Albumen Printing

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Barrutia, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. Barrutia

    Barrutia Member

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    After several tries, and lots of research, I contacted Jorge Gasteazoro on the Photo.net forum. He gave me more precise instructions and finally I got successful results.
    The following is a detailed explanation of the process.
    I start by mixing 3 egg whites (arround 80ml) with a solution of 20ml of distilled water and 2g of salt.
    I shake the mixture until I get a consistent foam.
    I let it sit for a week in the fridge. I take all the foam that rests in the suface of the liquid, and then I pour the solution into a bottle (trying to avoid bubbles). You have to keep the solution refrigerated as it´s organic!
    Then I double coat the paper (I use fabriano 100% cotton) by brushing slowly the solution (avoiding a harsh brush, as you´ll get bubbles in the surface) once, hanging it to dry, and coating it once again (I double coat to get a shinny surface, as the paper is too absorbent).
    When the albumen is dry, I´m ready to coat it with the silver nitrate solution (the same I use for Salt Printing).
    I tried coating by flotation (the traditional method) but it´s more complicated than what it seems to be.
    The result is very pleasing, and you get a lighter brownish (yellower) than with salt printing. Not as yellow as the 1860´s albumens I have. =)
    Thank you Jorge once again for the help on this process.

    Agustin Barrutia,
    Cinematography/Photography student,
    Buenos Aires, Argentina.
     
  2. edbuffaloe

    edbuffaloe Member

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  3. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    My pleasure Agustin, but you promised you would upload the image, so give it up buddy.... [​IMG]
     
  4. cjarvis

    cjarvis Member

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    That's an interesting formula. For even better results, try adding a dash of acetic acid to denature the solution, and to help preserve it, try adding an equal amount (to your salt) of sodium citrate. Try this:

    http://www.redhillphoto.com/albumen.html
     
  5. Rick

    Rick Member

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    Thank you Agustin for your detailed report. I recently made a visit to my local art museum which featured a photo collection from the La Salle Bank of Chicago dating back to the 1850's. Several Pt./Pd. prints along with
    Albumen prints. I fell in love with the warm yellow tone of the Albumen.
    I was disappointed in the Pt./Pd. as I was waiting for that "magic" to reach out and grab me and it didn't happen!
    At one time I was set to take an Alternative Process workshop which included negative enlargement using what I believe then was Kodak SO132
    interneg film, which I understand is no longer available. Since it was being discontinued at the time, the instructor decided not to include negative enlargement as part of the class and thus I didn't take the workshop.
    In todays world, how are you making the enlarged negatives for contact printing? Going from 4X5 to 8X10 would be ideal for me! Please don't tell me I have to invest my lifes savings into a computer, programs, scanners, etc. to get a good contact negative!
     
  6. LFGuy

    LFGuy Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Rick @ Jan 9 2003, 08:24 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>In todays world, how are you making the enlarged negatives for contact printing? Going from 4X5 to 8X10 would be ideal for me! Please don't tell me I have to invest my lifes savings into a computer, programs, scanners, etc. to get a good contact negative!</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    I have an 8x10 camera, and haven't tried this, but there is good info on how to do this.

    There's already a thread on this in the Contact Printing forum, called "Enlarged Negatives for Contact Printing".
     
  7. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Rick, check out unblinkingeye (link on the home page). Ed has a couple of articles on enlarging negatives for alt printing. The one I like is the direct positive from ortho film, pretty cool idea.
     
  8. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    On a related note....

    I've been reading the on-line albumen book from the link provided as well as some other articles on the subject.

    One thing that struck me was the statement by some that you needed good quality eggs for the albumen. Ideally from free-range organic chickens.

    Does anyone have any experience with both standard store eggs and organic eggs? I'm wondering if there is that much of a difference.

    In theory I can see this as being true. I have raised chickens before and the eggs you get from free-range organic hens do LOOK different. But I don't know if that affects the albumen.

    Also, off the wall question here. Anyone know of anyone who has used ostrich eggs as a source? There is an ostrich ranch not far from me which sells the infertile eggs. They have a LOT of albumen in them. Just wondering if anyone has used them and if there is any difference in quality.
     
  9. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  10. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

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    There is a difference. One of my other hobbies is raising chickens and I can tell you that mine give richer eggs and darker yolks than you will find in any grocery store. They are also guaranteed to be much fresher. They have more flavor also, so you can have a hearty breakfast while preparing your printing papers.

    >One thing that struck me was the statement by some that you needed good quality eggs for the albumen. Ideally from free-range organic chickens.
    Does anyone have any experience with both standard store eggs and organic eggs? I'm wondering if there is that much of a difference.<
     
  11. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  12. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I realize this thread is about 2 years old, but I just ran across it.
    I use albumen from Eggology which I am able to buy in my local alternative food stores. SOme of the regular super markets also carry it.

    Its superiority stems from the fact that it is kosher - absolutely nothing added to the chickens or the eggs.

    The albumen is just like that from free range chickens and I am able to get fair gloss with a single coating.

    Jim
     
  13. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    you can use powdered egg whites also
     
  14. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Well, I couldn't take it any longer. I don't have any silver nitrate yet, but I do have eggs in the fridge and I have salt and I have water and I have acetic acid, so I "borrowed" my sweethearts Kitchenaid mixer, got her to teach me how to separate yolks and then I had at it.
    It took about a minute to start a nice froth, and I left it whip for about three minutes until I could turn the bowl over without any falling out, covered it up and put it into the fridge to settle.
    Further reports to follow ....
    This is exciting ....
    I wonder if it will settle faster if I watch the bowl ... :smile:
     
  15. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    I followed Chads advice on the preservative agents in the albumen......two years ago. I got the same container out of the fridge just now and was a little afraid to open it up but I did and there is no bad odor at all! Still smells and looks fine after two years in the fridge. Now I'm getting the urge to print some. Did the paper curl when brushing?????? Sometimes when I would float the the paper on the albumen in the tray I felt like Curly from the Three Stooges pasting wallpaper. Remember that one?
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Since I keep the albumen in the fridge, I decided I wanted it to be non-toxic, which also lets me mix it in ordinary kitchen stuff. For 1 liter egg whites (about 4 dozen eggs), I add 30g sea salt and 40ml distilled white vinegar. Seems okay with no odor after a month or so.

    To keep it from curling in the tray, don't leave it in too long. It probably depends on the paper and relative humidity, but I just float it for 30 seconds (no longer than a minute) usually.
     
  17. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    What do you think of the four points Aggie made?
     
  18. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    This morning, I removed the cover from the whipped eggwhites, spooned off the froth and filtered the liquid thru' a linen cloth. What I got was a fairly clear liquid.
    I headed out to a local arts supply store (Wallacks fyi) where the store manager asked me what process I was attempting and then proceeded to show me Stonehenge and Arches papers. I now have a couple of samples to try coating with the albumen liquid.
    Nest week I'll order up the items needed for the sensitizing and give it a try.

    Two things :

    1) The store manager seem quite familiar with the albumen printing process even though he had not done it himself and offered up the thought that it might not be long before traditional photographers and artists were shopping in the same stores. He opined that traditional photographers were being marginalised in much the same way the traditional artists have been by reduced support from their usual lines of supply.

    2) I'm sorry (for myself) that Aggies comments were deleted. She usually has something good to offer.

    cheers
     
  19. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    David, I was wondering if you were still using vinegar in your albumen. I keep meaning to try out the process and want to get the whites aging, but I keep forgetting to order acetic acid, and those pesky order minimums really keep adding up. Thanks.
     
  20. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    John Coffer claims that your albumen solution can be made up and frozen until your ready to use. He claims this doesn't have any adverse effects. We have a local farm that raises free range eggs and these are truly free range and not what the poultry industry claims to be free range. I started buying from them for making albumen but now we buy all our eggs for consumption and our chicken also from them. If you read the reports about free range eggs you'll see how much more healthy they are for you. Of course the cheesecake made from all the yolks don't help the waistline much but it sure is tasty.
     
  21. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Thanks Robert. I was under the impression that the acid helped denature the egg whites and aided the coating process. Is it mainly a preservative?
     
  22. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes still using it, and I've got two big jars of albumen going, and I just keep adding to it, still using Hawai'ian salt and plain distilled white vinegar. Some of the albumen in the mix has to be a few years old, but I keep it all refrigerated and the acidity seems to keep it from spoiling.

    I usually make pastry or ice cream with the yolks, but hmmm...cheesecake.
     
  23. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Many thanks.

    I was leaning towards creme brulee, but hadn't thought of ice cream. Great idea!
     
  24. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Colin, The chlorides and the acids aid in denaturing the albumen. The acid is important to raise the ph. The higher ph helps bind the molecules of protein together. If the ph drops to low the physical properties of the substance changes. The old smell test will let you know if your albumen has gone bad. Robert
     
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