Emulsion coating workshop by Photo Engineer

Discussion in 'Workshops & Lectures' started by mikewhi, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    Hi All:

    I just attended the "Emulsion Making and Coating" workshop conducted by Photo Engineer (Ron Mowrey) at Photographer's Formulary in Montana and I thought I'd give some feedback for those interested.

    1) This workshop will change the way I approach photography for years to come. I had never made my own paper before and when I made my first contact print on the AZO-like paper, I was amazed at the quality. I took a negative that is hard to print even on AZO and the highlight detail was excellent and the blacks were very deep. Great contrast, too. If you look in my gallery and see the scanned negative of a large rock - that is the one I printed. My first coatings had some defects so the print wasn't perfect, but the tonality was great.

    2) As promised, it does not require knowledge of chemistry. It is a testimony to Ron's teaching abilities that he could teach this course to someone who knows as little about chemistry as I do. He had all the necessary e

    3) There was a huge amount of content in this course, barely hinted at in the course description.

    4) I bought one of the 8x10 paper coating blades. They are very easy to use, but they do require a little practice as you might imagine. Everyone in the course had the coating blades down in the first day or two.

    5) The food served at the PF is excellent. There are no places nearby to eat so they have a B&B on site. The PF is in a very rural area - I saw 2 bears my first day and deers walked thru the property regularly!

    6) The PF sells everything you'll need after the course, including the blades. They offer a 10% discount to students.

    I highly recommend the course for anyone interested in coating your own paper, paper negatives, glass plates, etc.

    I will not pass along any of the formulas or proprietary information that Ron provided. If you want that information, take the workshop. We had one student fly in from Germany to take the course.

    -Mike
     
  2. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Thanks for the info
     
  3. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Sounds like a really cool workshop. If you don't mind me asking, what was the total cost? Thanks!

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  4. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Well darn, we were all counting on you to post those Mike.:smile: Sounds like you had a great workshop.
     
  5. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Thanks Mike and that is good news indeed....and thanks to PE for all his research and help to all on the forum....also ditto on the facilities at Photographer's Formulary, I was able to take Kerik's class last summer and it was one of the most enjoyable vacations I have had and plan to return...even took the little woman....and the cookin' is tops..
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  7. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    The site lists costs:

    Date: September 11 though September 15
    Time: Monday through Friday 9:30 to 6:00pm (1 hour lunch)
    Price: $750.00 (plus $45.00 lab fee)
    Registration Deadline: August 16, 2006

    Our lab fee was $81, which was the actual cost of materials used and handed out. B&B costs at PF were about $450+ for 5 days and the meal plan was another $200 - $250. I stayed at a motel 2 miles north for $50\night for a single room. It was a nice place. So the workshop costs me $750 + $250 + $250 or $1250. I drove there so that was about $10,000 in gas. Thank goodness it is a write-off for me.

    The hours for the one in NYC are wimpy. We worked from 8am to 10pm. Well, I usually dragged in about 8:30 and made a bee line for the coffee but still we worked full days. If you like wine, bring your own. They buy Costco stuff. They have a wine bread about an hour before dinners. I brought a few bottles of a decent but petulant read wine from California that didn't last the first night. A case would have been better.

    One thing I can tell you, I thought that the cost was more than worth it. I hope Ron lives forever, but finding someone who is willing to part with this kind of info is hard to come by. This seems to be an area with a CIA mentality - those that know formulas just won't share them unless they are bad ones and they keep the good ones to themselves. Even books on the subjects are 50-60 years old or more. I can't read emulsion papents - can you? After taking Ron's course I can make my own AZO, modify it's speed and contrast ranges and make great contact prints. Money well spent.

    I am now acquiring the magnetic stirrer\mixer and other lab supplies and I'll be coating my own soon.

    PF has bright white uncoated byrata paper for sale from Kentmere. It is very nice stuff and provides a great base for AZO - it still curls but flattens in a hot press. I microwaved a Grade 1 print to dry it and it turne dthe paper warm. Odd.

    Plus, there is the amusing sight of me going around Montana liquor stores buying up pint and quart bottles of Everclear. That stuff always raises eyebrows when you buy it in gallons at a time<g>. We use it as a surficant like PhotoFlo to make the emulsion spread uniformly.

    -Mike
     
  8. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Thanks for the link David. Great amount of information.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I would like to live forever, but I answer to a higher authority on that Mike.

    Thanks for the comments.

    Not many of us want to share our experiences. Most everyone else posting so-called emulsion data are really inexperienced amateurs. Many of them are making it harder than it really is. Sorry to you all out there, but there is a difference between reading and doing. I've been called a lot of names. My students now know the truth of the matter.

    We produced an AZO work-alike and a good ISO 40 ortho negative material. Unfortunately, all of the students hovering over the emulsion, as it was made, with their flashlights seem to have pretty much rendered it rather foggy but it was useful.

    So, after several days thought, here is my response.

    I will offer to all of my students a complete home lab series if they make it to Rochester. This is part of the course as well as updates in formulas. It is good for as long as I am able to keep up with this work. It is my thanks to those first students willing to put up with me. Coming soon for them is the Agfa Brovira paper formula.

    I will offer hourly paid instruction similar to the workshop for interested students willing to come to Rochester. I will offer free demonstrations to interested parties that visit Rochester, but these demos do not include formulas or data paid for by my students. I think that this is a fair response to the mail I have been getting. Thanks to all for those notes. I will do my best to help you all out.

    I will NOT send formulas or data to people who send e-mails saying "gee, sorry I couldn't make your workshop, please e-mail your formulas and techniques to me". Or "sorry, but your workshop was too expensive, please send me the formulas so that I can do what you are doing". (approximate quotes from e-mails) I spent plenty of my pension developing the coating blades and adapting the formulas for simple use. I cannot afford to give them away. Sorry.

    B&W analog products are destined to vanish or become difficult to obtain at some point in time. I hope to ease the transition to custom produced high-end analog products.

    I wish you all well. My thanks to my class.

    PE
     
  10. meltronic

    meltronic Member

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    You mean Kodak?
     
  11. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Ron,

    If you ever plan on offering the full workshop in Rochester, or some place nearer the Midwest than Montana or NYC, please let me know.

    Frank W.
     
  12. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Ron,

    You'd think that after 1,698 posts I wouldn't be at a loss for words...but I'm having trouble finding a way to say how important I feel your coating blades and workshops are.

    Thanks for sharing what you've learned, and for planting the seeds for future growth.

    Murray
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Frank;

    I am doing 1:1 instruction at my home in Rochester. I have a space problem and could probably handle 2 in a pinch but that is about it.

    Murray;

    Thank you. I'm going to keep trying, and will keep adding to the formulas as I go on. I gave out a lot of formulas at the class and am preparing to send more to the students. They can solo now, so all I have to do is send them out.

    The number of B&W photo products isn't going to grow much and will inevitably shrink more. I hope this work extends the life of analog forever.

    I'm beginning to worry about the life of cameras now. My venerable Nikormat EL failed some months ago so I guess as we see such things happen, we will see more reliance on LF cameras with less gadgets on them to fail. So, I will try to come up with a reliable 100 speed ortho film in LF sizes. Right now, as my class saw, I can get a reasonable 25 - 50 speed ortho film with a high dmin. But, it still needs work.

    Warmest regards to you all.

    PE
     
  14. StephenS

    StephenS Member

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    Where in the Roc are you?
     
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I'll give you the info in a PM.

    See my other post on using your real name vs handles.

    PE
     
  16. StephenS

    StephenS Member

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    Thanks. I'm just down the road a bit.
     
  17. colivet

    colivet Member

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    "If you look in my gallery and see the scanned negative of a large rock - that is the one I printed. My first coatings had some defects so the print wasn't perfect, but the tonality was great."

    Will you post a scan of that print you made. I am kind of curious?
     
  18. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    I can't post scans. Mabe I can scan in something and send it to you privately if you PM me your e-mail address.

    Also, as I said earlier in the post, there are coating defects that show up in the print. These happened because it was my first coating and I wasn't used to the blade yet. I can scan in the print and crop out a good section that shows the contrast of the print. There will be a few small defects in that section, but it is mostly very good.

    -Mike
     
  19. colivet

    colivet Member

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    I was just curious. I have heard much from PhotoEngineer about being able to make quality silver chloride paper like AZO but you know what they say... A photo will tell a 1000 words. I don't care that there are some coating defects on your print but I really do care to see what kind of tonal range you were able to achieve from this paper you made. Is the gelating very glossy or matte? Is the image formation sharp like AZO or somewhat close to it?

    I don't know why you say you can't post scans? Is this whole venture a top secret thing? If the workshop was positive and the print very good in your own opinion, then, wouldn't it be better for everybody including Photo Engineer to show a scan of a print? That would be great in my opinion!

    Thanks for any info you can share!

    Christian
     
  20. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    The coating is glossy, which is a function of the Kentmere byrata paper, not the emulsion. It is bright white. The image is very sharp and shows a deep black and a lot of highlight detail, more than I got in a straight print on Gr2 AZO, the last batch run. I was shocked when I saw my first print. Looking past the errors on my part, I could see the great potential of this. The tonality is very nice, cold blacks and neutral tones. It was very beauitful.

    The formula we got from Ron said this was a Gr 2 paper. It seems a little more contrasty to me than that, but that can be caused by the way I mixed the emulsion. I need some practice and I've been working like crazy ordering the stuff I need to setup the lab including upgrading ventilaiton in my darkroom. Then, I'll start refining my emulsion making and coating techniques.

    I will look into scanning the print and sending it to someone to upload to this thread. I may get the time this weekend.

    -Mike
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Christian, I have posted some scans of my prints here on APUG.

    PE
     
  22. colivet

    colivet Member

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    PhotoEngineer, I would like to see those scans you mention. I can not find them. Will you point them up for me. This is starting to sound interesting!

    Thanks
     
  23. colivet

    colivet Member

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    Mikewhi, thanks for the answer and hope you are able to post your print for us.

    Christian
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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