How to screw up a Lumen print.

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by guitstik, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Due to the Holiday's, I have had some time off and I decided to experiment with some old paper I had lying around with no immediate plans for. I had been reading about Lumen prints, not really my thing but I decided to give it a try. I must say tho, that I had some fun with stuff just laying around the house and the sun as my UV source. The first to prints I did turned out fairly well if not very light in tone and value. I really wanted to get a darker image than what I go from the first so I let the second expose for a longer period of time but it didn't darken up much over the first. The third is where it gets really interesting. I exposed that one for about 45min and then I found out why you don't develop these prints. I mixed up a batch of Caffenol and developed it for about ten minutes and then washed it with water and fixed it for 5min. There is an image on the paper but it is extremely dark, as in black.
    I am going to have to try this again tomorrow when I have more sun light but I will forgo the developing process.
     
  2. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Don't develop them. Let them darken in the sun a little darker than you want the final print, then put them straight into the fix. The image will bleach a little, but retain most of the tone and color.
     
  3. willrea

    willrea Member

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    Depending on paper just fixing will result in muddy, usually ugly colors. Toning before fixing will result in better colors. Paper and exposure times will also affect colors produced.
     
  4. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I was just playing around and wanted to see what would happen if I developed it, well, I found out. I had not gotten to the point of toning as this is just an experiment on what NOT to do. I need to get a UV lamp for when I start to do contact printing, so it can be used for both of these processes.
     
  5. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I've never tried toning them, so put some up here to show us what they look like!
     
  6. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    As Greg said, you don't 'develop' Lumen' prints. I leave mine from two to four hours, until they look dark enough. Then I fix. Fixing tends to lighten them, so be sure they're quite dark. You have to experiment as different papers, time of year, etc. make a difference. I don't put mine directly in the sun. I put them in north shade where they get good UV.
    I've not had much luck with toning, but that don't mean you shouldn't try it. I also find old papers seem to work better. Last Summer I bought two boxes of Unicolor Gallerie from about 1970 from an old camera shop. It's very interesting! Check my web site for my results.
     
  7. willrea

    willrea Member

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    [​IMG]

    Forte Polywarmtone toned with Gold Chloride/Thiourea


    I tested some with Kentmere Warmtone VC and depending on toner you can get a delicate blue out of it.
     
  8. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Willrea, just how do you tone the print and how long do you expose to UV? This is my first time doing this and I like the effect that I got today but my times where less than an hour.
     
  9. willrea

    willrea Member

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    I'd have to look at my notes, but for the Gold/Thiourea toner I tone for a few minutes, put it in a water bath for a minute and then fix.

    My exposures in direct sunlight are in the range of 2-4 hours.
     
  10. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    This is what I have so far.
     

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  11. anon12345

    anon12345 Member

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    Might I suggest as an alternative, creating photograms using a timed electric light-source, followed by "developing-out" your image.

    Dann
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2010
  12. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    These are my latest attempts using the same Oriental Seagull VC paper from the first two attempts. This time tho, I left them out for about 4 hours and fixed for 45min. Dann, I think that you are correct, I do need to use an electric source as the winter sun might not be producing enough UV light.
     

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  13. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Much better. I don't understand the long fixing time though. I fix the same as for any print and have had no problems. Two minutes for RC papers works for me.
    Unless you have a cloudless day, lumen prints will probably take quite a while, but two to four hours is about right in my experience.
    If you use artificial light, you will need UV lights to get the same effect - sort of like making cyanotypes, salt prints, etc.
    Have fun and Merry Christmas.
     
  14. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    As for the long fix time. I was using not quite exhausted fixer and I wanted to see if they would get darker with a longer fix time. The last one is the first one to get fixed the other two received a water bath before fixing to see if that affected the end result.
     
  15. anon12345

    anon12345 Member

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    Oooops, I probably over-simplified my original reply. I wanted to suggest "developing" as an alternative because you can reduce your exposure times down to just a few seconds per print. The last print I made in this fashion had an exposure time of only 22.5 seconds, and that was also including a #3 polycontrast filter over the light-source. I then developed the paper normally to bring out the latent image. Granted, making prints with the sun will have a different look entirely, but I rarely get the chance to see the sun. So, I have spent more time fooling around with photograms using electric lighting as the light-source.

    Dann
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2010
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    joel

    great work you have posted !
    i have to mix some gold toner to use before
    my hypo to see if my in camera lumen prints will remain on the paper :wink:
    you are lucky your images still exist .. when i fix mine they vanish :sad:

    john