solarization in darkroom

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Rik, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. Rik

    Rik Member

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    hi,
    i want to try some pseudo solarization in my darkroom.
    are there any 'rules' for the time to light the print with white light and after how long in the developer?
    also, is there a specific type of negative more suited than others (contrast, lots of black, lots of white)?
    thanks for your help
    Rik
    The Netherlands
     
  2. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Rik, I found I needed a timer attached to the light, which was a desk lamp above the developing tray. That way I could be sure of repeating any success I had.

    I have found that darkish clouds against a clear light coloured sky, produce a beautiful line around the clouds.

    I have used a special developer available from Vanbar in Melbourne, I'll look it up and post some details tonight.

    Mick.
     
  3. crispinuk

    crispinuk Member

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    Hello Rik,
    I am going to try this technique myself this weekend. My research so far suggests flashing the print with light "three quarters of the way through the developing", or "as the print starts to appear" so I will use these two as starting points for experimentation.
    I've also read that this technique works best with a Metol only developer so I'm not sure whether my standard Ilford Multigrade developer will produce the desired effect.

    As with all experimentation record what you do and only change one variable each time.

    Hopefully some of the knowledgeable people will tell us all the above is nonesense and/or point us in the right direction :smile:

    Crispin
     
  4. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The effect, done in the darkroom in the developer, is called the Sabattier Effect and is totally different from solarization that is done in-camera with long exposures.

    Sabattier is particularly effective in color prints.

    PE
     
  6. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Try this link for the article: http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Solarization/solarization.html. Solarol developer simplifies the process. It seems expensive, but keeps very well, perhaps for a few years. After mixing, I store it in small bottles filled to the top. I haven't tried it with photo paper for many years. Back then Brovira grade 5 was the paper of choice. Since then I've only solarized negatives. Litho film works, but sometimes has pinholes. It can be monitoried under a red safelight. The late and much lamented Kodak Tech Pan in sheet film gave great results. The results of solarizing film yields high key prints, not low key as when solarizing paper. A solarized negative for printing gives additional control over the results. After a presoak I agitate film in Solarol for about 30 seconds, stop agitating for about 15 seconds, flash, and finish developing without agitation for about 45 seconds. A cut-down film hanger keeps the film from floating to the top of the developer. The film to be Solarized is backed with a fully exposed and developed sheet of film to eliminate reflections from the film hanger. The reversal exposure should be no more than a few seconds for best results. A small electronic flash provides consistant exposure. Opal glass held just above the tray diffuses the Solarizing light to eliminate the shadow of anything floating on the developer surface.
     
  7. SilverCat

    SilverCat Member

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  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, I repeat that anything done in the developer is technically the Sabattier effect and looks quite different than Solarization. Look it up. People often confuse the two effects.

    PE
     
  9. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Believe it or not PE is correct when he says Sabattier effect and it is different from Solarisation.

    I heard that solarisation took about 1,000 times extra exposure over normal, to produce. I decided to test that statement, it's correct according to me. I used Panatomic-X and exposed it almost directly to the sun. I forget the times but Solarisation happened, The sun turned into a positive on the neg and the building was negative.

    Back to the question at hand. I have successfully done Sabattier prints, using Ilford MGIV RC simply in the darkroom.

    My standard set-up is a desk lamp with a 15W safelight globe inserted sitting approximately 1.2 metres above the developing tray. This was actuated with an enlarging timer to have precise repeatable results.

    First standardise a time for print development, I used 1'30" @ 20C. Check out when the image first appears fully, from that time you can flash the paper with white light, not before. My own white light flashing, is usually between 1/2 a second to about 2 seconds. Depending on where in the developing cycle you flash the paper, is what usually makes or breaks the final outcome. So watch the clock and note when you flash!

    You then continue development until 1'30" is up, pull the print smartly, then drop it into a fresh stop bath.

    Fix, review the results after the paper is dry.

    In a nutshell, that's it.

    There are variations, different special developers, myriads of methods, but that is for you to work out.

    I also tried this special developer from the Australian company Vanbar

    vanbar.com.au

    Photochem PC R77 Sabattier Kit pdr

    Sells for $9.60 USD (export price)

    I wouldn't say it was bad, in fact I got good results from it, but I was and am happy with normal developer and MGIV RC, it's what I have, is cheap and doesn't use much water, (we are in a severe drought)

    Mick.
     
  10. Rik

    Rik Member

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    sabattier

    Hi,
    thanks for all the very informative replies. i'll give it a try this weekend using my standard stuff first as described by Mike.
    regards
    Rik
     
  11. crispinuk

    crispinuk Member

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    Can I second Rik in thanking everyone for their help.
    I'd seen that Unblinking Eye article a little while ago but Google couldn't find it again for me, it would appear there is some disagreement on the spelling of Sabattier :smile:

    Rik, good luck with your experiments.

    Crispin
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Just FYI, modern films are built to reduce solarization due to addenda present in the emulsion which control reciprocity, but nothing can control Sabattier. And there are several spellings of this. I use both myself sometimes forgetting which is which or not caring.

    PE
     
  13. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    A friend of mine did it fairly successfully and repeatably by using very exhausted Dektol. The brown chewy kind that is bullet proof. He would put his print in the bottom of this muck and develop very slowly and then turn a weak light above the tray. Sometimes he'd hit it with a strobe.
     
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  15. crispinuk

    crispinuk Member

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    Sabattier success!

    Rik,
    How did you get on with your Sabattier prints ?
    I struck lucky almost straight away (the first two attempts were of the coal in a dark cellar school) once I got the illumination level of the flashing lamp tamed by bouncing it off the ceiling.
    I've attached a couple of the results, with the original straight print for reference. It's very grainy and covered in scratches because it's from the first ever roll of 8x11(mm) minox film I used. Interestingly the second attachment with the more subtle, less reversed, effect has magically removed alot of the grain and damage marks, although admittedly the midtone detail has also been lost.
    I used normal Ilford multigrade RC paper exposed at grade 4 and normal Ilford universal multigrade developer at the box dilution. I used a 60w 'pearl' bulb desk lamp for the second print, the first more contrasty one used one of the blue 'daylight' bulbs. As usual scanning and low resolutions jpeg files have lost a lot of the magic from the real print - it has an almost metallic look to it.

    Crispin
     

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  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The longer you let normal development go ahead before the Sabattier exposure, the more contrast in the positive image, and the more impact you get from the negative image. You also get better line effects.

    On a 2' development time, I typically develop for 1'30" or more before re-exposing.

    See the color examples I have posted. I have done both negative and positive color sabattier.

    PE
     
  17. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Here are three print solarizations that I am currently working on.
    Ilford Warmtone grade 2, Mr Jollys formulas for duo tone, second dev loaded with potassium bromide for wild colours when toning.
     

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  18. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have found that the time to pull the print from the first dev and put into the second dev then flash is approx 1/2 the total dev time, I use 2 min twenty seconds.The print I find would be just emerging blacks at this halfway point.
    The more exposure on the print will produce more real *no effect* the more dodging you do will also allow you to get more effect and the mackie line. I like playing with these balances to produce a real and unreal print.
    The dodging tool is very effective weapon as well as heavy burn.
    I like very strong negatives ie contrast, for lith printing and solarization as well.
    If you do a lot of lith printing it will help in solarization as your skills at pulling a print in the developer is very helpful in solarization as the fun is when and when not to put the paper in the stop bath.
    The effects are endless, I have found that all papers work with this process some better than others. I use the two Ilford fibre papers as in solarization if I want real silver looking prints I will use MG4.
    Contrary to the idea of using grade 4 papers for solarization I have found that grade two works well for my needs and tastes.
    The possibilities are endless but I would be using a metol based developer only for the most control.
    the William Jolly articles are absolutely the best descriptive articles I have found on this subject.
     
  19. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I have seen formulas that also use catechol and catechol with Metol.
     
  20. Rik

    Rik Member

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    hi guys,
    unlike Crispin i havent been so succesful yet. I have tried the same with my regular paper and developer but i think the light i use for flash is too strong. I only have limited place so its about 2 feet above my tray. I'm using a 25 watt bulb, but will get something less. I have hooked the bulb up to my timer, but the shortest i can get there is 1 second. The best (or not soo bad) result came after developping for 1,5 minutes, flash for 1 second and then taking the print out almost immediately. If i leave it in longer it goes almost black.
    i'll try again and let you know
    Rik
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Rik;

    Use a 7.5 watt bulb.

    PE
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi rik

    i probably won't be of any help here,
    but when i solarize in the darkroom
    i have a red filter i can put infront of my enlarger
    ( so i could line it up again with the negative in the
    enlarger + the print in an easel.)
    i had a system where i would pull the print, wash it a little bit
    to remove excess developer, put it back on under the enlarger
    and re-expose the paper that way. i used to do this when i had
    areas that wouldnt burn very well, and this worked very well ...
    (spent/dark ansco130 works wonders for this sort of thing) ...

    good luck!

    john
     
  23. crispinuk

    crispinuk Member

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    Latest experiments

    Hello all,
    I've ordered a bottle of Solarol. From reading the first half of the William Jolly article it seems that a Hydroquinine free developer will give better contrast and 'brighter whites'. Anyway, the Solarol hasn't arrived yet, and I'd always wanted to try a coffee developer, so I mixed up some coffee, washing soda and vitamin C powder according to Donald Qualls recipe. I thought that since reports of Cafenol taking about 5 or 6 times longer to develop film I'd have a similar longer developing time with prints and as it didn't have hydroquinine in it might work well for Sabatier. In fact it worked faster than my normal Ilford Multigrade Dev and gave good contrast! because of the short dev time there wasn't any stain to speak of either.
    Having established a good (if quick) normal development I then tried some Sabatier. This is where things got wierd. With the standard developer I had to bounce the light of the roof and use a very short burst, with the cafenol the paper became very insensitive to light. At first I put this down to the opacity of the cafenol, but even wiping the print clean before flashing I was still having to use a ten second exposure, directly over the print (about 3-4 times the brightness of previously).
    I couldn't get any reversal as such, any part of the paper even slightly exposed under the enlarger stayed normal, but pure white areas darkened, but also took on a noticeable brown stain. Maybe I need to use an even longer second exposure ? The other problem is trying to wipe the print clean before the second exposure without it going streaky. I tried a quick wash in water but that just halted any further development, even when I put the paper back in the cafenol and agitated alot.
    Attached is the best print, not up to Bob Carnie's standard I'm afraid (those are great images Bob!) but shows the effect I'm getting. I might try it with an image with more white in, I used the same image as before so I could compare with my previous efforts.
    P.S. Photo Engineer, you said you have posted some Sabatier/solarised images, but I can't find them on APUG. Can you point me in the right direction as I fear I might be being a bit fick.
    Cheers,
    Crispin
     

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  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Crispin;

    Most modern papers contain developing agents in them. Many mistake the action of caffeinol as the combined action of the incorporated developer and the caffeinol which is very very weak. So, when the developing agent is washed out, the development comes to a halt.

    At least, that is one simple possible explanation.

    PE
     
  25. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Here's one Crispin. The negative was 35mm Tri-X. Printed and solarized on Bergger CB Art paper using Kodak Selectol Soft developer. It was toned with Kodak Brown toner. My technique followed that outlined in Ed Buffaloe's article.

    I haven't done print solarization for a few years now. Lately I've been solarizing on Polaroid Type 55 negatives.
     

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  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Superb Alex.

    PE