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Thread: Dan Burkholder's Pt/Pd, Digital Negative Workshop

  1. #1

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    Dan Burkholder's Pt/Pd, Digital Negative Workshop

    I just returned from Dan Burkholder's Platinum/Paladium and Digital Negative Workshop and wanted to comment on what an instructive time I had there. It was held at the Photographers' Formulary in Condon, Montana.

    We had demostrations on making digital negatives, coating and making pt/pd prints, on pigment over pt/pd, and on Photoshop techniques for photographers. Dan had many excellent photographs to show us. I especially appreciated the Photoshop techniques part of the workshop. Dan's very knowledgeable in this area, and I spent time practicing these techniques during the workshop so that I could ask questions. As the instructor, Dan spent time with me, helping me figure them all out. We also had plenty of printing time. We did not cover silver contact prints, although Dan offered some software tools and advice in that direction. (Silver printing was not the focus of this workshop.)

    Workshops at the Photographers' Formulary are interesting. All of us stayed at rooms on the grounds and had meal tickets there. The kitchen and dining room are housed in the same building as the three large darkrooms and classroom area, so it makes it especially easy to take full advantage of the workshop time. Monday through Thursday, we began at 9am and continued until 9 or 10pm during the evening. The only breaks were for lunch and dinner, and not much time was taken for those. Continental breakfast was ready at 8:30am each morning. Dan was available for demonstrations, formal instruction, and guidance during all of those hours. We also met from 6pm to about 10pm on Sunday and 9am to noon on Friday. At $625 plus lab expenses (housing and meal tickets were separate), we got our money's worth!

    It's interesting how much control one can exert over the pt/pd process by processing negatives using Photoshop. We were getting decent results early in the workshop using the Epson 2200 that we had available. I'm looking forward to putting together a source (UV light) and getting started on this digital approach. I expect that pt/pd will be a significant portion of my digital output. Note that this approach completely sidesteps the resource (film and photographic paper) issues associated with traditional black and white photography. Depending on processing, prints can last hundreds of years.

    Does this approach fall under the "large format photography" umbrella? We were contact printing with large negatives using early chemical process techniques. With the right lenses, tilts, swings, and shifts are possible, or can at least be synthesized using Photoshop. I know that I learned a lot from this workshop and look forward to being a practitioner of this interesting and productive methodology.

  2. #2
    windpointphoto's Avatar
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    Dan Burkholder's Pt/Pd, Digital Negative Workshop

    This is good to hear. Photographers' Formulary has so many interesting sounding workshops. Too bad they don't take them "on the road", though Dan does do his workshops in many locations. There's nothing that beats in person one on one, but I followed his instructions in his books and my pt/pd negatives worked the first time right out of the gate. Using the Epson 2200 I can make 12x18 negs. That's pretty large format.

  3. #3

    Dan Burkholder's Pt/Pd, Digital Negative Workshop

    Does this approach fall under the "large format photography" umbrella? We were contact printing with large negatives using early chemical process techniques. With the right lenses, tilts, swings, and shifts are possible, or can at least be synthesized using Photoshop. I know that I learned a lot from this workshop and look forward to being a practitioner of this interesting and productive methodology.

    Yeah well, last time I saw Dan he was showing me his Kodak 14 MP and Tamron 14 mm wide angle lens, so I dont know how much large format is this post..... :-) . Nevertheless he is a great guy and I agree with you, you get to learn a lot in his workshop. When he was in San Miguel I got to see some of the results his students were having and I have to say they were doing very nice prints, mostly pigment over pt. Although I was surprised to see it was actually pt over pigment, I would have thought the pigments would have run off when you coated the paper.

    I am surprised he is still teaching the workshop, over lunch he told me was getting out of pt printing and dedicating exclusively to do ink jet prints and color, did he changed his mind? I certainly hope so.

  4. #4

    Dan Burkholder's Pt/Pd, Digital Negative Workshop

    He has a show opening here in Texas along with his wife on Sep. 9. It'll be interesting to see if it's pt or color ink jet prints.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Dan Burkholder's Pt/Pd, Digital Negative Workshop

    Jorge,

    You're right, it was pt/pd over pigment. With the pigment being deposited onto a rougher type paper surface, it probably sinks in and embeds itself within the fibers so as not to run off. Not being a standard inkjet clay surface, one gets that attenuated effect of color, which is part of the charm of combining the pigment with pt/pd. I used an inverted luminance (blurred) mask to desaturate and limit the amount of ink deposited in the darker areas, where the pt/pd deposit would be the heaviest.

    He mentioned the San Miguel trip and how inspired he was with a woman artist there doing inkjet printing. (I believe it was in San Miguel.) He told us that he wanted to spend more time with inkjet printing and color. As I said, he's excellent with Photoshop. It was sort of magic to watch him spend time with our images.

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