Wax Paper Negatives

Discussion in 'Silver Gelatin Based Emulsion Making & Coating' started by Curt, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Can anyone explain wax paper negatives; is anyone working with them?
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,226
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Have you seen the latest ViewCamera? That is the first I've ever heard about them. Quite interesting looking!
     
  3. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Waxing a paper negative or using "waxed paper" (e.g. the stuff you use in the kitchen) as the base material for a paper negative?
     
  4. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Waxed paper negatives are of two kinds.
    The first used by Fox Talbot the image was made on paper sensitized with a silver nitrate solution. The developed negative was then waxed with what was similar to present day parafin. The wax was melted, coated on the negative and then blotted off with successive layers of blotters.
    The second devised by Le Gray waxed the paper just after sensitizing it and then made the exposure.

    When done correctly the wax is smooth, thin and hardly noticeable until one looks at the negative with transmitted light.

    Waxing the paper negative makes it almost as transparent as film. I just completed a salt print from one owned by MoPA apparently from the 1840's, which was a real pleasure to print.
     
  5. Tom A

    Tom A Member

    Messages:
    146
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Naestved, De
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  6. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So you mean "waxing a paper negative", not making a negative from waxed paper.

    Mr. Talbot did indeed wax some of his Callotype's to get better transparency in the negative. Also discussed in "Primitive Photography" by Greene.

    Lots of references to waxing paper negatives over at alternativephotography.com and also on the alt-photo mail list (a somewhat regular topic). That is probably archived someplace. Also I seem to remember some discussions of this over at hybridphoto.com in reference to using inkjet paper for negatives.

    An alternative to waxing is to use oil (baby oil or other light petroleum oil). But either use a copy negative and make a new one for each session or store the negative in a plastic bag so it doesn't dry out or make a mess.

    You may also need to use a sheet of mylar or other clear film to keep the oil or wax off your target paper.
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting, thanks to all for the information, the alternative site explains it well.
     
  8. Samuel Hotton

    Samuel Hotton Member

    Messages:
    356
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Sort of related, "A transparent photographic paper with antihalo coating and orthochromatic emulsion". I think it is called RAUDOCOP Hialino negtor. I think it is used in the textile industry.
    I thought this might perform as a in camera "paper negative" with the printing ease of waxed paper. No one seems to have heard of it.
    Sam H.
     
  9. PVia

    PVia Member

    Messages:
    813
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Can you melt paraffin or beeswax in a microwave safely?

    A friend once almost burned down her house melting paraffin on a gas stove...ignition!
     
  10. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can probably melt them in a microwave but you would be better off using a dedicated electric hotplate or skillet.

    It is pretty tough to kill a microwave so a brief 30 second test on a small chunk in a Pyrex (or similar) cup should be safe. Not sure if you could run it long enough to boil. That would be interesting.
     
  11. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Use a double boiler aka a pyrex bowl over a pan of GENTLY simmering water. It shouldn't burn but don't leave it unattended either. Much less hazardous than direct heating or microwaving.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    easy way to melt wax is using water jacket ...
    heat water in one container, put the wax in something like a cup or small container
    submerge it in the hot water it will melt.

    i'm fond of a travel iron ( no holes) , and rubbing the wax on the paper, and running the iron over the back of the print ...
    like waxing a pair of skiis ...
     
  13. CBG

    CBG Member

    Messages:
    894
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Heat wax slowly and to the minimum heat needed to achieve the flow you want. Beyond some not much higher temp., wax starts vaporizing and becomes a health issue. Wax vapor is toxic. Encaustic painters have become aware of this and generally use a slow controlled heat to keep vapors from getting into the air. Carefully handled it is fine.

    Best,

    C