Beginning alt processes - materials advice (UK)?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by mrtoml, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

    Messages:
    548
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Sheffield, U
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I started to print some cyanotypes last weekend. It was a little frustrating at first (the weather kept changing for starters) but I actually got a couple I was pleased with in the end. I am completely new to alternative processes.

    I was printing digital negs on some old Pictorico film that I have had in storage for years and some Canson paper. The Canson paper was a disaster and the images just washed right off. I then tried some Langton watercolour paper and had better luck:

    Scan-120610-0001 small.jpg

    It seems that the paper and digital film is pretty expensive. Is it worth buying cheaper alternatives to practise with? There are a few cheaper digital acetate type films out there and lots of cheaper papers than the ones I have been using. I think the Fotospeed film that is available in the UK is pretty expensive and I haven't seen Pictorico film anywhere at all.

    I suspect that cheap paper will turn out to be a false economy (if it works at all), but I am not so sure about the digital film. Any advice appreciated.

    I also want to try Vandykes and other processes at some point as well. I think I am hooked.
     
  2. coigach

    coigach Member

    Messages:
    1,589
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Your cyanotype looks good, quite fancy giving them a go myself.

    The hybrid process you describe is likely to result in the thread being closed however. Maybe try APUG's sister site DPUG instead?
    http://www.dpug.org/forums/home.php

    (I also use enlarged digital positives for printing polymer photogravures, but don't discuss this on APUG as it's also a hybrid process and therefore outside APUG's scope).

    These links might also be useful for materials:

    http://www.silverprint.co.uk/index.asp
    http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/

    Hope this helps :smile:

    Edit: - just had a look at your APUG gallery - some great stuff in there...
     
  3. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

    Messages:
    548
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Sheffield, U
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for the reply.

    I will just add that I have a large collection of 4x5 negatives and still own a 4x5 camera, so I will be printing from those as well as digital negs. I hope therefore that this thread will not be deleted :smile:

    I just ordered the cyanotype kit from Silverprint which I believe has some sheets of Arches Platine paper and some digital film to try out. It would still be useful to know what papers are available in the UK that can be used with these processes without breaking the bank.

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  4. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Somerset Velvet is cheap for an art paper, and will take almost any alt-process print without complaint. It's not as nice in my opinion as Rives BFK or Arches, but it's still good paper.
     
  5. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

    Messages:
    548
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Sheffield, U
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks, Chris.