Ralf Steiner's Cloud Enhancer Recipe

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by patricia de roeck, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. patricia de roeck

    patricia de roeck Member

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    Just been trolling through my books for info on bleaching clouds and In Tim Rudman's Master Printing Course book on page 115 came across a Ralf Steiner recipe for immersing the whole print in a 3 solution bath. Sol. A calls for 32 oz. of Sodium Thiosulphate crystals added to 16 US fl.oz. This seems an enormous amount to me and wondered if anyone out there has actually used this receipe. The other problem I have with it is that the working solution is part A = 10 fl.oz. Part B = 0.75 fl.oz Part C =0.25 fl.oz - the total solution of 11 fl oz. is not enough to soak anything in - especially 12 x 16 prints - maybe you're meant to spot bleach but it doesn't read that way - also calls for the addition of "some" cane sugar to be added to solutions A & B before adding Sol.C. but has no mention of the quantity. Seems a bit esoteric and whimsical to me but I'm clueless when it comes to chemicals. So is there anyone out there who's acutally used this bleach and if so, how well does it work?
    Patricia
     
  2. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I'm only guessing here, but I wouldn't be surprised if you're expected to add enough water to make the total 32 oz. The sugar is probably added to increase viscosity so as to reduce the rate of flow of solution between parts of the photo. The amount is probably not critical. IIRC, it has been used in this fashion in some methods of stand development to reduce probability of flow patterns. I seem to remember trying it once, but that was before encephalitis, and much before age 81.
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Many old formulas are intended for glass plate negatives. It takes very little solution to soak a glass plate!
     
  4. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    In the Sept/Oct 1992 issue of darkroom and Creative Camera Techniques is an article written by Ralp Steiner that was been edited by David Vestal. The article's title is Print Brilliancing. To do this, creating solution A, one starts with 16 ounces of hypo (by Volume) being dissolved into 8 ounces of HOT water. This is only possible because hypo is largely water. The hypo will cause water to cool and it will require reheating. Solution B is to add 1 ounce of Sodium Hydroxide to 10 oz water...do not add the water to the hydroxide. Solution c is three ounces of Potassium Ferricyanide to to 10 ounces of water.

    The ingredients are mixed in the ratio described above. 10 ounces of solution A+3/4 ounce of solution B+1/4 ounce of solution C. If this is not going to be enough volume then use more in the same ration.

    It has long been known that prints can be reduced in Farmer's Reducer. This similar solution is said to be more selective and much better suited for the job of print reduction.

    You start by making a print that is of lower than normal contrast and darker than normal. How much lower and darker you will need to find out for yourself. Starting with an overly dark print will result in a mealy looking print after reduction.

    Along with the reducer you should have 2 stopbaths. The first one is 1 gallon of water with 8 fluid ounces of 28% acetic acid. The second is 1 fluid ounce to one quart.

    One works under bright lighting with a wet print that has received nominal fixing. Use test strips to determine bleaching time.

    One starts by having a tray of the appopriate size. Add solution a to the tray, add solution B to the a, then add soution C and quickly mix. Lift one end of the trat so that the solution is at the far end. Put your print into the tray and allow the reducer to quickly flow over it. Lift your print ocassionally to check the progress of the reduction. It is a good idea to stop the reduction before it looks complete. The reduction can be continued if required. If your reducer begins to turn pale, it can be replenished with additional solution C.

    Having reduced a print to your satisfaction, you will fully fix, use Hypo Clearing Agent and appropriate washing.

    If you wish to reduce areas locally then you use the reducer to which you have added sugar. The sugar slows the activity of the reducer. Apply with care and frequent examination.

    Bon Appetite.

    This process requires practice but, like all of Steiner's methods, is well worth the effort.
     
  5. patricia de roeck

    patricia de roeck Member

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    Thanks to everyone for your responses, especially Claire - yes, thats the recipe in Tim's book - still find the quantity of sod.thio. offputting when needing two to three litres for a large print so I'll probably put this process on my list of "things to do in the darkroom before I die" list.
    Patricia
     
  6. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Do not forget that replenishment is easy and inexpensive. I would hazard a guess that a 12x16 can be covered by 1 liter.