Have silver nitrate. Have 4x5 negatives. Need advice.

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Stephanie Brim, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I bought the silver nitrate when I thought I wasn't going to get an enlarger. Now that I am, I really don't need to look into alternative processes...but there is still this voice nagging at me that I have an ounce of silver nitrate that I could be using.

    I've pretty much narrowed my options down to what I can do with things I already have in the house: albumen and salt printing. I'm reading more about both, but I'd like some personal experiences and if anyone prefers one over the other. :smile:
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like albumen printing, but it's a bit more labor intensive than salt printing, and it helps to see someone float the paper up close. Salt printing would probably be easier.
     
  3. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I'm leaning toward salt printing as well, but albumen seems very interesting, apart from all the work. I'm one of those crazy home baker's though. Separating eggs and beating them senseless is something I do on an almost daily basis.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    stephanie

    go to alternativephotography.com
    and lookup salt printing, it gives a lot of good information
    on how to do it.
    one thing to remember is you need a very contrasty negative :smile:

    have fun!

    john
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like to cook as well, which is probably part of the reason that albumen printing appeals to me.

    The tricky part, presuming you've got negatives of the right density range, is floating the paper. There are some good videos that show one approach posted at albumen.stanford.edu and you can find lots of material there about albumen printing. Reilly's book, which you can download, is the best source for most albumen questions.

    An alternative to floating is John Coffer's method, which is to take a sheet of paper, fold it in half, and glue the three open sides together with rubber cement completely around the edges, and submerge the paper in the tray, and then you can cut the two halves apart when it's dry after sensitizing, before exposing.
     
  6. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    salt print

    I have made excellent salt prints with trix developed to a N+1 contrast...not all that contrasty
    Peter
     
  7. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    The cheapest way to tone a salt print would be selenium, followed by palladium. Palladium interests me enough that looked up kallitypes. A kallitype toned in palladium is pretty much the exact look I'm wanting from my prints. Due to the fact that I'm contact printing 4x5s right now instead of 8x10 or larger it would be interesting to do and not as costly as I thought.

    I may do a little salt printing, but I think I'll also think harder about perhaps doing some kallitypes as well. I'm going to work on my negatives first, though. Gotta find a good way to get the film contrasty enough.
     
  8. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Stephanie,

    Check out the delution of silver nitrate for salt prints, albumen and kalitypes. I think you can use the same delution (12%) for all three processes.
     
  9. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    I recently saw some albumen prints by Carlton Watkins made in the 1880s, and they looked absolutely fabulous, darlings.
     
  10. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    I'm totally hooked on Kalitype printing and have been for the past couple of years. You can even print a normal contrast negative by simply adding a drop or two of very dilute potassium dichromate to the sensitizer. Sodium Citrate developer is the way to go too. All you need is some ferric oxalate and Bob's your uncle.
     
  11. blokeman

    blokeman Member

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    Go for the Albumen for sure!!! Great conversation piece at the dinner party. "..... you made them with what?" Can be finicky and problematic but once you get it, they're fantastic... glossier & in my opinion also have a deeper fuller feel than Salted Paper. I brush on the albumen with no problems, this way you can incorporate the edge brushmarks into the photo when also brushing on the silver sensitiser.
     
  12. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    try van dyke brown....very very cheap. it only uses like 3g of silver so you can always mix other stuff as well. easy and cheap.