Monday, October 30, 2006

Whew!

Good thing I was able to make a coating rod this weekend - they're backordered for weeks! The idea is that you get a glass rod (or better yet thin tubing which has much better quality control - rod is usually melted eventually so it's not like it has to be very straight) break it to size and heat it enough to bend two handles. If I may indulge in a little ASCII art it should look like \__/

You hold the edge bits and the center/bottom part touches the paper.

I made a Ziatype test chart - looks good wet but these things always change a bit when they dry. I think I have the exposure OK but this process can be a little variable in terms of humidity and so forth so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on every print until I've proven some kind of consistency. It looks great though - it's my first true black and white process although you can warm it up a bit by adjusting the platinum/palladium ratio or by adding some toner. I'll do some analysis on the chart once it's dry and then it will be time to print negatives, let those dry for a day, and then start making some pictures. I'm hoping to have some samples and a description up on the site in a week or so (nothing moves too fast with this stuff).

It's basically a constant process of tweaking your process both in terms of negatives and making the actual print, for each process, for each paper you use. There's a balance between spending all your time making test charts and never making any prints or only making prints and not ever improving or improving only by trial and error. But I'm really pleased with how the whole learning process has been going.

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