Van Dyke 'dry down'

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by buggy, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. buggy

    buggy Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have read alot lately about van dyke print 'dry down' and it seems to be conflicting and confusing. At least I am confused. I think it means the print will darken as it dries. If so this has not been my experience. I am still not really sure what this is exactly and was wondering if anyone could clarify this. I know this is probably basic beginner stuff but any clarification will be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dry down, to the best of my knowledge, refers to the 'dulling' of the image, which appears 'glossier' when wet. The highlights may get a bit darker and the shadows may appear less 'deep' - for lack of a better term - as a result of drying.

    - Randy
     
  3. buggy

    buggy Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Randy,

    I just experienced 'dry down' this past weekend.

    In my brief experience this is the first time. I'm not sure why this time and not before. I gave the neg a slightly longer exposure and I was using fresh pt. toner and only toned for 7 minutes instead of the usual 15 minutes. Then the final wash I used hot ( approx. 120 deg.) tap water in 5 consecutive static baths instead of running cold tap water.

    Go figure... :smile:
     
  4. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,865
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    buggy
    I found with VDB printing that drydown is pretty noticeable between what the visually exposed (unwashed and unfixed) image looks like. when it comes to making a straight VDB print (no toning) Id usually print where my highlights just barely started showing details. then by the time I washed, fixed, rinse, and let dry it would look about darn close. When I toned them in PT/PD/gold I would expose the print until it look almost exactly like I wanted it to. so for example say I make a straight VDB print and after washing fixing rewashing and drying it took a 7min UV exposure. If I were to tone a VDB print of the same neg I would likely exp for 9mins in the UV box because I know from experience that when toning it doesnt darken much and also Ive noticed not as much dry down with a toned VDB.

    hope that helps.
     
  5. buggy

    buggy Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Matt. That explains it perfectly. I had read about dry down and when I wasn't getting dry down I didn't know if I was missing a step or doing something wrong, but now I am learning that each step contributes something to the process that may require a change in exposure or some other tweak to get the desired results.

    Thanks again.