An alternative to gelatin.

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by patrickdufour, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. patrickdufour

    patrickdufour Member

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    Hey guys,

    After years of shooting 35mm and medium format I've recently discovered a passion for large format photography.
    I've been wanting to take a stab at coating my own plates and was wondering if there is an emulsion that can be brewed that contains no gelatin. As a vegetarian I thought it would be a fun project to take up.

    Cheers Patrick.

    P.S. I understand that the only way to avoid all animal products is to move into an Igloo and gnaw on pine cones. :tongue:
     
  2. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Yeah right... the Inuit are some of the best meat eaters out there... :wink:

    wildbillbugman (Bill Winkler) has been doing a lot of work on exactly this thing. See this thread.

    And here's a brief primer on how to select a medium.

    Now, if you're the kind of vegetarian that eats fish, maybe fish gelatin is the thing for you! :wink: Check this out.

    Or I guess you could pick up the collodion process. The only living-thing ingredient there is cotton.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. wildbillbugman

    wildbillbugman Member

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    Patrick,
    If you wish, I will send you a specific formula and procedure for a blue-sensitive emulsion based on commercial silane treated PVA. I am currently waiting for a delivery of silver nitrate and have not made an emulsion since September. I have had other things I had to do. If you are interested in ortho or panchro emulsions, I can send info on that too. But I strongly recommend doing a simple blue sensitive emulsion first. BTW- Bostick and Sullivan now carry Kuraray R1100 silane funtional PVA.
    Bill
     
  4. CRhymer

    CRhymer Subscriber

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    Patrick,

    If not, you can always shred the new $100 Canadian banknotes, when released. I believe they are being made of the same material.:smile:

    Cheers,
    Clarence
     
  5. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Also, I am a vegetarian and am very cognizant of the hypocrasy which I am guilty of. I do wish there was a 'way out' of the dilemma. - David Lyga.
     
  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Can vegans eat their own words?
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Gelatin supplies 2 important functions in emulsion making. Gelatin functions as a peptizing agent and as a vehicle.

    As a peptizer, it prevents silver halide from falling to the bottom of your beaker in one lump or a few large lumps. Instead, gelatin suspends the crystals in a creamy mixture.

    As a vehicle, it supplies a viscous "melt" that can be coated and hardened and which remains intact through the processing procedure. It must be transparent and colorless.

    If you select a material for emulsion making it must do all of the above. At EK we never found a single polymer that could do all of the above. We found two families of polymers that supplied the features of a peptizing agent and as a vehicle individually. That is about it.

    Bill has had some success with the Silanes. I hope this is of use to all of us.

    PE
     
  8. patrickdufour

    patrickdufour Member

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    holmburgers: thank you for the links.
    wildbillbugman: Thank you, I would appreciate the formula and procedure for the blue-sensitive emulsion based on commercial silane.
    CRhymer: I can't wait to pick up some new 100$ and make a trip to NYC. :tongue:
    David Lyga: its a hard line to draw.
    Vaughn: Deciding where to draw the line is an interesting experience. You tend to learn a lot about yourself. :smile:
    Photo Engineer: Thanks for explanation about its function when you say you worked at EK where was that?

    Thank you everybody for your help. :smile:
     
  9. CRhymer

    CRhymer Subscriber

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    Hello Patrick,

    Well I just got back from Rochester, NY (I live in Fort Smith, NT, X0E 0P0) and I found that my old pre-PVA 100$'s bought a lot more there than they do here North of 60. I believe Kuraray is the supplier of the plastic for the notes. (I am not making this up - 'though I may be mistaken).

    Salut,
    Clarence
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I won't presume to answer for Ron (aka Photo Engineer), except to give Patrick a sort of hint:

    Ron's name is attached to one of the main patents related to Kodachrome, and he lives in Rochester, New York.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Heh! Thanks.

    PE
     
  12. wildbillbugman

    wildbillbugman Member

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    Patrick,
    I sent you a PM.
    Bill
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Yes, but in terms of image aesthetics is it really necessary. Salt prints, Van Dyke and Platinum don't need it.
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Some salt prints use egg albumen which is gelatin! Gelatian supplies a glossy surface or carries matting agents for a matte surface or other effects. But needed? No, unless you want SPEED!!! Or perhaps COLOR, or even INSTANT!!! :smile:

    There is also uniform coating, high speed coating and a host of other things.

    PE
     
  16. shon_soue

    shon_soue Member

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    Has anyone here managed to create gelatin free negative film?
     
  17. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    That depends what you mean by film, but see my previous post.
     
  18. Clocker

    Clocker Member

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    I do not know if this would apply to what you are trying to accomplish and I do not know much about chemistry, but 2 things come to mind if looking for a type of plant that would make a gelatin like product.

    One would be agar and the other carrageenan, one is a culture product of algae used for growing mushrooms and the other is obtained from seaweed used as a common ingredient in milk products like ice cream.

    They are both gelatin-like.

    I have no idea how these would react to any type of photographic process or if they would have application at all and I also don't think these would be very permanent.

    Could these products be used in some type of non-silver based photography?
     
  19. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    If you want an alternative to gelatin for coating negative-producing plates, just get into wet plate collodion. The chemistry is messy, the results are irregular, but you are dealing with a 100% animal-free product. Silver nitrate, collodion (cotton fibers dissolved in alcohol), ether, cadmium bromide, potassium bromide or iodide, sugar, ferrous sulfate, and cyanide (or hypo). All plant-based or inorganic.
     
  20. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    Are you eating the gelatin when working or what. there is a lot of processes to make prints without gelatin. Pt/Pl is one.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Collodion is an ether solution of guncotton! It is flammable and explosive, so take care!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collodion

    Gelatin serves many purposes in today''s modern emulsion making. It makes high speed and safe emulsions with good hardness and keeping.

    PE
     
  22. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Wasn't there some experiments with latex years ago???
    :-0

    Thing about vegetarianism is... vegetarians tend to replace meat with dairy produce.

    I.e: Food products made from the lactose secretion of cows that is no longer needed to feed the baby calf that has just been slaughtered for veal.

    I can understand Vegans getting hot under the collar about gelatine, but vegetarians?

    My cousin went vegan for a while. He lived in a damp house. Determined not to use any animal produce at all he redecorated using wallpaper paste guaranteed free of animal products.

    Then his wallpaper fell off... :whistling:
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Steve;

    When I was a child, wall paper paste was made from pure wheat paste. I remember helping mix the stuff.

    PE
     
  24. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    We live in the UK. It is cold and damp. Trust me... you need the fish glue over here :wink:
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    That must stink! Wow.

    PE
     
  26. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Only as much as your films stink of cow :smile: