Dye-Imbibition (dye-transfer) & Carbon printing

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by holmburgers, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Dye-transfer matrix film is nothing but a carbon tissue with no pigment and the addition of silver-halides... basically.

    Then, thanks to a tanning developer the gelatin hardens in relation to the developed silver in a given area. In this respect, it is just like carbro; a process in which you take a carbon tissue and put it in contact with a typical silver-print (bromide) in the presence of potassium-ferricyanide (off the top of my head). The potassium-dichromate in your gelatin/carbon tissue and the bromide of the print interact and the gelatin is hardened, just as though it was hit with a strong UV light source.

    My point you ask? Well, you'd have to hunt down some old Kodak matrix film or make some of your own to do dye-transfer in this manner. But, a carbon tissue could be exposed in the typical manner, UV, and instead of doing a gelatin transfer, the gelatin could be imbibed with dye to make a sort of rag-tag dye-transfer print.

    Sure, tailor-made matrix films would be luxurious, but would this not be capable of creating a reasonable dye-transfer print? The gelatin relief images could then be re-used in the normal dye-transfer manner, to make any number of prints thereafter. This is the huge advantage of DT over tri-color carbon and the reason why it remained a viable commercial printing technique long after the other "assembly" techniques faded into obscurity.

    I see this as a solution to two problems; 1) the unavailability of dye-transfer materials and 2) the difficulties of making a tri-color carbon/carbro print; which is not as simple as using 3 pigments, due to reflection characteristics and a host of other things... or so I've been told. Plus, the enormous effort to make a one-and-done print.
     
  2. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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  3. donbga

    donbga Member

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    You may wish to visit this web site:

    http://www.dyetransfer.org/
     
  4. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I've definitely visited that website, thanks. I can't make the materials so I'm proposing a simpler method.

    And I think that Louis Ducos didn't do exactly what I'm proposing, despite what I said. (I got excited)

    He basically did a tri-color carbon print. But what stains did he use?

    To make this work, you couldn't wash away the soluble gelatin as in a normal carbon print, at least I don't think. You need it to remain and become the "sponge" for the ink. The tanned/hardened portions react differently than the soluble portions. One could soak the matrix in water; the soluble portions would imbibe water and then an oily ink would resist this and thus stay in the tanned. Alternatively, a water based dye would do the opposite. Depending on whether you make separation negatives or positives, either method could form a true-color image.

    Something to think about... I know I am!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2010
  5. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Okay I assumed you were into making art. Apparently you just enjoy tinkering. Good luck.
     
  6. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Those two things aren't exclusive! To make art, one must first tinker :D

    p.s. sorry, I was editting my "curt" post into something longer, but you beat me to it
     
  7. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    10 minutes later...

    Ok, it does always pay to listen to people's advice. I went back and read the PDF for materials making. It says:

    "Dye Transfer works by creating a relief image in gelatin. The thickness of the gelatin on the matrix is proportional to the amount of exposure the area receives. This is accomplished by exposing the matrix through the base. A yellow dye is incorporated in the emulsion, which absorbs the blue light to which the film is sensitive. The exposure proceeds to a greater depth into the emulsion with greater exposure. The film is developed in a pyro tanning developer that cross-links the polymers of the gelatin in exposed areas, and ‘hardens’ it, or makes it insoluble in water. The film is then washed in very hot water, and the unexposed gelatin washes off. The matrices are then soaked in dye baths, and the dyes migrate into the gelatin relief image on the matrix. The matrix is rinsed, and then rolled into contact with the receiver sheet. The dye transfers from the matrix to the receiver."

    And indeed, there is no mention of K-dichromate in the emulsion making. My simplication was way too simple.

    Instead, it's hardened in a tanning (pyro) developer. So my question is, is gelatin hardened in a tanning developer fundamentally different than gelatin hardened by K-dichromate?

    And obviously the matrix must be washed and the soluble gelatin removed.
     
  8. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Yes there are different chemical mechanisms involved, though I can't describe the differences.
     
  9. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Take a look at this link:

    http://www.colorcarbonprint.com/

    View and read the Process tab.

    Also don't forget about the Ultrastable process.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The color carbon was once called Carbro. They still make color pigments for this.

    PE
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    It was pointed out to me that I was not entirely correct in my above post. There were two processes for "carbon color". The colored materials are still produced and AFAIK can still be used for both processes with proper materials and prep. Sorry for any confusion.

    PE
     
  12. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Thanks PE I was blanking on Carbo. So if pigments are still made then I assume that someone is still making tri-color carbo. Yes? If not what are the pigs used for.

    Don
     
  13. Photo Engineer

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    The pigmented glop is used for colored or tinted Carbon printing or full color prints. At least that is my understanding. The Formulary may stock these. I have seen them there.

    PE
     
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  15. R Shaffer

    R Shaffer Member

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    Chris,

    You should take a look at the Pinatype Process here:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=RE...esnum=7&ved=0CCQQ6AEwBjgK#v=onepage&q&f=false

    If the link does not work then google "British journal of photography, Volume 51; Volume 54" Right after the article on Pinatype is one on Lippman, which is how I found it.

    It is a dye transfer process with what I believe to be plain gelatin plates that are sensitized with a dichromate and exposed in contact with the negative. I was curious about it some time back, but could not find any info or the formulas for the dyes used.

    It seems you could make a plate in the same fashion as you make carbon tissue. However you would need a clear substrate that has been subbed. Then expose from the backside so the hard gelatin is bonded to the substrate. Maybe fixed out Litho film would work.
     
  16. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    FWIU, carbro requires a non-supercoated bromide paper, which is a bit of a rarity these days. Monochrome will work with modern papers, but high-quality colour is tricky... not that it will stop me from trying :wink:
     
  17. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Dongba, thanks for the link to Art & Soul. That seems like some really amazing printing!

    I think that this typifies the current state of carbon; there are a few high-end shops that do it, and individuals who practice it, but largely specific instruction is difficult to find, especially what pigments and where to get them. i don't believe the Formulary has any, nor does Bostick & Sullivan, but I would love to be proven wrong.

    Carbon and carbro are similar in result, but differ in their means, specifically in the way they are tanned. Carbon uses the all familiar reaction of UV-light on dichromated gelatin and carbro uses a lesser known reaction; the tanning action of bromide in contact with dichromated gelatin, in the presence of potassium-ferricyanide. (Hexavelent, good call on the non-coated papers, that makes sense)

    Speaking of which, read the last bit on the Brit. J. Photo. article linked to by R Shaffer about the Pinatype process. It exactly describes this bromide-dichromate reaction, which can be used in lieu of the UV.

    And Robert, thanks for pointing me towards the Pinatype process... that is exactly what I had in mind when I posted this thread, but I didn't even know it! I'm going to look into that more for certain. :D

    The key will be to find the dyes and if necessary, any mordants. Both fields of which are new thinking to me, so I'll have to do some research. Jim Browning's DT materials .pdf speaks of both, and I know that J.S. Friedman's 'History of Color Photography' does as well.
     
  18. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    IIRC, there are a few chemical variants on the 'tanning' process in carbo: ferricyanide, copper sulphate,manganese, and variations on the 'assemby': ozobrome, carbograph,ozobrome.. and so on. It was everybody's rush to get a patent back in the day!
     
  19. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Seek, and you shall find....

    J.S. Friedman, History of Color Photography, pg. 443
    Quote, "...tanned gelatin has properties identical with light-exposed dichromated gelatin."
     
  20. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Ok, it turns out that photo-formuarly does indeed have some dyes. But thanks to their inferior! search functions, they're hard to find. I search "dye" and "acid dye" and nothing comes up. But I accidentally come across Crocien Scarlet and what do you know, the MSDS says that this is also known as Acid Red 66.

    :pinch: ugh... if that's not shooting yourself in the foot, IDK what is!

    Anyways, they exist and I'll keep searching.

    According to Jim Browning's dye-transfer materials, the dyes we need are:

    Acid Blue 45 (or 25; bluer and transfers slower)
    Acid Red 80 (or 289*)
    Acid Yellow 11 (or 23*)

    *brighter colors at the expense of light-fastness
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The Formulary also has the precolored "Glop".

    I looked up the dyes needed a few days ago and posted them here. I guess everyone missed them. Sorry. Now I don't have the reference handy and it will take me some time to look it up again. Do a search on tartrazine or chicago blue. They may be what I posted.

    PE
     
  22. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    PE,

    I'm not seeing any colors, just carbon black. Can you provide a link? If it's there, they sure don't want anyone to find it!

    Where did you post the dyes? I don't think it was this thread, right?
     
  23. Photo Engineer

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    I posted a list of dyes which may include Tartrazine, Metanil Yellow and Chicago Blue. It may be in this thread or elsewhere. I also commented on the hues of some of the dyes I posted. The dyes that I posted will work with either Dye Bleach or with Dye Transfer. They are not oil soluble, but probably could be used in a home brew Glop.

    The Colored Glop, as I stated earlier, is not in their catalog. You may have to call them to place an order. I have seen it there, but have not seen it in the catalog. So, it is either a special order item or they can direct you to a source. Up to the present, there has been very little demand for this product. They have omitted very low demand products from their catalog from time to time to save space.

    PE
     
  24. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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  25. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Thanks PE, I'll look into those things.

    Jerevan, those are all for monochrome carbon. Unfortunately they're not suitable for tri-color, in which case we'd need the printing primaries.

    However, I must say, making "the glop", a.k.a. gelatin with a pigment, is the least of our worries. I'm not concerned at all about making these, it's easy as pie... probably easier! :wink:

    As for carbon pigments, I went to Hobby Lobby last night to do some looking. I came across these Liquitex acrylic inks (http://www.liquitex.com/Products/inks.cfm) which are quite intriguing. There were three colors that appeared to my eye to be very good matches for cyan, magenta and yellow; at least, by looking at them in the bottle. This PDF has more in depth info, but the 3 that I thought were a good visual match were yellow medium azo, cerulean blue hue and quinacridone magenta. These are all rated as high permanence and 2 of the 3 are transparent, which means just put the opaque (blue) on the bottom.

    But anyways, I think these might be good for carbon tissues. I'm going to experiment with them eventually and see what can be done. I've yet to do a carbon print period at this point, so it'll take some time. I picked up a black ink to get started.

    Now, as for dyes for imbition.....
     
  26. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    This process interests me with capability of carrying more ink and more tones with three dimensional gelatin.
    This is similar to rotogravure or tiffdruck process of National Geographic Magazine. If you find 20 or older years of this magazines , you could see what it could be done with kodachrome , 83 tram - newspapers have 46 and ordinary magazines 60 , expensive magazines have 70 -and the different depth of holes.
    They use copper printing plates and they tend to remain uneffected after several hundred thousands of prints.
    This is a easiest original print finding option for your process.
    Offset is using inking mountains and tiffdruck uses inking valleys. So valleys can be more controllable .
    And offset uses water as the additive to the ink but tiffdruck uses alcohol.
    When you are imbition your whisky , think how funny to work at National Geographic printer :smile:
    And alcohol dries faster and the dots are sharper.