Tag Archives: black and white

peroxide based photographic reversals

im back at attempting to making direct postive reversals again.

there have been a number of different ways to do these over the years,
some use toxic chemistry ( sulfuric acid dichromate bleach ) some use a somewhat dangerous process
( wet plate ) and others are rather finicky ( silver gelatin ferrotypes ).  there used to be a direct postive paper made by ilford
which was a single step, use normal photographic chemistry ( reglar old developer ) and it would develop a postive, instead of a negative,
these days when one says direct positive that is what comes to mind first …  the good folks at galaxy have come up with their version of direct postive
( not sure what is in it, probably sulfuric acid ) i havne’t tried their chemistry yet but from what it seems in their website/video it seems pretty fun and easy.

there is another reversal process that uses permanganate instead of sulfuric acid …

i’ve tried a few of these processes ..  the ilford paper is by far the easiest …  the permanganate one worked OK but i messed up the PH of the clearing bath.
i love making silver gelatin tintypes, but it is a finicky process …

a few weeks ago ( maybe a month ago ) joe van cleave posted a video that was reposted on photrio.com ( neé apug ) that detailed
his experiments with a reveral process he discovered someplace online, and through conversations he had with the person who posted it.

the process uses hydrogen peroxide and citric acid as a bleach, no clearing bath and if you go to joe’s website ( strongly recommend lots of fun stuff there ..
he is a paper negative artist, afghan camera user and an avid typist ! )  you will see his 3 videos and the images he has made with the process.
be advised he uses STRONG hydrogen peroxide, about 15%, which can be purchased at a variety of places,it is not the weaker less concentrated hydrogen peroxide
you might find at your local pharmacy.  i am kind of a scardie-cat when it comes to concentrated chemistr.  its not that i don’t have good lab-technique, or
a rubber apron, gloves or a respirator, its just that if i can get away WITHOUT using peroxide that strong, i’d rather do that.  it is one of my reasons
not currently doing wet plate photography …  if i can do without collodion i am good with that, and if i DID do wet plate work, i would definately use
speed fixer instead of the traditional Potassium Cyanide.

so the other day i went to big lots and got a few cheap quarts of hydrogen peroxide ( 89¢ each ) and i headed over to whole foods
to get some citric acid.  and i made a few exposures and attempts. first i was unsuccessful.
i was using coffee developer with a little d72 powder ( home mixed ) to boost the contrast and shorten development time.  the negative looked great.
into the weak citric acid stop bath, short rinse with water too, and into the hydrogen peroxide ( about 1/2 cup ) and citric acid ( abou 1 tsp ) bleach ..

it is supposed to take about an hour but it didn’t do anything and by the end of it all, even after i waited a couple of hours, and then turned the lights on to fog the paper
( part of the process ) nothing happened.

i did a 2nd try, and still, it didn’t want to work.

so  …  i consulted someone who i knew would have a clue.  he’s a photographer in california ned lewis,  he’s a brilliant photographer a goes by the handle NedL ( on ipernety, photrio ).
i know he would know what was going on, he’s the guy who discovered how to fix lumen / retina/sun prints and he’s a paper negative artist who makes calotypes
( like the original fox talbot process ! )
has also been working the past week to get this 3% system to work, and he has had fantastic results.

he thought that maybe there was carry over from the sodium carbonate rich developer that was killing the bleach.  makes sense to me.  so, i changed my print developer
and mixed up some sprint print developer great developer, great chemistry, great folks !

and  ..  i exposed a 3rd paper negative and it worked great !, so i exposed another one.

instead of beng on a tiny scrap of paper stuffed in a 35mm camera, i put a 5×7 sheet into a graflex 3a and photographed the
dining room window.  it took forever to bleach ( i had a 2nd 5×7 exposure n the same bleach bath ).  1 change of bleach, and about 6, maybe 8 ( i left and came back so i don’t
know exactly when it happened )  the paper negative was completely white, so i turned the lights on, fogged it and redeveloped it and it came out great. ( the 2nd one not so great bt that’s OK )

about a 8 hour process

ned and joe’s peroxide reversal

basically here is how it works:

 

you expose a paper negative and develop it in print developer,

you short stop bath it in a little bit of water and citric acid

and then put it in about 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with about a teaspoon of citric acid.

( there are actually gram measures and real volume measures he and joe use but im just tinkering to see if it works )

with joe’s recipe the print bleaches to white in a short amount of time, with NedL’s it takes about an hour, maybe a little longer.

after it is bleached so it looks like a white piece of paper you expose the print to light ( joe and ned both have the kind of light, time and filtration )

you redevelop in print developer, and it turns into a postive print ..  stop and fix and there you have it !

stay tuned !

 

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late summer photographs

just a taste of what i have been doing lately.

it includes using a cyclone #3 and empire state …

as usual, i have been off the beaten path, i ended up in west greenwich at the plain meeting house

and also found myself at the abandonned and partially redeveloped lonsdale mill complex.  i’ve been to both places

before, but its been months.  i also found myself at home photographing closely.

tinted

cyclone #3, caffemol C + faux dektol

tinted in PS

trailer truck along building, overcast sun peeking through

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chloro bromide emulsion #2

its been a while since i made the emulsion i wrote about here
but that isn’t to say it hasnt been on my mind since a year ago january.  i’ve  been distracted with life and trying to finish off all my film, and making more sun and retina
and cyanotype prints.  but this morning i decided to make some more go-juice.

i dont’ really have a recipe that  belongs to someone else i follow but i mix and match hoping it will work,  this time around here is what i am doing:

 

120cc water
4g iodized salt
12g potassium bromide
1cc of watered down D72 !
20g hard bloom gelatin

( my last batch was knox gelatin, it worked OK for a little while but eventually the gelatin broke down and made a mess )

i heated up the water and added and stirred all the ingredients so they are mixed and dissolved well.  the water i put in a cheap metal pot
and i heated it up on the single burner i use to roast my coffee.  when everything got dissolved and well mixed i took the salted gelatin out of the pot
it’s now sitting on the enlarger table.  i’ll go back down in a little bit and re-heat it to liquid again as i mix the silver nitrate and water together.

next is the silver nitrate i put on an apron, gloves and EYE GOGGLES and measured 32g silver nitrate and 120cc warm water.
and mixed this until it was completely dissolved.

with the safelight on and the salted gelatin warm i stirred like mad and slowly mixed the silver nitrate into the gelatin.
eyesight is nothing to play with, and silver nitrate will blind you without a second thought.  always use eye protection !

anyways i dribbled and mixed the silver nitrate in there and the whole mixture turned white.
i’ll use this as a paper emulsion, so i won’t bother to wash it.  i put the ball jar into a locking air tight container
and then in a black paper bag and stuck it in the refrigerator to set.

i have no clue if it will work or not, i’m looking forward to finding out soon !

in a few days i will coat some paper and expose it and post my results

 

OK it is the next day and i really couldn’t help myself …

the emulsion was put in one of those hinged jars that have a rubber seal, like the stuff you might
have on your counter with coffee beans or sugar or whatever ..  the bell jar was inside that ..  the whole thing in
a black bag photo paper usually comes in when it is in the box ..  i didn’t really trust that the jar i put it in was light proof
so i bagged it when i put it in the little fridge.

the moment of truth ..

i brought the jar to the red room and opened it, and it set ( WHEW ! ) i always worry i didn’t put enough gelatin in there
and it would be a watery mess.  it was emulsion alright

i scooped a little out and warmed / melted it and painted it onto some card stock.

its drying now …  but when its dry i will rip it in half and hide half of it.  i’ll put something on the card and turn the lights on
and make a photogram in some dektol and see if this stuff works.  after that i will put s cut piece in my K1000 and make a test strip to determine
exposure times and iso’s.  and easy way i usually do is f 11, block the lens off and make a series of 1 second exposures. and develop the strip to see what happens.

 

OK …

well i realized the watered down 1cc ( if that ) of liquid i added at the end was dektol, not hypo
i hate amber bottles !

i did my first 2 tests and coated some more paper.

the photogram i made i counted to 6 with the room light on and it made a killer photogram.
i handheld a slip inside a camera f2 $ 15 seconds and it looks to be about right.

they are still washing and more paper is drying so i can’t really say for sure what everything is.
i know if in the camera ends up being too tedious i make enough photograms and sun prints it won’t be an issue using this home brew emulsion

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

latest tinted images

i have been exposing film without processing it for about a year now.  i had about 20 or 25 rolls of assorted black/white and color
35mm and a couple of rolls of 120 film.  i also had about 30 sheets of assorted expired color and black and white 4×5 sheets.  i had wanted
to process the film months ago, but i’d cut my finger or something random so i couldn’t.  i am not someone who wears latex or nitril gloves when
i process film, i know i probably should, but when i process sheet film i can’t feel the sheets to pry them apart, and it makes it extra hard to shuffle
them in a tray.  i suppose if i used a hand tank, or still used hangers / tank, or a unicolor drum it wouldn’t matter much, but i put film in a tray and shuffling them from bottom to top, over and over again, first in water, then in developer for whatever amount of time i need to, and then in water and then in fix  and while i have attempted to use gloves, it just didn’t work well.  i always use them when i make cyanotypes, both coating and washing.  and i sometimes use them when i coat stuff with liquid emulsion. …  anyways  …

so i processed about 5 rolls of film and all 30 sheets on sunday.

they were all from last fall.  some local stuff, some things i made when i was out of town.

there was a regatta when i was in boston that saturday.  i don’t remember which day it was, i just remember it was sunny and cloudy and cold.
i parked by MIT and walked across the street with my box and made a handful of exposures.  then i drove to magazine beach and did the same sort
of thing.

regatta

black and white negative, hand tinted in photoshop

regatta

black and white (4×5 ) negative, tinted in photoshop.

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ilex seminat

admittedly i might have a few too many lenses.  i don’t have curio cabinets full of them, or 4 shelves piled high but i am always a sucker for a cheap lens that might be interesting.    the merriam-webster online dictionary defines interesting as holding the attention.  its usually the cheap unwanted lenses that hold my attention.  i bought a speed graphic camera as my entry to large format photography back in around 1988 from an old camera store called e. p. levines.  i bought it back when it was still on lincoln street in boston

before it moved to 23 drydock in south boston.

back then it was kind of an unloved camera, every photographer back in the day had and used and sold one, and i was picking it up.  i was more than happy because not only could i use shuttered lenses ( it came with a tominon 127 in a polaroid press shutter ) it had a curtain shutter so i could use the camera with enlarger lenses, and cheap unwanted barrel lenses.  i still use the tominion and while over the years folks who know lens design and much more than i do about optics have told me that the lens does not cover a 4×5 sheet of film, i have used it for decades and never had dark corners or problems.  maybe i lucked out?  i’m not sure, but i do know that because there have been so many unloved polaroid mp-3 copy cameras flooding the online auction site over the years and people don’t believe the lens can work well with a 4×5 camera, the lens is an unloved lens as well.

so over the years i have bought and used barrel and enlarger lenses with this speed graphic.  if you are wondering what a speed graphic is or what i am talking about, its one of those old fold-up  newspaper cameras press photographers used back in the day.  they look like this

and the curtain / focal plane shutter makes them a great camera for playing around with.  you can fashion a lens out of pretty much anything, from a 5 and dime magnifying glass (cheap magnifying glasses) to a 18th century brass barrel lens that cost as much as a used car (brass lenses on google shopping ) …  i tend to shy away from things that cost very much money, but over the years i have bought these unloved lenses and years later they are loved which brings me to the ilex seminat.

i bought this lens more than a decade ago, before the soft lens gold rush had really started.  people really weren’t buying old brass lenses because no one really  cared much about how they might give a nice soft image if shot wide open, without much effort.  people hadn’t been bitten by the wet plate photography bug yet, so no one really needed a super fast large format lens so their portrait subject didn’t fall asleep during the exposure.  i’ve photographed portraits with slow lenses, and paper negatives and counted to 45 or 50 or longer than that.  while my subject was able to sit still and hold a pose, without a victorian head clamp, i am not sure how easy it would be to do on a regular basis, and if the subject was a kid, forget about it.  a guy on ebay.  he starts all his auctions at .77¢ and has a flair for selling great stuff.  anyways, the lens cost, i don’t know $40 or 50$, shipped to me from sunny california and it arrived a few days later.  ( sorry i don’t have a photograph of my particular lens but it looks kind of like this but mine is in an old ilex general shutter.  it was described as being elusive or mysterious, the seller described it to a T—elusive.

i usually don’t stop the lens down, i don’t see much of a point in stopping down a lens unless it is some sort of documentary project where some sort of context and extreme detail is required.  in that respect i live my photographic life by the HABS/HAER code. you might have heard of HABS, back in december 2015 a position opened up in washington DC to be one of the few photographers who work on HABS Documentation jobs full time.  the photography is straight ahead photographic documentation, no soft lenses, everything exposed at f22, descriptive views, architectural history/descriptions, and the images aresometimes used together with measured drawings ( tape measure measuring a structure and doing detailed renderings, elevations &c ) and a technical research paper about the building, its historial significance, the builder, style &c ….  while with the seminat i could stop down to f22 i don’t really use it for HABS work, i have modern coated lenses that do that job well, the seminat is for other”stuff”.   i like to put the shutter on TIME so i can just do a long exposure and not deal with short exposures.  i don’t have a lenscap so i use the focal plane shutter in the speed graphic.  it takes a little while to learn how to focus with this lens to get the most out of it.  while making portraits with it works great, and it does give a nice diffuse image i like photographing outdoors or through a window and letting the f3.5 and lens design do their things.

ilex seminat wide open

 

 

garage floor and tree

 

retina

multi hour retina image
reversed tinted with photoshop

 

leaves and branches and sky

seminat as a close up lens on a 5×7 camera.

seminat on a 5×7 camera.

over the years i have done research on the ilex seminat, there really isn’t much written about it at all.  i’ve read old photography magazines+ads on google books, sometimes they are there and available to look at (usually they talk about the cinema lens ilex sold with the same name)  but very little if anything is written on this seminat.  sometimes just buying a cheap lens on a whim works out.  it might take a little playing with to figure out what the lens is good for and what it can do, and usually, if you don’t want it, you can put it up for sale for about what you paid for it, and get your $$ back, unless of course you bought things ahead of the curve and in that case you will be getting the loved price for your formerly unloved lens.

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cyclone negative cyanotype

a couple of days ago i was making some more cyanotypes i loaded up some contact frames with waxed negatives to see if i could get a better print than i did with my old coated paper some of those prints just didnt’ work out ..  and at the same time i found an old hand coated paper negative made with the cyclone #3 a while ago, that was just sitting on the tabletop.  i had cleaned up quite a bit a week or 2 ago:  i swept the floor;  i organized;  i put things away;  i stacked things;  i found things i hadn’t seen in a while.  the paper negative was a rediscovery, even though it wasn’t really lost.  it seems like it was coated on xerox paper, it is thin and durable.  not sure what emulsion is on it, maybe foma?  maybe my home-brew, not sure.  it has a nice contrast and look and i stuck it in the contact frame.  the waxed negatives took a ton of time before to expose, so i was banking on a day or 2 in the sun for all 3 of the cyanotypes.  it was a lot more diffuclt in late october because the sun is low, and it moves across the sky differently than before, so i had to really follow the sun around with the print frames. i did OK i suppose, but i was more in open shade than i was in the sun, and that is OK too.  the print is made from the same classic formula i coated the others with.  and after 2 days in the sun i washed it in water and added a little hydrogen peroxide to finish the development, and eventually i painted some areas of the print with dilute washing soda to give a yellowish hue to some areas. anyhow, its the kitchen table and window and chairs. not sure if i am going to add my own colors or leave it, the blue tones of cyanotypes are starting to grow on me.

 

classic, and blue

window table and chairs
classic cyanotype H2O2 to develop out faster as i always do, and a little washing soda to bleach and ad color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, using vintage equipment Also tagged , , , , , , |

more recent cyanotypes

i haven’t been using a camera much these days.  i have film to be processed (probably 10 rolls ?)  some taken a while ago, some taken since the spring.  i haven’t gotten around to processing it.  not to mention i have some liquid emulsion ( foma and AG+) to use up and i eagerly anticipate making some of my own chlorobromide emulsion again with some nice hard bloom gelatin.  instead of camera negatives i’ve been waxing paper negatives made from rubbings ( like the last entry ) or things made as a photogram, ( always a favorite ) or better yet, paper xerox negatives that i wax and have fun with …

a few years ago i got a bad case of food poisoning while traveling in france and when i got home i had some film to process, and a few memory cards with images on them.  i was kind  of messed up from being sick when i got home  ( until i wasn’t ) and while i found one of the memory cards’ images, i am still kind of looking for the other.  i took some of these images specifically for converting to paper negatives and into cyanotypes.  i had done this with rubbings and digital images before, and it seemed like a great way to make digital images into hybrid black and white negatives.  so i desaturated some negatives, and inverted them in PS and put them 4-to a 8 1/2 x11 sheet of xerox paper …  heated up an old pan and waxed the paper  … in addition, to a big sheet of cyanotype paper, i had a handful of envelopes i coated a handful of months ago, and they were eager to be printed on.

 

i made some photograms using kitchen-stuff and crayoned and watercolored the images.  i don’t know what size envelopes are, but they are the perfect paper for making cyanotypes.  nice and long and narrow, like a panoramic negative !

 

anyhow her eare some of the images i made …

 

hand painted and black/white photogram

hand painted and black/white photogram

black and white + color photogram

black and white + color photogram

black and white + hand painted photogram

black and white + hand painted photogram

black and white+ painted photogram

black and white+ painted photogram

Posted in alternative process photography, technique and style Also tagged , , |

recent cyanotypes

just made a handful of cyanotypes lately using paper coated and left in a light safe in a humid basement for the last 7 or 8 months.  the paper was not the best but it worked (sort of) made some photograms ( some i watercolored ) i made a contact print with a waxed rubbing and tinted it in photoshop and i also converted some digital images into black and white negatives on xerox paper and waxed and printed them.

i have some more negatives to print and cyanotype paper to use up before i mix new.

 

rubbing waxed negative

rubbing waxed negative

4 screwdrivers

photogram, watercolors

3 nails

photogram, watercolors

semicircle of stuff

photogram, watercolors

truck

waxed paper negative

vezelay

waxed paper negative

metal wire brush

photogram, watercolors

 

 

 

 

as usual most of my work is on imagekind ( jnanian.imagekind.com )  feel free to browse.  through the end of september

i will be donating a portion of every purchase ( 70% ) to relief efforts in louisana.

 

 

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, technique and style Also tagged , , , , , , , |

photo illustration sort of, PS colored photo reconstruction

a while back i made some paper negative from hand made emulsion the negatives were more like a collage of things, images, textures, brush strokes. i decided to scan big and crop small and the image i retrieved from the paper was a sweet photograph of trees and a fencepost, but it always seemed to be missing something whenever i looked at it.  i put it aside for a good 6 months and looked at it a little bit more once i had distance from it

 

railing and trees

railing and trees

 

the other day i spent a handful of hours working on it.

i enlarged the canvas, i added colors ( which was i originally had hoped to do )

anyways, i worked and worked added, and subtracted and came up with this

 

 

cyclone

reworked image

it took hours, and it really still isn’t completely done, but it was fun making something that never really existed.

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Also tagged , , , |

double coating paper

i dug into a 1 kg jar of foma emulsion the other day.  i know i can make my own but i have this still on hand so i might as well just use it until i run out.  coating paper and glass and metal with it will be great practice for when i don’t want to waste stuff i spend time making on my own.  so i took a few of the large sheets of xerox paper i had already coated.  i took 1 of them and with the lights on i exposed it in developer to show how poorly i coat.  it wasn’t that poor, it just wasn’t very good,  no it was pretty bad … it was  a lot of grey, only 1 area of black.  i’ve been coating things for years and this is the first time i did this …  that’s ok.  im a noob, even after 30 years.  i used a coating rod the last time, and a brush, but still things weren’t as good as i had hoped.  with denise ross’s book in hand, or at least in my mind
( if you haven’t gotten her blurb book and you like coating things, and making things, it is worth every penny you pay for it:  http://www.blurb.com/b/6465389-the-light-farm  ..)  i never thought about paper grain ( now i do )  i never thought about wet coating ( now i do ).

i took the remaining 2 sheets of paper and cut them into 4×5 pieces and soaked them in cold water.  this isn’t really what denise did in the book but that’s ok.  it is easy to tell which side is emulsion and which isn’t ( the emulsion side is slippery ).  i took my squeegee and removed the water from the prints 1 at a time and with warm emulsion i re-coated each piece of paper.  i looked at each piece in the safelight and they looked coated ( i guess they always do )  but coating 4×5 pieces was always easy for me, so my fingers are crossed that the 2nd emulsion layer took.  i’ve coated cyanotypes 2x, and other stuff 2x but never wet.  i’m hoping denise’s invention and my twisting it for my own needs took.

i also took some sheets of regular paper and coated that stuff too.  1 sheet folds and cuts into 18 4x5s.  i’m still trying to figure out what it is.  i did a little research and it seems to be “virgin” butcher paper.  uline sells it cut into the same size sheets or on a big roll.  alex art supply also sells something similar to it.  in both cases it isn’t the same weight (thickness) but it seems similar enough that when i runout at least i will have something to buy.  smooth finish paper i like best for coating.  nyways, i cut 1 sheet up soaked and squeegeed it and coated 14 pieces.  they are hanging on the line.

 

 

Posted in images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion, technique and style Also tagged , , , |

hand coating xerox paper

i’ve been experimenting a little with hand coating a variety of different papers.  i have a stack of paper i was given 20 years ago that is slowly being  eaten away and i know i will need to find another something to coat.  i brought the paper to my print shop and local art stores ( locally we have a jerry’s artarama, dick blick and the risd store ).  no one could really tell me what it was but someone told me it seemed like butcher paper.  i looked around for a source and found a few places, i could get it on a big roll or separate 1/2 sheets.  uline has both sheets and rolls, alex art supply too.  its “virgin paper” so it doesn’t have the wax coating on it.  my local restaurant supply stores also have it too, in a big roll.  none of it was the same feel ( i got samples ) as the paper i have been using, but at least now i have a few leads.

a while back i bought a reem of 14×17 xerox paper that was acid free ( i am told it is ALL acid free ) .  i originally was using it to do rubbings which were waxed to print as silver prints or iron ones (cyanotypes) and it worked great, so i figured i would see how it held up with stuff coated on it.  i have a bunch of cyanotype emulsion coated on it, but haven’t exposed it yet, and i am wondering if i should bother.  i also coated 1 sheet with foma liquid emulsion and exposed it and just finished processing the negatives.  i love how smooth paper looks with emulsions on it.  most of the negatives look good but it came with a price.

the paper is VERY thin.  if azo or single weight printers think single weight paper is thin, they have never used xerox paper or thin japanese paper ( i’ll be using some of that next ).  a couple of pieces tore a little bit.  it wasn’t, too bad, maybe it was maybe because i am clumsy with rubber examination gloves on ( i hate using them ),  but it is something i worry about a little bit.  thin paper is weak when it is wet.

i also have a bunch of things i coated lately that i will be exposing and printing on.  i have some photo grade gelatin purchased from artcraft ( THEY ARE GREAT ! ) for my self made emulsion projects as i plug along.

so, this long ramble to say:  if you use xerox paper, be careful, its nice but it might be more trouble than it is worth.

Posted in images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Also tagged , |

wait 9 month or a year and see what happens …

i admit it, sometimes i don’t want to process film.  i get tired of standing there and agitating, or shuffling sheets in a tray in the dark.  i started doing stand development because i didn’t want to deal, my version of stand development only lasts for maybe 1/2 hour if i remember to come back in time, sometimesit lasts even more.  i use the same develop my every day film in, sumatra coffee, washing soda,vitamin c and some dektol.  i shake the bubbles off and leave.  sometimes i put of processing film for a few weeks or sometimes i am not very good and put it off for a few months, 9 or 10 months this time.

 

the film sat in a ziplock bag for all this time.  i would process sheets, i would develop paper negatives, i would make contact prints,  even make emulsions and developers from scratch, coat things, and develop them, but i wouldn’t process the rolls of film.  i’d think about it sometimes

painted cyanotype with watercolors

film reels cyanotype with watercolors

finally i processed the film, at least, some of it. i had about 15 or 20 rolls to get through, and i made it through 9 of them.  i loaded the film into the metal reels.  it took a while since i was out of practice.  some reels roll easier than others, and for the first time in a long while i had a few areas touch and not develop.  that’s ok.  after the film was hung and dried and sleeved i began scanning them.  i will eventually print them but i figured scanning is as good a way as any to see what i have, so i scanned, and scanned and scanned. i remember most of the photographs, sort of. but not really.  it was a nice feeling to have distance.  there wasn’t any sort of importance or need or “i have to see this or that”  they were just negatives.

i remember seeing a show on garry winogrand years ago and how he exposed the film and left it for a year or more before he processed it.  ( i think there were 10 thousand rolls of film to process after he died. )  and i can see why he did what he did.  the distance adds to the editing process.  there isn’t a ” this exposure is going to be SO GOOD !” and process the film 20 seconds after it was unloaded. the film is just there and ready when you are, if it is good, its good, if it is bad, you probably don’t remember even making the photograph, so it is OK.

these photographs are from a handful of long walks i took.  sometimes they were made walking home from my mechanic;s place abotu 5 miles away.  i took 3 differnt routes home.  some were taken on the way or way back from picking up beer making supplies.  it was a road i used to travel often with a camera but no so much anymore.  time sat still and the places were virtually the same.

anyways … it’s ok to leave film for a while before you process it,

it mght even be a good thing.

 

colored black and whtite photo

colored black and whtite photo

shadow and textured wall

shadow and textured wall

retina print

retina print

run down fieldstone buildingjakes antiques

Posted in Misc., photographs, technique and style Also tagged , |

first emulsion made by me since 1986/1987

its been about 30 years since i dabbled in the dark arts of making a photographic emulsion using silver. i make cyanotype-stuff all the time but that is child’s play by comparison. with cyanotypes you use 2 chemicals and coat a piece of paper with them with silver emulsion, it is a little more involved, not by much though.  as a cheese eating college student i went to the salvation army / good will ( it was a long time ago i can’t remember which ) and i bought some pots and pans and glass ball jars then i mailed away for silver nitrate and some potassium bromide and probably potassium iodide.  not sure where, but someone pointed me in the right direction …  and followed a recipe that was in the back of an olde photography handbook i got at a book store. the book was from around 1904 and it had old ads, recipes and other fun stuff it was an “annual” ..  anyways, i mixed up an emulsion or 2 but they never really worked very well. while i took chemistry classes in high school and wasn’t afraid to do new things, i just didn’t know what i was doing enough to get anything worthwhile so i abandoned that and started using bottled  mulsion, mainly liquid light by rockland colloid. it worked and i continued to use it for decades off and on— even a few weeks ago i used some and wrote about it here …  there is  a website called the light farm ( http://www/thelightfarm.com ) and for years now i have gone there are read and marvelled at the great stuff there.   i read with the intent of making emulsion again but seeing i had armloads of film and bottled emulsions handy i kept making emulsion at an arms distance, something that i would eventually fall back into but not yet …  now that i have almost run out of materials ( film ) i don’t feel guilty making emulsion. anywyas, the person who runs the light farm, denise ross, is a great mixologist and explainer of emulsions, and she has written a book on how anyone can do it, recipies, techniques, you name it, its in there. http://www.blurb.com/books/6465389-the-light-farm  i got my copy maybe a month ago, and i have been poking around, reading, learning .. and going to the website and reading, poking around and learning.  so today, i decided to step up.  what i did was morphed 2 recipes together and made my own. i like the idea of using sea water ( live near the ocean ) so i made my own ( using baline salt ) and ideas from a light farm contributer named chris patten:  http://thelightfarm.com/Map/DryPlate/Patton/DryPlatePart.htm

 

… and while i like the idea of an emulsion that is slow and sweet, i decided to add some potassium bromide to it, just cause .. well im not sure why i did it, i just did and used a few ideas from a light farm contributor kevin klein:  http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/DryPlate/Recipes2/DryPlatePart3.htm

i mixed 60cc of warm water with 10 g of knox gelatin  (i didn’t have photography grade emulsion so i used what i had handy) i also added 10 g of the potassium bromide and 2 g of salt. i mixed and mixed and used a water bath and a hot plate ( used a ball jar to put the stuff in ) and when it was mixed i left it in the water to stay liquid and not set.  then covered from head to toe with an apron and EYE PROTECTION GOGGLES i mixed 10g of silver nitrate into another 60cc of warmish water. eye protection you might ask, why ? well, a splash of silver nitrate in your eyes will BLIND YOU , so if you do this PLEASE BE SMART AND WEAR PROTECTION ! silver nitrate will also stain your skin black, and clothes too, so BE CAREFUL, NOT FOOLISH.  once the silver nitrate mixture was dissolved, i turned on the red light, took the gelatin mixture out of the big pot and slowly added the silver nitrate to it. too fast is bad, and too slow is bad. i probably mixed it in too fast because it is supposed to be mixed in a few cc/ min, so it takes about 5-10 mins, i didnt’ just dump it in there, but i didn’t do it extremely slow either. poured a little in, mixed like mad, poured a little more in mixed like mad .. until i had none left.

the ball jar is now yellowish white with emulsion but it isnt’ done yet.  its in one of those canisters with a rubber seal sitting on my concrete floor until it sets up. when that happens i will pull it out of the ball jar it is in, i’ll can cut it up in pices … it will go in cheese cloth and i will rinse it 3-4 times in cold tap water. then i’ll heat it up again into a blob and put it someplace cool and dark until i cut a piece off of it, warm it up, put it on paper or glass and hopefully make a photograph with it !  we live in a new golden age of photography. digital cameras have made it great for people to make wonderful photographs, and silver based/ chemical based photography is back to the way it was 150 years ago. you can’t get the chemicals at the local pharmacy but they are a mouse click away, and unlike my first attempts in making photo emulsion 30 years ago … the internet has made it very easy to find people who can help you do it right …

well, its still sitting there getting cold. when its ready to use i’ll post something maybe something fun, maybe an utter failure ! its up to the fate sisters now ..

Posted in alternative process photography, liquid emulsion Also tagged |

new paper negatives from rockland AG+ emulsion

i’ve been coating thing with rockland emulsion off and on since i was told about it in 1986.  i had never made the investment in a tube of ag+.  i’ve always been on the poorer side of the street when it comes down to buying “stuff”  so i used the regular old non multigrade emulsion and then most recently someone gave me a tube of their extremely expired VC emulsion.  i am fond of making glass negatives and as you probably have read if you poked around this blog i like making ( or trying to make ! ) ferrotypes and glass positives, the ones made with silver gelatin emulsion, not collodion.  the emulsion that comes with the rockland tintype parlor is the ag+.  it was never enough for me in that tiny tube they provide, so i called bob, the guy at rockland and asked him if i could use the other emulsions ( regular, or vc or ? ) to make the tintypes and he said

“sure!  just coat it thicker because it doesn’t have as much silver as the ag+ ”

so that is what i did for a few years, coated things 2x.

now i am out of the other emulsions ( they sort of crapped out on me and turned useless seeing they were so old ) so i cracked open a bottle of the ag+ i bought on a whim IDK 4 or 5 years ago.  i chopped some out of the tube and double boilered it to melt it and i painted some on some butcher paper with a brush like i always do.  i have a puddle pusher but to be honest i never liked using it, so i never did.  the test negative i made came out terrible.  well, it wasn’t THAT bad, but it wasn’t as good as i had hoped.  i looked at the expiration date on the bottle and it wasn’t too out of date so i coated some more with the same bottle.  this time i used the puddle pusher. and boy am i glad i did !

most of the things i coat tend to have brush marks, sometimes it is good and i like that painterly feel, its something extra, a bonus but after i used the puddle pusher i think i might continue to use it and use it often !  the emulsion spread smooth and evenly, no marks, no problems.  i stuck a cut piece of 4×5  ( its actually 4 pieces of a little bigger than 35mm ) into my trusty old pentax K1000 and made an exposure out the window.  mundane scene, shadow, concrete steps, brick walk, plants.  it had contrast and texture and mid-day f16 iso 1 brightness, so i could figure out what the iso was of this now expired emulsion.

1 second hand held  then into the soup.

i have my caffneol in a big tupperware tub and i have a small one to scoop it out for trays, like a ladle …  seeing i don’t use much besides dektol and caffenol i sometimes have a bit of residual caked on coffee in the small tub.  usually it just dissolves with the caffenol i drain out of the big tub,  ..  i didn’t use the big tub this time.  i poured a little dektol into the container and added about 2x that amount of water.  the coffee dissolved nicely as i stired it a little bit.  the negative went in and i agitated it by flipping it, than by swirling the container and rocking it back and forth.  the image slowly appeared as expected in about 30-45 seconds ..  i developed to completion until i hit the 2 minute mark then into a water rinse then hardened fixer then i washed and hunt it to dry.  i didn’t make a contact print of the small paper negative but i scanned and inverted it.  no photoshop but sizing and inverting.  i have to say i was happy with what i saw.

 

stoop

stoop

i have a handful more papers all coated and ready to expose.

 

Posted in liquid emulsion Also tagged , |

new caffenol, new liquid emulsion

over the last 10 years i have grabbed the caffenol c bull by the horns and wrestled it to the ground.  soon after i was given the “teaspoon” recipe i added a tiny bit of print developer and modified the developer so i could use it as my main go-to film developer.  eventually i changed how i processed film again, by splitting my development like a divided developer / alkaline bath  and began using the print developer i had always been using for film ( first ansco 130, now dektol ) and the caffenol c ( with a splash of print developer in it ) one after the other.  i began doing this first for prints, to jump start the developer so it wouldn’t take as long for the caffenol c to work.  from my experiments i learned it took 2 or 3x the normal developing time ( 1 min rc, 2 mins fiber ) for prints in caffneol, and i really am impatient and don’t want to wait 3 mins ( or 6mins ) for prints.  i shuffled the prints between print developer and coffee, until it was done .. and i figured, why not try this with film, so i began doing that.

i tend to not make developer often.  the sumatran caffenol lasts for hundreds of films and hundreds of prints.  i have a tub with 6L of developer in it, and usually take 1L out and put a new L in.  last night i got rid of my 6L and made 5 fresh with old instant coffee i had lying around.  we drank some of this instant on camping trips and when we had a power outage this summer, it didnt’ taste very good, so it makes more sense to me to make developer out of it 🙂   i free-poured the coffee, and carbonate and vit c as i always did, and i made 12 cups (around 1L) of sumatran coffee and added it in.

i’ve decided to use the developer 1-shot for now on.

i’m also almost done with all my film, only a few boxes left, and a few bottles left of liquid emulsion.  1’ve purchased denise ross’s book ( she runs the light farm ) on emulsoin making, and price some silver nitrate for when the magic day comes.  while i made emulsion as a wet behind the ear college student, i figure a good instruction book  from someone who knows what she is doing isn’t a bad place to start.  as i plug through these last boxes of film, and bottles of emulsion i’ll be thinking of my new adventure, making my own emulsion for use in-camera and under-enlarger.  i’ve mised some tintype reversal developer ( i hope this home brew recipe works ! ) so i am running on all cylinders again after a year or 2 of back-peddling.

 

i’ll post more often as i finish all these things, and start making my own.

Posted in liquid emulsion Also tagged , |