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dwross
10-13-2013, 12:51 PM
Is it really true that no one wants to discuss emulsion making any more? Photography has changed so much in the last five years it's staggering and the discussions here certainly reflect some of those changes. It's not just the technology, but also philosophy and some of the expectations we have for our craft. Those of us who started out when chemical photography was the only option might as well be from a different planet. That's fine. Same is true of just about any craft where digital has made big inroads. But, does that mean the handmade product has become alien? Hope not.

Anyway, I'd love to see meaningful discussion here again. Kinda strange when silly-season topics get an order of magnitude more discussion than actual emulsion making, but the withdrawal that some people are admitting to because LFF is down is both telling and encouraging. Seems to me there still are people who want to "talk real". Hope so.

It should be said, for those who might be new to APUG, or to chemical photography -- emulsion making (paper, film: sheet and roll, dry plate) has thoroughly left the realm of theoretical, and/or "primitive". The discussions can be about actual making and using, just as any other topic on this forum.

jorj
10-13-2013, 01:26 PM
Maybe the people that are interested in emulsions are already knee-deep. Or that there's enough information out there now. Dunno.

But I'm playing with dry plate medium-format tintypes, so at least someone's still experimenting...

Bob Carnie
10-13-2013, 01:34 PM
Denise

I am very interested in talking about emulsion making and how to work with it. My problem is that the workflow I use is a complete digital one to make negatives which is not appreciated here.

I wish it wasn't so, DPUG is not relevant to me , after the Sandy King attack so I do not go there.

We are working with some very interesting projects that do involve scratch process but unfortunately for me making the neg or pos is critical and the way I do it is not a topic for here.

Bob

MDR
10-13-2013, 01:50 PM
Denise I believe that quiet a few members are still interested in emulsion making but have never actually done it. This makes discussing the topic a littler harder then say discussing a 35mm Bumby lens for the 500th time. Still I would welcome any meaningful discussion about the handcraft part of photography especially emulsion making and such.

MDR
10-13-2013, 01:59 PM
Bob you coould talk about the negs in disguised terms, say enlarged neg with this and that density instead of digital negative and the positive handmade part doesn't seem to be a problem on APUG. To much knowledge and information is lost due to in this case stupid rules. It seems that we all benefit from this topic as it helps keep the medium alive.

Bob Carnie
10-13-2013, 02:06 PM
I think this would be very hard to do, since my working methods include critical, density readings within the info palette of PS as well that would be very difficult to just say put some density here and make sure there is density there. People that want to understand this method of working, would need a working knowledge of LAB, CMYK , RGB and of course greyscale and get to understand when one colour space is more important to be in than the others...

I am waiting for the day that the rules are relaxed in this area, but to be honest am quite happy just talking about the darkroom side of my life and not piss off the powers to be with my digital hybrid approach here on APUG.



QUOTE=MDR;1557052]Bob you coould talk about the negs in disguised terms, say enlarged neg with this and that density instead of digital negative and the positive handmade part doesn't seem to be a problem on APUG. To much knowledge and information is lost due to in this case stupid rules. It seems that we all benefit from this topic as it helps keep the medium alive.[/QUOTE]

Bill Burk
10-13-2013, 02:11 PM
But there is an active community of emulsion makers here; PE and friends at the George Eastman House are regularly scheduling emulsion making workshops, talking about the procedures and tools needed - and sharing results of glass plate negatives and AZO-type papers that they are making.

I enjoy seeing their posts and following along in my mind, but I continue to work with prepared and packaged, ready-to-use supplies.

Ian Grant
10-13-2013, 02:36 PM
I'd add to Bob's comment, Sandy King's contributions here and on DPUG are greatly missed.

Denise, you've been making a very great effort to encourage others to begin emulsion making and leading by example. I know from over a decades experience myself that it's a practical proposition.

Maybe the way to encourage people is to get them into alternative printing processes first, Kallitype, Salt prints. Albumen prints etc, then into more simple emulsion making. Just a thought.

Ian

dwross
10-13-2013, 03:09 PM
It is so encouraging to see the thoughtful responses. jorj: Excellent! Good luck (and hope you show and tell here.)

Bill: Actually, very little work has been posted here for quite a long while. And that, mostly liquid emulsion*. (*I've nothing against LE.)

Is it perhaps that we've moved beyond the current title of the sub-forum ("...making and coating") People don't feel that it's about the art of the materials?? Maybe don't feel free to share the inevitable warts and wrinkles of the learning process?? I'm fairly used to being set upon by the "it's not good enough and never will be" mentality of a few posters here. It can be intimidating for the less bold among us and the unfortunate paradox is that shy folks are very likely some of the best artists.

Ian: I was an albumen printer for years. A simple silver gelatin emulsion is MUCH easier than albumen - cheaper, too. Heck, a not-so-simple emulsion is easier than most "alternative" processes. The supposed complexity of emulsion making that has become part of the meme of this forum is perhaps part of the reason it never really gets off the ground (?? -- just a thought).

Bob: The way APUG has been going... I can't imagine anyone censoring you over talking about the negatives you use with your emulsions. I'd love to see what you'd do with good digital negatives and AZO-type paper. I'm going to be pushing the envelope that way myself because I'm pulling inkjet negatives into my color photography research.

MDR: I hope you're right!

Ken Nadvornick
10-13-2013, 03:30 PM
Perhaps now that the perceived existential threat to commercially available black-and-white films and papers has eased, maybe so has the panic? And with that some of the doomsday-driven interest in DIY at the emulsion level?

Lots of people have said that if doomsday ever came, they would just learn how to coat their own. But it now appears that doomsday never came. Not that there aren't lots of other valid non-doomsday reasons to do it. Just that the panic-driven one might now have subsided.

Just thinking out loud...

Ken

MDR
10-13-2013, 04:07 PM
Perhaps now that the perceived existential threat to commercially available black-and-white films and papers has eased, maybe so has the panic? And with that some of the doomsday-driven interest in DIY at the emulsion level?

Lots of people have said that if doomsday ever came, they would just learn how to coat their own. But it now appears that doomsday never came. Not that there aren't lots of other valid non-doomsday reasons to do it. Just that the panic-driven one might now have subsided.

Just thinking out loud...

Ken

I think you're right, but for me making an emulsion or an alt process print is more than just a last resort if Kodak fails, it's another tool that helps me create a vision. Some images are better served with commercial emulsions and some with homemade stuff imo. I also believe that photographers should have a basic understanding about the tools they are using. Take painters quiet a few make their own paint, or potters that make their own clay or at least know a lot about the product they are using compare them to photographers and it obvious that photographers know very little about their medium.

momus
10-13-2013, 05:00 PM
If someone has to discuss matters in a disguised manner, something is very wrong here. Rules or not, that is just plain wrong. Isn't this America? So the PC police are going to dictate what words can be used by people? Someone had better come to terms w/ the results of their actions. Seems self defeating to me. You can't learn anything by restricting people's vocabulary. That sort of thing never works.

winger
10-13-2013, 05:29 PM
Perhaps now that the perceived existential threat to commercially available black-and-white films and papers has eased, maybe so has the panic? And with that some of the doomsday-driven interest in DIY at the emulsion level?

Lots of people have said that if doomsday ever came, they would just learn how to coat their own. But it now appears that doomsday never came. Not that there aren't lots of other valid non-doomsday reasons to do it. Just that the panic-driven one might now have subsided.

Just thinking out loud...

Ken

I think this might be a part of it. And I feel like I've seen more threads on it in the last couple of years than in the first ones I was here.
Count me as one who would love to try it, but who doesn't have time to take a class or put enough time into it to really know what I'm doing.

Pioneer
10-13-2013, 06:24 PM
This is quite timely. I started pulling together things to begin doing some emulsion making in early spring but as summer approached other things interfered. Now fall is here and winter is quickly approaching. Time to get back to it again. Maybe by next spring I will be ready to make some pictures.

I think I have most of the equipment so it is now time to begin picking up the materials. I will have to head back to the Light Farm to refresh my list.

DannL.
10-13-2013, 06:48 PM
I recently brought up a thread on LFF about coating Dry Plates by hand, thinking that since the subject hadn't really been addressed there would be great interest. It landed with a quiet thud. But, I wasn't surprised. Since learning to coat plates I've perty much lost interest in using commercial film, which has been to my benefit. I would have no problem making my own emulsions if I could justify the labor and time that is required. Cost wise it seems to be about the same a using Liquid Light or an equivalent.

Michael W
10-13-2013, 07:04 PM
Kinda strange when silly-season topics get an order of magnitude more discussion than actual emulsion making
This bit is worth highlighting as I have also noticed an upsurge in nonsense threads on this forum in recent times. I wonder if it's the Facebook effect - where people feel compelled to post some irrelevant drivel everyday, under the impression perhaps that they are keeping the place lively. I would prefer to see less threads, but on more interesting and relevant topics, dry plate coating among them.

dwross
10-13-2013, 08:04 PM
Hi DannL,

Welcome to APUG! Would you consider re-starting your coating thread here? I do hope you also consider making your own emulsions someday. $-wise, homemade is a lot cheaper. Time-wise, of course you are right. Every step of d.i.y. does add time to a process.

I've come to think of all this as Slow Photography, done for all the reasons gardening and real cooking are done. I'm on the same page as MDR. Knowing your materials and process adds a whole new layer to the experience. Also nice to know that a paper or film will be available for as long as I want to make it, not for as long or short a time as some commercial interest decides they want to.

Pioneer: I hope you have a great winter of emulsion making!

polyglot
10-14-2013, 02:09 AM
Academically interested, yes. Have time for; hell no! I can barely keep up with developing and scanning the photos I take on film that I don't need to manufacture myself, and I'm waaaay behind on printing. Adding another very-time-consuming process step is just not going to happen, especially when it's not going to get me quality anywhere near as good as commercial film stocks.

I do quite enjoy reading the threads about it that pop up here occasionally though.

Probably one day I will try carbon printing to see what the relief looks like, but that's probably about the limit for me smearing goop on stuff.

Helinophoto
10-14-2013, 03:38 AM
Starting up a personal research-project on wet-plate these days, need to get the book first, then read, then figure out where to get the chemicals, after that, the materials (plates) and after that, the actual photographic equipment.

My impression is that wet/dry-plate is gaining popularity, specially for portraits etc (for potential buyers and clients).
A lot of the photographers I know, would like to try it out, but the biggest issue is getting hold of the chemicals in these days of "war on terror" in every country in the western hemisphere. :/

Thomas Bertilsson
10-14-2013, 07:08 AM
I just wish I had more time. At least then I could dive headfirst into the topic and maybe learn something cool and useful. But I don't have it. Can barely find time to process film anymore, let alone proofing and printing.