Troubleshooting Salt Prints

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by ronlamarsh, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Am trying to get the hang of salt printing but have run into a couple of road blocks. Most of my attemps so far have resulted in huge patches that print mauve instead of deep red/brown. I thought it was my coating technique with the salt solution so I switched to immersing the paper in the salt/gelatin. I ave used both brush and rod. Looks like a good even coat with about 1ml of sensitizer for a 5X7 print.
    Am I using too little sensitizer? Or is the paper not dry enough when I go to print. I read in "Coming into focus" that paper not completely dry will do this. There is an image on the entire sensitized surface with great detail so I feel I am getting it coated evenly. Do I need to double coat?
     
  2. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    The problem sounds like it is related to insufficient or uneven drying based on my experience. Another concern is that a print somewhat damp from sensitizing may transfer the sensitizer to the negative and ruin it. Thin sheets of mylar can prevent that if sandwiched between the negative and print.

    I've always had better results double-coating. Also, a 20% silver nitrate solution seems to work better than a 12% solution. Salt prints need an excess of silver and the stronger solution ensures that.
     
  3. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! I was wondering about double coating since I use that technique for cyanotypes. My next attempt will be double coated. thanks again
     
  4. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    "Doublecoating?" Does that simply mean coating the paper twice with the silver nitrate solution? Just curious....I will be trying salt printing soon myself...
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Yes, Tom. Usually one allows the first coat to dry -- or close to dry -- before doing the second coat.

    Vaughn