View Full Version : Light Farm silver gelatin web tutorials

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12-10-2012, 01:47 PM
Hi Ian,

Nice to see you here again. I hope this means you've cleared your work load enough to get back to making emulsions!

p.s. In case anyone has missed it, emulsion101 is more than Ian's website, it is a silver gelatin emulsion forum he established.

Hi Denise,

Yes, I have chosen to forgo chasing an income for a bit, instead concentrating upon converting my earnings into silver halides ( a remarkably quick process!)
Cooked up some bromide last weekend, hoping to sulfur it and coat film this weekend.

12-10-2012, 04:15 PM
Fantastic news, Ian. Congrats!

12-22-2012, 03:13 PM
I am very happy to announce the launch of the Light Farm silver gelatin tutorials. Over the course of 2013, if everything goes according to plan (fingers crossed!), I, and a few others, will teach participants the abc's of emulsion making and -- just as important -- the xyz's of what to do with the materials once you've made them.


I hope some of the people who have participated in this forum over the years will decide to jump in and learn a Craft that almost literally has no creative boundaries.

Happy Holidays to All,

Thank you. I will definitely tune in. And Happy Holy Days to you, too!

12-26-2012, 11:14 AM
Excellent! With the Season almost behind us, I'm really looking forward to this.

12-27-2012, 12:16 AM
Looking forward to this! Will be a help to a lot of people. Are you going to cover Silver Gelatin Paper or just plates?

12-27-2012, 08:47 AM
Hi hermit,

Glad you're interested! I recognize you as a collodion guy. I hope you find dry plate enough easier, safer, and more flexible that you'll join the gelatin crew. Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, and as beautiful as a number of processes are, I don't think anything compares to silver in gelatin.

The tutorials will cover papers and negatives (both dry plate and film). I have imagined that silver gelatin is as much a part of the public school system as reading, writing, and arithmetic. We've all been through pre-school and kindergarten where we've looked at pictures and are aware of the general breadth of the subject.

The tutorials start in "1st grade" and will spiral up and through increasingly complex recipes and techniques. I'm going to try to hit a speed that everyone participating real time will have plenty of time to keep up. We'll see how all this goes as it gets more complex. I have high hopes it's going to be great. In a year or so, when everyone "graduates high school", and I know better how to do this thing from the web, I hope we can go on to bi-packs, tri-packs, near-pano film, and an autochrome-type film. Fingers crossed and face forward into the wind!


Charles Palmer
12-28-2012, 02:22 PM

In your most recent posting on your silver gelatin tutorial, you mention "near-pano film, and an autochrome-type film." By this, I assume that you mean some sort of panchromatic emulsion? PhotoEngineer (if you are reading this), will you deal with panchromatic emulsions in your March workshop at the GEH?

Charlie Palmer

Photo Engineer
12-28-2012, 02:50 PM

Making a red sensitive emulsion and then blending with a green emulsion and a blue emulsion is a good way to do it. Make a blue under amber or red safelight. Make a green under red safelight. Make a red under green safelight. Then you blend all 3 1:1:1.

BUT, with a panchromatic sensitizer and one emulsion, you essentially have to use IR goggles to do any useful work. This is pretty tough and can be expensive. BTDT.

In the GEH course, we may discuss it, (and the above is part of that) but we do not intend, at this time, to go further than discussion and perhaps an ortho emulsion. Besides, pan dyes are not easy to get and are very very expensive.

BTW, his is not covered in the book. It is a possible topic for V2 of that type of work. Hermit above may find my book interesting if he is interested in silver gelatin. I am interested to know if there should be a V2.


12-28-2012, 04:36 PM

Yes to near-panchromatic. "Pano" was a typo (Actually, a brain hiccup. For the longest time when I was a teenager learning photography, I thought it was panochromatic film. That still slips out, just like my Minnesota accent, at the oddest times -- and I haven't lived in Minnesota since about the time I was learning photography. :blink:)

As Ron says, the chemistry for (true) pan film is expensive. And IR goggles are just a bridge too far for this girl. In truth, I don't personally see the need for true panchromatic film. Ilford and others make the stuff brilliantly. I want to build materials that can't be bought, and the ones that catch my fancy (like tri-packs and autochrome, and heaven help me, 16mm movie film) can be approximated with near-pan film. I have the basic recipe almost to where I want it. Still has a higher base fog than I like, and reversal is hit-and-miss. That recipe and its children will be at the front of my research schedule this coming year, sharing time with the tutorials.


12-28-2012, 05:30 PM
A question about the photographic gelatin. I searched for that on Photographer's Formulary but couldn't find it. Is this what we need to buy?


Also how much of the potassium chloride and photographic gelatin should we buy?

12-28-2012, 05:37 PM

Yup, that's the stuff. I will have a shopping list ready by the end of the weekend. Meant to have it earlier, but I've been having way too much holiday fun! Every time I sit down at the computer, someone yells, "Stop working!!"

12-28-2012, 05:43 PM
OK, I'll cool my jets and wait for the the list. :) Enjoy the time with your family!

Photo Engineer
12-28-2012, 06:13 PM
I agree with Denise that true panchromaticity is a bridge too far for us right now.


For the fog, I suggest a tad of TAI. You can get it from the Formulary. Use it as described by Jim Browning in his formula or in my book.


12-28-2012, 06:30 PM
Excellent idea. TAI hasn't been in my toolbox yet, but it's probably time. I try to attack the basic ingredients and cooking procedures first. I've been thinking of TAI like going on blood pressure medication before you try diet and exercise! But, I will definitely give it a go. Thanks for the push.

Photo Engineer
12-28-2012, 10:04 PM
Here is an experiment to try.

Coat the foggy emulsion and then add 1 drop of TAI. You now have 90 ml of emulsion with 1 D Tai assuming 100 ml of TAI free emulsion. Now coat that. Add 1 D. Now you have 80 ml of TAI + 2 D assuming 10 ml / coating and etc. At the end of the series, test. The first low fog is the one you want. So, if 80 ml with 3 D is best then that is your aim, or just use what Jim Browning uses.

If you overshoot, you lose speed. Not a big problem for uss though.


12-29-2012, 10:43 PM
Been quiet, but I've been following this in the background. :p The holidays have kept us busy this year but I have found some time to keep things moving along.

I've been thinking of TAI like going on blood pressure medication before you try diet and exercise!

Actually, I don't think that is the case. As you guys know, I have been fooling with controlling vAg and trying to get a handle on the process of a more controlled make. As the emulsion becomes more "precise", it also gets more touchy. I'd think about TAI more like a fuel additive to make your Porsche run better. One thing I am finding is that during digestion you go along taking 3 or 4 samples at 10 minute intervals with no fog and them all of a sudden "BAM" and there it is leaving you with a foggy emulsion you barely think you can use.

I haven't used TAI yet either, but I wonder if TAI gives you a chance to control the fog?

PE, you imply above that TAI could be added to an already fogged (as in over-digested) emulsion to salvage it to some extent? Is that correct?

TAI is a component of nearly every commercial (as in patents) formula I have read lately. Tani says we can use PMT or BZAT, too. He talks about PMT and TAI but doesn't say much about BZAT other than to say it can be used. BZAT has been of some help in D-76 to reduce fog but I have not tried adding it to the emulsion.

Guess I have to put TAI on my shopping list as well.

-- Jason

12-31-2012, 07:11 PM

PE, Thanks! TAI test info copied and filed with my recipe to try at first opportunity.

Kenton, The 1st installment of "Getting Started" is posted.

Safe highways and byways to all!

Photo Engineer
12-31-2012, 10:28 PM

TAI is the industry standard for "fixing" or controlling fog in emulsions. Yes, you can repair overly fogged emulsions. TAI is superb as a pH 7.2 solution which we called NAZ (Sodium salt of TAI). A drop or so will reduce fog.

Benzotraizole and Phenyl Mercapto Tetrazole are good too (BTAZ and PMT) and both are stocked by the Formulary.

Last time I was out there, I made them a batch of TAI solution and they should have some for sale. I have no license to ship this stuff so get the chemistry from them. I am trying to build up a stock of emulsion chemistry with them and here at home. Those coming to workshops here can get the stuff from me as samples.


01-04-2013, 03:43 PM
Hi to you all,

I would like to join in but in trying to order the chemicals in Germany all the time I get the answer : we are not allowed to sell to private persons. The internet, or the way I use it, doesnīt give any answers.
So does anyone have any experience with an internetshop in Germany?


v.d. Polder

Photo Engineer
01-04-2013, 04:35 PM
You might try to contact Fotoimpex. They may carry some of this.