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|Working With Pyrogallol Developers|
|Precipitate in PMK developer Solution A?|
I've used Oriental Seagull paper for several years. Initially the paper I used was Seagull G. A couple of years ago this started showing up in boxes labeled GF. Now it appears it is back to G. I noted a slight warm tone on the GF paper, which I liked a lot, but I don't know what to expect with the "Seagull G" paper. I'm involved in a series of photos spanning years and I hate to move back and forth between these papers for matters of consistency. Do you know anything about this? The folks at Oriental Seagull can't help and others I've asked don't know. Thanks.
Dear Gordon, I have been greatly encouraged in your photographic contributions and publications. I have a couple request that perhaps you may have time or ability to respond to at your convenience? These request pertain to photographic education and workshops, and also my more recent use of pyro with large format negatives. In the past I've worked exclusively with the Leica-M system for documentary and fine art work. I began serious work with 4x5 a little less than a year ago, and have learned so much in composition and the realization of such great negative information to work with in printing. Now my work is more focused upon the importance of tonality. I print with an Omega D2V on Bergger or Kentmere VC/FB paper generally. Cameras: Sinar F1 and Fotoman 45PS. I also desire to work with alternative processes in the future, and thus see the value of pyro formulations in both silver and alternative metals. While photographing for about 30 years and occasionally teaching basic photography, I feel like a newbie to photography all together! This time in my life is both rewarding and frustrating, for I know what I want to achieve and yet feel like an adolescent. I would ask for your kind assistance and recommendations. What workshops would you recommend that I could tie into for your instruction, looking at the Fall 2007? I live near Seattle, Washington but could travel outside the region. What would be a recommended pyro formula to self-formulate and work with as a foundational basis in my work? I tray process currently with the Farber recommended-- pyro triethanolamine formula and love the results that I obtain, but receive little stain, I presume, to the high concentration of sulfite in the formula. This has me worried that the negatives might not be benefiting form the correct amount or quality of stain for both silver and platinum. I have considered using the WD2D formula or the Herbst pyro (variant) formula as shown in the unblinkingeye article: The Effects of Pyro Stain in Platinum Printing. I plan to purchase your book again, since my old copy has been misplaced in a past move to the Pacific Northwest. In the digital age, I have decided to dedicate my life to preserving the traditional side of photographic arts and to hopefully master skills in this arena in the years to come. Thank you for your kind assistance. Sincerely, Mark
Dear Gordon, We spoke a few months ago about using Unicolor roller bases to get more even development with PMK, especially with 35mm in stainless tanks. Was it model 352 you recommended? Thanks, Brad
I recently tried your MaxPyro developer from Bostick on 4x5 Fuji Acros in my JOBO CPE2 processor. Exposed at ISO 80, and processed for 7 minutes, it yielded a zone I density of 0.02 (not perceptible by eye), and at 12 minutes, a zone I density of only 0.04; at 12 minutes the zone VIII density was 2.20. The mix was 25 ml each of A and B in 500 ml of distilled water. My standard developer T-Max RS 1:1 produces nice prints and consistently yields a zone I density of 0.11 and zone VIII of 1.5 to 1.6. I reconfirmed this using identically exposed film processed in the two developers. All processing is carefully controlled at 70 deg and the chemicals carefully measured. Although I recognize that densitometry measurements are different using Pyro, these values suggest to me inadequate shadow detail because of the very thin zone I values, and blocked highlights (at 12 minutes development). Is there a way I can modify the developer to get better zone I density and lower zone VIII values? I suppose that less agitation than the JOBO produces might help at least to reduce the highlight density, but I have found the JOBO so reliable and reproducible that I would prefer to continue to use it. Would appreciate any suggestions. Richard B
Dear Gordon, I have been a BW photographer on and off since the 60s. I havent done much photo work since 1992. My work that I am happiest with was a group of mug-shot style portraits I did in San Francisco bars and street scenes around that time. Done with 8X10 Tri-X/D76 N/N mostly. I do not use enlargers anymore because contact prints seem much richer. In 2005 I attempted to get back into photography, but ran into a huge brick wall with film. I rried HP5, Fuji Acros, Tri-X, with different developers, and all looked horrible. I gave up. Want to start up again now, but before I spend huge amounts of time beating my head against a wall, I thought I might ask someone who been working with BW thru the years when it seems BW films may have had some sort of demise. Was this bad luck I had in 2005, or has film quality deteriorated? As I try to get back into photography, can you recommend films? I am trying Plux-X and Delta at this point with limited success. I know that photography involves constant trial and error, and since I am quite rusty, I know alot of the problem is just that. But a certain percentage of the problem also seems to be a change in film quality. My pictures tend to have alot of greys- somewhat like Adams photos. Newer films and work Ive looked at seems flat with very little color- highlights especially chalky and appear overexposed but are not. I will be trying Adox or Efke (same?) soon and will probably try Pyro formula from Freestlyle. However, developers may matter little and be incapable for making pictures that I am used to if the film has changed for the worse. Have been doing alot of research on internet. If you have any thoughts on this, Id appreciate it (I know this is a loaded question for someone involved in the BW/film business). It may save me excessive experimenting. I can email samples of my work for clarification if you like. Much thanks in advance for any help you might have, Kip.....