I'm getting my "Autochrome" experiments going again ...

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by htmlguru4242, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Wow, I haven't been here on APUG in awhile ...

    anyway, I've found myself with some free time, so I've decided to start up work on my Autochrome re-creation idea again. I recently located a source for potato starch, and I MAY have found some dyes that work.

    I'll report back when and if I get anything good that works.

    Once again, if anyone has any ideas ...
     
  2. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Try...

    John Wood's "The Art of the Autochrome" (Univ of Iowa Press), and "Early Color
    Photography" is about this as well.

    A friend knows Jean-Paul Gandolfo. He teaches in Paris, try to find info on him. I may know somone who has his email, pm me if you need to.

    Regards,
     
  3. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Cool! I always wanted to do that...
     
  4. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    well, I've picked up some potato starch, and i'm now experimenting with coating methods, using some notes thatI had from a few months ago. Coating a glass plate with spray adhesive, gently shaking on the starch and then brusing it off lightly seems to get a fairly even coat.

    From previous experiments, about 40% / 30% / 30% Red / Green / Blue dyed starch seems to yeild a nice neutral grey, which seems to be teh right combination.

    The main problem is still finding dyes that work and the right film / emulsion.
     
  5. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Do you use carbon black or black-dyed cornstarch to fill in between the remaining spaces after the RGB starch?

    Traditional Autochromes had a salmon color cast to the plate; wonder if that was a function of dye distribution of the potato starches due to the spectral response of the emulsion used on the plates?
     
  6. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Kino, as to the filler in between the space, I have not yet explored this, but I'm going to use carbon black when I do; it's not too hard to make / obtain and is MUCH finer than cornstarch.
     
  7. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Go here:

    http://www.usask.ca/lists/alt-photo-process/2003/sep03/0493.htm

    for a very informative post by Jean-Paul Gandolfo.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Carbon black contains oily residues that may affect coating quality and may also affect the emulsion. Please be aware of that fact.

    PE
     
  9. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    Wasn't Carbon black used in the rem-jet backing on Kodachrome?
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Carbon black is indeed used as the rem-jet on Kodachrome and also on most motion picture films.

    It acts as an antihalation layer and an antistatic layer both.

    PE
     
  11. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Thanks for the warning about carbon black, PE.

    I don't thik that the emulsion is going to be a problem as the initial system is going to use regular sheet film glued to the mask, so the carbon black, starch, etc. are going to be facing hte base of the film.

    If I could find a liquid panchromatic emulsion ...
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Please remember that one of the problems in printing or duplicating any of these films (Autochrome, Lenticular or Dufay) was the inability to duplicate them due to the masks. That means that re-registration was a problem if they were separated at any time from the original mask or screen.

    PE
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2006
  13. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Dufay Color is a huge pain to duplicate due to mechanical and spectral considerations (I could go on for pages). While it can look fairly good, but dark, I can honestly say it is NOT a process I have any desire to revive for modern use!
     
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  15. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Well, my problem is not going to be re-registration, as everything is going to be epoxied (or somehow glued) together. Hopefully that'll make it much easier.
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Html, I know experts in the field and I have friends who know experts in the field. Perhaps it would expedite your work if you contacted me and I gave you their names and e-mail addresses. They are willing to help.

    PS: why not XML? Or Java? Just kidding.

    PE
     
  17. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Well, I would hope that knowledge could be brought back and shared with all of APUG.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I will not reveal names or e-mail on APUG.

    PE
     
  19. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Not the names and email addresses; the knowledge of the process.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    That is for them to post, not me.

    I don't post the ideas or knowledge of others and if they prefer to keep it to themselves or reveal it only via e-mail it is their business. Sorry.

    PE
     
  21. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Well, PE that is just fine and dandy; I think you have made your position perfectly clear to everyone.

    Got it. OK?

    If no one wants to share, I can go develop it myself and post it all I like, right?

    I would never post anyone's confidential information if they preferred me not to, but there is certainly more than one way to skin a cat; even in photography.

    While I respect others rights of others to develop their processes and tweak them to their standards, they don't own the Autochrome process anymore than I do and, should I run across a similar method or develop my own, I will post it for all to see and that is my prerogative.

    I don't see how taking this discussion out of APUG (effectively killing it) and putting it into the hands of photographers who, for whatever reason, don't want their methods published, advances the art of photography for the members of APUG.

    I would rather have an imperfect process and learn about the underpinnings of photography than have a closed-loop system of near-perfect images and not learn a thing beyond the characteristics of that particular flavor of the process.

    If you make a living or have a substantial investment in a process, as you and others obviously do, then I congratulate you and respect your right to keep this information proprietary and would, if I can ever afford it, like to take your class on emulsion making, but it won't bind me to not exploring or sharing emulsion making outside of your specific techniques and methods.

    Htmlguru, if you'd like to and are in a position to share ideas, knowledge and specific bits of technique, I am interested and assume others are on this forum.

    It kind of IS the whole idea behind APUG, right?

    Frank W.
     
  22. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    ok everybody.

    Let's just all take a step back and cool off here; no need to get a flame war going over this.

    Ok, as to the e-mail addresses that PE has, i don't think that any of us would share them unless the people to whom said addresses belong allow it.

    And I'll share the info. if the people I get it from don't have a problem with it. I'll of course ask, but in the research of an old process like this one, it would be useless to keep the information to yourself.

    I brought it here because of hte greay group discussion that [usually] occurs here. I don't have the skills, time or money to completely research and tinker with everything my myself, which is why this is here.

    So, ANYWAY, I don't have much to share at this point, as there is not much that actually works yet. I have learned a few things, though.
     
  23. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Things I know SO FAR:

    +Coating onto base material will be difficult.
    - Adhesive must be put onto surface FIRST, followed by starch, the two cannot be mixed beforehand
    - I've had good luck with epoxy. I mix it and place it onto a line across the top of the plate. I then spread it with a rod down the plate so it is even. This runs into issues as the epoxy begins to harden as it is spread. I am trying to see if I can thin it out with some type of solvent before spreading. Then, after it is spread evenly, I shake on the starch (these experiments were done with corn starch, so it may change with the potato sruff), and brush it over the plate so it covers most everything. I maje sure to press it hard so as to embed it into the glue. I then shake off the excess, brush it again, shake off the excess, until the plate is mostly dry. This results in a pretty good coat. however, corn starch tends to stick together, resulting in a slightly uneven coat.

    I'm going to try this with potato starch this weekend.

    As to the film, I've discovered that my 4x5 Fortepan ($12.00 / box @ B&H), has a back-coated anti-halo layer that comes off very easily with an alkaline solution. So I now have a film to use.

    I still am looking for a film with no anti-halo layer in either 120 or sheet sizes. i once again ask for any info. that anyone has ...
     
  24. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    I think Lucky pan 100 or 400 could be what you are looking for - try JandC

    Hope this helps,

    Lachlan
     
  25. DBP

    DBP Member

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    It occurs to me that a flour sifter might help prevent clumping.
     
  26. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Do the Lucky films lack an anti-halo layer?


    DPB, that flower sifter idea was mentioned in the past, though I'd forgotten about it. I'm going to give that a try this weekend and see if it helps me at all.

    Thanks for reminding me!!