.cfaahp.org ). The Sullivan and Weese book is another very good volume on how to print in Platinum/Palladium. I THINK they're coming out with a new edition soon, if they have not already done so. The Dick Arentz book is very detailed and comprehensive, but it can be a little intimidating for a pure beginner as Dick gets down into the weeds with sensitometry and densitometry for making negatives and prints.

Ken Lee
11-Dec-2007, 09:02
I took a private 1-day workshop with Carl Weese, (http://www.carlweese.com) at his home/workshop in Connecticut. Along with the "Sullivan" of Bostick and Sullivan, Carl is the co-author of another great book on the subject.

The workshop was enormously informative, and he continued to patiently mentor me for a long time afterwards.