Solarization with Ilford paper and developer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by masimix, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. masimix

    masimix Member

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    Is it possible?

    I'm teaching phototechnique in an art school, and there is a project on surrealism coming up. Solarization is one of the topics we are going through. I remember doing solarizations when I was a student myself, but can't remember much more than turning on the lights at some point when the paper was in the developer.

    I have been reading a little bit here (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum41/58710-solarization-man-ray.html) and there (http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Solarization/solarization.html), and found out (among several things) that solarization of large-format negatives (by exposing them to light during developing) can be one thing. Anyway, I would like to show them solarization of prints, but it seems like developer/paper combo is important.

    Can Ilford RC-paper and Ilford MG-developer be used succesfully? (It's what we use at the school now). We have EFKE 25 ISO 4x5" film, so maybe that is a good one to try for film?

    Any tip and experiences you have would be great, thanks!

    Marius
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Marius;

    What you describe is the Sabattier effect. You flash a light on the print in the developer. This is usually done at about 3/4ths of the way through development and is about 1 - 5 seconds with a white light at about 10W at 5 feet. I use that strange measure because I just take the filter off my safelight and flash the paper.

    It generally gives poorer results with MG papers due to the color of the light source which can alter contrast. It is more stable with graded paper.

    PE
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Photo Engineer is quite correct, do not confuse Solarization with Sabattier.
     
  4. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    +1 to what PE said. I've also had cool results by aiming a small LED flashlight around the edges of the print while it's in the tray and once it's been in the developer about half the total time. It gives the effect around the outside and sorta affects the middle of the photo, but to a lesser effect. You do have to kinda play with it.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

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    It is basically a negative superimposed on a positive. And you should see it in color! Wow. I've posted a few of them here in my gallery. I've done some digitally as well but did not post them here. I used a hybrid work flow from Portra negatives and printed on color paper and also digitally.

    PE
     
  6. masimix

    masimix Member

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    I'm no longer confused, it's the Sabatier Effect! Solarization is "The exposure necessary to produce true solarization is in the range of 1,000 to 10,000 times that necessary to produce total black in the negative" (From unblingkingeye.com). What I'm talking about is Pseudo-Solarization.

    Thank you PE for thee tip on graded paper, I had a try today in the darkroom, and used some old paper that I had, Ilfospeed Grade 4. I also tried Ilford MG, but the Ilfospeed worked a lot better, it produced good results, the MG just turned out more or less as an over-pre-flashed paper.

    Anyone tried with film? Im thinking large format in trays might work, but of course, that takes more time.

    Marius
     
  7. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Yes, I or rather my students have experimented with this. As yet I have not been able to replicate the effects produced by Man Ray, but am working on it. To date we have achieved some quite interesting effects using flash late in the development cycle. Photo Engineer can probably provide better info on this, but my intuition tells me that high a energy short illumination will give a better effect (more Makie lines) than a longer exposure to lower illumination?
     
  8. masimix

    masimix Member

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    I would like to try with film, how did your (or the students) tests turn out cliveh?
     
  9. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    Edward Weston solarized a few of his nudes.
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    We were doing it with 35mm film cut into 3 strips at random and developed in seperate tanks. The development time was 12.5 minutes at 20C. The first tank we took the spiral out after 8 minutes and let off a small flash at about 4 feet away, the second after 10 minutes and the third after 11. It looked like 8 and 10 were good, with nice Mackie lines. However, it would be nice to learn from others about how to replecate the techniques of Man Ray. By the way the original shots were high key taken in a studio.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

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    Clive, remember that what you are doing is inducing the Sabattier effect. You are not Solarizing the film.

    With Sabattier, you superimpose a positive image on a negative image during processing by means of a short flash. Solarization is gotten by very very long exposures in-camera.

    Also, Solarization is very uncommon with paper, as it requires a camera exposure and it uses very long exposures due to the low paper speeds.

    They look quite different.

    PE
     
  12. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Photo engineer, did I say otherwise? I do know the difference.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

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    Clive;

    The implication of the concatenated posts by you and by massimix could lead one to either conclusion. In fact, the comment on doing it with film (usually done in-camera), and using short high intensity flashes, rather than long low intensity illumination can be particularly confusing to some.

    I jumped in, perhaps an unwarranted jump on my part, but for others reading the thread.

    Sorry.

    PE
     
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  15. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Just to add an example, here are two versions of a shot I did. One is a contact print and the other was given a couple of circuits of a small flashlight while it was in the developer. I have a few prints of this image that I did this way and each is slightly different.
     

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  16. Photo Engineer

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    Very nice!
     
  17. masimix

    masimix Member

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  18. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Solarol developer is worthwhile for anyone wanting good results with little experimenting. It works on both film and paper. Both should be high contrast. I've used it with Tech Pan and litho film. Tech Pan sheet film was shot at an exposure index of maybe 25. For developing, it was inserted in a cut-down film hanger to keep it submersed in the developing tray and backed by a fully exposed and developed sheet of scrap film to eliminate reflections from the film hanger. A water bath preceeded development. This is important to insure even development. The film was developed for about 45 seconds with constant agitation for the first 30 seconds. Then it was briefly flashed. More than a few seconds of flashing degrades the Sabattier effect. A small electronic flash is efficient and consistant. After another 45 seconds with no agitation the film is transferred to the stop bath and processed normally. My avatar was shot on Tech Pan and the below image was shot on litho film, both processed with Solarol for psuedo-solarization. Litho film has the advantage of permitting one to monitor the developing under a safelight.
     

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  19. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    One Film Solarization, One Print Solarization Ilford Warmtone
     

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  20. Photo Engineer

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    Bob, is the print a Solarization or is it the Sabbatier effect?

    PE
     
  21. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Ron - you know me and my thoughts on the paper Mr Jolly wrote... I call them solarizations but they probably would be called Sabbatier.

    I am only here once a week talk later.
     
  22. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Look, let’s stop pondering over semantics and try and help Masimix and me with what is pseudo-solarisation, or Sabattier or call it what you like. I have always thought that the effect is primarily reliant on three or four factors –
    With prints:-
    1) Original contrast of negative/filtration.
    2) When you flash/fog during development time.
    3) Flash/fog duration.
    4) Contrast setting of flashing enlarger (assuming you use an enlarger as the fogging source).
    With film:-
    1) Original contrast of latent image.
    2) When you flash/fog during development time.
    3) High/low intensity and duration of light source.
    4) Flash/fog duration.

    Now can anyone advise how to achieve results like Man Ray?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2012
  23. Photo Engineer

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    I don't recommend the use of an enlarger for paper flashing. After all, it is wet! Leave it in the tray and just use a flashlight, a safelight, or room light.

    Flashing early gives poor results, resulting in images that lose the effect by allowing development to overtake the pos and neg images. Flash too short and the image is weak. Flash too long or with too much light gives a dense pos image.

    Do it just right! And that can only be done by experimentation.

    Attached are 2 color prints which show the original and the one with the Sabbattier effect. The original was a cross processed negative from EPP exposed at ISO 100 and processed in C41 and then the second print was flashed 2/3 of the way through development with an open safelight at about 5'. The flash was about 3". The process was romm temp tray using RA4 and Endura paper.

    PE
     

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  24. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    You can still flash under an enlarger in a tray if your concern is about getting the baseboard wet and using an enlarger you can give precise time and contrast when using multigrade peper.
     
  25. Photo Engineer

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    I didn't say you can't. I said that I don't recommend it, having tried it personally! It is too messy and brings wet to dry. I keep a strict wet / dry side protocol in my darkroom that I have been taught and which I have taught to students. It is a very good way to work and to keep from having chemical contamination.

    PE
     
  26. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I am not arguing any semantics, hope this helps with your demand.

    Man Rays solarizations were done primaraly to the film, All black makie lines are a film solarization.. Print solarizations will create a white makie line.
    Following is what I think is the way to do this with film or print for that matter



    1- Metol only developer , no hydroquinnone
    2- flash at mid point
    3. I use a point light source on a timer with different stop settings about 4 ft above the developer tray or where I lay the film .
    4. for prints I use a grade 4 filter with Ilford Warmtone, a softer filter if I want a moodier effect
    5. for negatives I use Ilford FP4 with a slight underexposure and I flash at the mid point.
    6. In both cases a contrasy lighting scene is usually better for image capture than flat lighting.
    7. When you flash film or print the sequence must be repeatable and it is repeatable, and you must get the film or paper agitated quickly post exposure or you will get flow lines.
    8. The source of flash will determine the effect , stronger intensity will make the print almost normal with no effect, less flash will give you more effect
    9. Same goes for initial print exposure, more intensity the image will look real,less intensity will give you more effect.
    10. The balancing act between filter, exposure, flash strength , duration,, agitation is repeatable with practice, I never deviate with the process time and pull the print early, this will lead to inconsistant results.
    11. You can use a second developer tray with tons of potassium bromide which will give you a different grain structure for the solarized area which in turn gives you more colour options when toning.
    12. Same developer for film or paper can be used.
    13. Did I mention no hydroquinnone????????
    14. For prints the perfect flash time is when the print is slightly flat and light by normal standards... judging by what I see in the brief 2 seconds of negative flash the same rule applies.
    15. Dodging and burning have the exact opposite result than regular printing.
    16. Flat objects or surfaces are more interesting than very complicated scenes.... to many lines achieved.
    17. I use lots of chemicals and make sure the paper is floating on top during the flash.
    19. I do not agitate the film as strongly as I would with regular film.
    20. Good darkroom techniques are critical for solarization.

    You need to do some legwork of your own rather than someone else spell it out for you, the above is after 10 years of playing around with this amazing process,,,, read Dr Jolly's paper on Solarization and make a few hundred attemps, and it will all be clear. His notes are exact and after a few thousand attemps in my darkroom, I am amazed at how well written his paper was.
    He really nailed it.


    Bob