albumen help

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by eddie gunks, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    hi all,

    i am making my fisrt batch of albumen now. it is in the mixer. two diffculties.

    one i could not remove all the strringy bit sfrom the egg whites....problem or no?

    second, my mixer has a stainless steel bowl. the directions say GLASS bowl...did i ruin it? should i transfer it to glass to put it in the fridge? is it okay?

    first of many questions.

    thanks

    eddie
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    1--Strain it through a couple layers of cheesecloth. You don't want stringy bits in your emulsion. Generally, I strain it every time it goes from one container to another.

    2--I use a stainless bowl. No problem. I've even used a copper bowl without a problem. A copper bowl is traditional for beating egg whites, so I'm sure I'm not the first person to do this.
     
  3. Justin Cormack

    Justin Cormack Member

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    David, a copper bowl is traditional to beat eggwhites because the copper chemically reacts with the egg white and makes it easier to whisk. That might not help with albumen, though I havent tried (although I have a copper bowl for that purpose!).
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The copper acts as a catalyst, so the egg whites beat stiffer, faster, but no copper remains in the egg whites, so it should be okay for photographic purposes. I like to cook, so I usually beat egg whites that way for culinary purposes. For albumen printing, though, it's a lot of egg whites to beat by hand, so I've been using the KitchenAid. I suppose that if I wanted to get into some major meringue adventure, there is a guy making copper bowls for KitchenAid mixers, but as long as the mixer is doing the work, I can wait--

    http://www.frenchcopperstudio.com/kitchenaid.html
     
  5. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    KitchenAid rulz (with stainless steel bowl).

    I sometimes strain through paper towels.
    juan
     
  6. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    great! thanks. so far so good. now i will wait the week and then try this stuff out! i can not wait.

    eddie
     
  7. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    From reading Kodak's Conservation of Photographs publication, seems that all Albumen prints will eventually turn yellow and lose density in highlights. If one wishes to display modern Albumen prints, any advise on special needs whether in actual display or during their creation?
     
  8. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Gold tone them.
     
  9. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    In the newer version of Christopher James book, he mentions that letting the albumen mixture age (up to year or more) will decrease the yellowing. Gold toning, he further says, will reduce the fading and yellowing.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Albumen was used (along with milk) to make emulsions into the 40s. It was found that albumen from egg whites had a natural tendancy to yellow with age. Little can be done to prevent it, only delay it, but toning surely helps solve the silver image problems. This, among many reasons, was why albumen was eliminated from formulas in the 40s.

    PE
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Gold toning is pretty standard practice with albumen prints. I've tried selenium, and it works as well, though I don't find the tone as attractive as gold.

    Aged albumen is generally considered to be a good thing. I find it has a more uniform consistency than fresh albumen. I don't know if it makes a difference in terms of yellowing, but perhaps paper albumenized with aged albumen will start out yellower, so it will change less over time. Old albumen is yellower than fresher albumen.