Liquid Light

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Ektagraphic, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

    Messages:
    2,914
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I understand what liquid light is to print photos on diffrent surfaces, but how do you develop it?? If I put the liquid light on a rock and print on it, do I have to put the rock in a whole bucket of developer, stop and fixer?
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,129
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Two inches to the left
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Essentially, yes. Though I would make certain you have a container very similar in volume that is comparable to the size of your object. Whatever you expose the negative onto, you place in a container of the developer. then you move it to the first of two identical fixers which halts the developing action. Then move onto the second of the fixers for the fixing portion of the processing.
     
  3. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

    Messages:
    2,914
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Is it worth it? How is the quality of the image if it is put on a smooth surface such as wood? What happens with wood soaking up the developer?
     
  4. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Tufts Univer
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You can sponge/brush the chemistry on. That's how large prints are usually processed.

    You have to wash your surfaces very well. It's most useful for T-shirts and stuff and strange textured papers. I don't believe it's very sharp though.
     
  5. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,129
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Two inches to the left
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You could place some sort of substrate on the surface of the wood (clear stain perhaps or some such) and this would give a barrier between the porous surface of the wood and the moistness of the emulsion and chemistry.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,246
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    liquid light is like paper emulsion in a bottle ..
    if you can find the book "silver gelatin"
    it tells an awful lot about how to use it and make emulsions
    the book is out of print, but it can be found on amazon ...

    i have been coating glass with liquid light &C since about 1986 or 7 ... it is a lot of fun!
    once you start using bottled-stuff, be careful ... it is a slippery slope to making
    your own emulsions ...

    have fun!

    john
     
  7. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,129
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Two inches to the left
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There goes John, trolling for converts. (I think it might be working)
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,931
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I could troll for converts too. :smile:

    I know more about this than most. But, coating on other than flat surfaces introduces DOF problems that cause blurry images. A flat surface is best.

    PE
     
  9. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,129
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Two inches to the left
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah, the only way to pull it off would be to place the emulsion on as flat a surface as possible, raise the lamp housing as high as possible and still get the image and stop the enlarging lens all the way down to increase DOF. And even then . . .

    Good point, Ron.
     
  10. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Denmark
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I am not an expert, as I have only used LE for about 25years, but just to clarify:
    "Liquid Light" is a brand name (Rockland), not Liquid emulsion as such (correct me if I am wrong).

    I have used Liquid Light many years ago, and I found it besutiful, but very (to me) difficult to work with... (might just be me..)

    There are a lot of different brands out there - less expensive - with different "looks" - some very easy to work with - some not.

    but it IS an addictive road to follow! and YES: it IS worth it - and more...
     
  11. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I tried liquid emulsion the other day (as some of you might know) and it is unfortunately (for my wallet) addictive...
     
  12. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The quality of the image can be very high, close to commercial paper. But of course, the big fun is, to NOT have an image that is perfect.

    Emil is the real expert here on liquid emulsion, see his beautiful work on his website, although he blatantly denies his expert status here in this thread :D

    This image is using Rollei / Maco Black Magic VC (variabel contrast grade 1-4) liquid emulsion brushed onto paper for acrylic paint, and sepia toned. Personally, I have found the coating and processing difficult at times with liquid emulsion. Especially the risk of emulsion lift-off during wet processing of an exposed print can be high. But maybe this is due to the paper and emulsion / hardening combo I am using. I have never used anything else besides the Rollei stuff. I did waste quite a lot of paper and emulsion trying.

    Emil seems to have quite a bit of succes with his work flow, but of course, I don't know what is left behind in his darkroom and we never see :wink::tongue:

    [​IMG]

    Marco
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2009
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,143
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you coat on 3D objects then I'd suggest spraying the chemistry, depending on the size of the object a small house-hold plant spray, or the pressurised garden type for much larger things. This is quite economic, it helps to use the developer slightly more dilute than normal.

    You can also spray the emulsion, but you need full fume extraction, airline respirators etc, and a dedicated darkroom, but it can be done.

    Ian
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,931
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For a hardener on most surfaces, I suggest using commercial Glyoxal (40% solution) diluted 1:9 to give a 4% working solution. Add this at the rate of 5 ml / 100 - 200 ml of 10% gelatin content. It will survive processing after drying for about 24 hours. This is for paper or cloth.

    On ceramics or glass, use a 10% chrome alum solution in the same manner as above, but it takes longer to harden. I would let it harden for about a week.

    PE
     
  16. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Denmark
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    When I use the FOMA emulsion, they are kind enough to add a little bottle of hardener together with the emulsion.

    I always thank them silently, before throwing this hardener away....:D

    I SO like emulsion unhardened! It makes the processing more fragile, but in the end, it also gives you so much potential/possibillities with the final image...

    (manipulating og the image, after processing - and especially if you want to try bromoil.)

    I have never quite understood the need for hardening......:rolleyes:

    Marco: I am NOT an expert. I have used LE for many years, but I don't know a tenth of what Photo Ingineer does.

    Arigram: to my experience, using Le is actually cheaper, than using normal quality papers! Including the high quality paper I use....

    SO go for it: it is challenging, fun, addictive, and cheap!!
     
  17. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,933
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Ye Olde England
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    A very timely thread as I have just picked up a bottle of liquid emulsion to coat on to glass. Coated half a dozen sheets with a gelatin/chrome alum solution last night and am hoping to lay down the emulsion this evening. Will 24 hours be sufficient to allow the subbing to dry & harden ?

    Any hints & tips for applying an even coating of emulsion without resorting to puddle pushers or other gadgets ?

    What sort of thickness should we be aiming for ? (kinda thinking along the lines of using a glass rod to spread the emulsion and using tape wrapped round the ends to control the thickness)...

    Presumably, warming the glass plates to around 40°C will give a little more time for the coating to be applied and level out.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,931
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The undercoat will be hard enough in 24 hours to coat over, but the coated emulsion and undercoat should cure for several days if it is to survive the photo process. A hardening fixer may be used.

    The thickness I am at with about 10% gelatin, is 5 mil wet for the ucoat and 7 mil wet for the emulsion. This depends on the amount of silver present. I prefer to have no ucoat. It adds nothing on glass IMHO and there is one already present in most film supports used for photo purposes.

    A glass puddle pusher or rod wrapped with 2 - 4 layers of adhesive plastic tape will give in the range of 5 - 10 mil. (this is 0.005 - 0.010 inches btw). But, the tape abrades quickly and you have to keep replacing it. The usual method for plates is to pour the emulsion on the plate and rock the plate to spread the emulsion. A paintbrush can spread it on paper. Marco has shown us that here. Either way or devise something new.

    I have posted pictures of the pour method here on APUG in a complete series, courtesy of Mark Osterman of GEH.

    And, I like hardened emulsions as unhardened ones are so unpredictable!

    PE
     
  19. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,933
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Ye Olde England
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Thanks for that info on wet thickness - Using sticky tape had crossed my mind and I can measure it to within ±0.001mm (±0.04mils). At present, I only intend to coat half a dozen 5x4 plates over the course of a week, so wear & tear on the tape should not be an issue.

    (Had seen the photos of the pour method and youtube commentary on puddle pusher, but nothing on film thickness).
     
  20. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Emil, I don't have a tenth of PE's photographic chemistry and emulsion knowledge either, but, you are the one person here on APUG that has undoubtedly and repeatedly shown us that you know how to practically and creatively use liquid emulsion to its full and astonishing potential... in that respect, you definitely ARE the expert on liquid emulsion here on APUG. :wink:

    Marco
     
  21. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, but can, as Emil suggest, a hardened emulsion no longer be used in bromoil? That is another process I would once like to try... good to know this beforehand.

    Well, probably, it is only less flexible, as commercial papers are hardened as well, but still usable in bromoil as I understood it from what I've read about bromoil so far.

    So, Emil, what is it that you find better about the unhardened LE in bromoil? Better swelling of the matrix with better contrast?
     
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,931
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can't comment on the needs of Bromoil printing. I intend to try it someday, but right now, I know too little to comment meaningfully.

    PE
     
  23. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Denmark
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    Marco: First thanks for you comments about me.
    sometimes I feel like the famous bumblebee... I can't fly, but I am too ignorant to know it....:tongue:

    I (and Stine not to forget) have tried several types of LE for bromoil printing.

    The FOMA stuff, I so love to use, is not hardened in any way.
    IF you add hardener OR use fix with harderner, forget all about bromoil!!
    It doesn't swell at all (or at least, it makes the process unnecessarily difficult - and the risk of the emulsion lifting from the paper is high...)

    Use unhardened LE.
    most developers can be used (I use mostly Tetenal products and they are fine (the Centrabrom is EXCELLENT, as it gives you all the greytones you need, very easily)

    Unhardened fix!! is important.
    I use (again) Tetenal "variofix" which is a powder, and it is fine for this use.

    Make a normal print (maybe slightly darker and flatter than you'd normally do - as you can controll the contrast a lot with the final inking..)

    more on my website..:D

    or ask any questions you want.
    If LE is additive, the bromoil process is even more!!
     
  24. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Emil, this is all good to know. I will definitely keep this in mind if and when I decide to try out bromoil using liquid emulsion.

    Emil, one last question, I know you prefer copper printing paper. Do you have the make or brand name and the name of the type of paper you use possibly? I have used paper for acrylic paint successfully, but have mixed feelings about it. Of course, I can not compare it with anything else, as I haven't tried for example your suggested copper printing paper. The acrylic paper has good wet strength, but I wonder if part of the lift-off is due to it seemingly being very heavily sized (with starch / gelatine?), which probably is the reason of its good wet strength on the other hand.

    By the way: I once bought a piece of copper printing paper, but it seemed very heavily absorbent, probably because it wasn't sized. Do you size the paper with starch or gelatine, before applying the LE?

    Just found this page about paper sizing. Interesting read:
    http://www.arts-in-company.com/paper/additives/sizing.html

    Marco
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2009
  25. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Denmark
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    hi marco.

    I use the german brand "ZERKALL"

    this is what they say on their site:

    "Mould Made Printmaking Paper, wove

    340 g/sqm, ca. 50 x 68 cm lg, rough surface, cotton content
    Nr. 7314/1: off white

    Applications: silkscreen, hand lithography, offset, etching,
    embossing, block printing, letterpress printing, pastel, pencil"

    lots of papers possible, but I have really good experience with this.

    No sizing needed at all.

    http://www.zerkall.com/English/Paper/Planopapiere.E1.html
     
  26. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Emil, I will see if I can find that paper here in the Netherlands.