I would especially like to hear from those of you who have pioneered your
own formulae/working methods. Pradip, Richard Sullivan, Luis are you there?
I also mailed out my survey to about 400 Pt/Pd printers (with the very
kind help of Bostick & Sullivan). Thus far I have recived about 60 or so
of those surveys back, so I am getting some good material for the book.
I would think that responding by e-mail would be easier than filling out
the form and mailing back a hard copy as 60 others have done. <Ed: this
is the guilt trip part>.
I will be working on processing the surveys for a number of weeks, so if
you can return a completed survey within the next few weeks that would be
So without further ado, here is the survey (and original cover letter).
Dear Fellow Platinum/Palladium Printers,
My name is David Fokos, and I am a platinum/palladium printer living near
Boston, where I have been printing in platinum for the last 15 years. I
am posting this message in the hope of persuading you to participate in a
new project that will be of certain benefit to us all.
I am compiling and cataloging the formulae, materials, and methods used by
platinum/palladium printers around the world - sort of the platinum
printer's version of the human genome project. It seems to me that we,
and a lot of our fellow printers, have worked very hard to develop our own
personal working methods and chemical formulations. Many of us have
probably spent countless hours, and significant money re-inventing and re-
discovering processes already worked out by others. My goal in this
project is to produce a spiral-bound notebook which catalogs all of our
methods so that we will all be able to work together to improve the state
of our art.
Over the 15 years that I have been printing platinum, it has been my
experience that the members of the platinum printing community have,
without fail, been generous in their willingness to share their time,
advice, and results of their work. I believe that it is this openess and
encouragement that has brought us all together in what is, in the truest
sense of the word, a community. I hope that you will be willing to share
your work with your fellow platinum/palladium printers. And, of course,
in return you will receive a terrific wealth of knowledge from printers
around the world!
I have absolutely no profit motive in undertaking this project. Once the
book is complete, it will be made available to those who participated - at
the cost of printing and postage. I am donating my time and effort to
this project. Everyone who participates will receive full credit for his
or her contributions. To participate, just answer the questions which
follow and e-mail them back to me at: email@example.com.
Note: Some of you may have already received a copy of this survey in the
mail via Bostick&Sullivan who were kind enough to help me with my mailing.
Thanks in advance for participation in this project!
-=@ Platinum/Palladium Printers Survey @=-
1. Please give the following information, (only your name will be used in
the final publication).
2. Briefly describe the type of work you do (i.e. large-format contact
prints vs. medium-format with enlarged internegatives, landscape vs.
portraits vs. collage, etc.).
3. Which negative film/developer combination do you prefer, and why?
Also, how do you expose and develop to get a good negative for printing
4. Why have you chosen to work in platinum and/or palladium?
5. Which paper do you currently use, and what is it about the paper that
6. What is your recipe for:
a) your platinum solution (if any) - if you get any of these
solutions pre-mixed, say "pre-mixed" and give the source.
b) your palladium solution (if any)
c) your ferric oxalate solution(s) If you use more than one ferric
oxalate solutions please give information on all of them.
d) your developer(s)If you use more than one developer (e.g. if
you have different developers for different contrast grades)
please give information for each one.
e) your clearing agent(s)
f) any miscellaneous solutions that you use
7. Which method do you prefer for contrast control, and why?
8. Where do you get your materials?
9. Please outline your working process. Be sure to include:
a) how you mix your chemistry
b) how you coat and dry your paper, incl. # of drops/image area
c) your printing technique, including type of light source and
distance from it.
d) your development technique
e) your clearing process
f) any finishing processes including treating the print,
flattening, and spotting.
g) any other special techniques, such as humidification,
incantations, prayer, etc.
10. Finally, if I were to organize something like "The First Annual
Platinum/Palladium Printers Grand Portfolio Exchange", would you be
interested in participating?
The portfolio exchange would work thusly: Let's say 20 printers each make
20 copies of one of their own images. These are then used to make up 20
portfolios, each containing one copy of each printer's prints. Each of
the 20 printers would then receive one complete portfolio of 20 different
If you would be interested in participating in such a program, what would
your limit be on the number of prints (of a single image) that you would
be willing to make? Twenty? Fifty? One-hundred?
11. Please add any additional comments that you might like to make.
Please e-mail your completed survey to: firstname.lastname@example.org