Printing out calotypes

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by NedL, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have a nagging feeling this is a stupid question. But here it is.

    Everything I've read and experienced has suggested that for salt prints and other silver chloride printing out processes, a negative with plenty of contrast is desirable.

    Here's where I get confused. I've seen many of pictures of calotype negatives, posted online and in Alan Greene's book. They don't look particularly contrasty. In fact a lot of them look to my eye slightly flat. Yet these were used for printing out, and still are.

    What am I missing? Am I just wrong and not seeing the contrast in the negatives ( maybe because of the color? )

    Ned
     
  2. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

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    I've seen a fair number of calotypes in museum exhibitions and they've all been very contrasty. It may be the poor reproduction in books that's misleading.
     
  3. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Thank you! That answer makes perfect sense.
     
  4. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    The color of the negative plays an important part too: Silver chloride is sensitive to UV and blue light. The brownish-yellowish-greenish tints present in calotype negatives are all strong blue filters - think of Pyro negatives...

    Regards,
    Loris.