View Full Version : Alt. Print Exchange, April 2011

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Alex Bishop-Thorpe
04-29-2011, 07:55 PM
All of mine are in the mail too - Fred, yours hasn't arrived yet but I'm sure it will this week, I've been checking my post box every day...

05-02-2011, 11:20 AM
I have received Andrew's ink print. I love the beautiful velvet surface of the print. I also learned so much just from the description! I've spent a whole evening researching "Butoh", "Solarplate", "intaglio". Really cool. Thanks!

Now, the good news. This week-end was a first warm and sunny week-end of the year and I managed to get my prints done. They are now straightening under the press, so I'll mail them very shortly. I have to apologize, they are nowhere near as impressive as Fred's and Andrew's - these are my first alt prints. I'm looking forward for your advice on how to improve on them.

05-03-2011, 07:42 PM
Thanks Eugene. I appreciate the comment and would be glad to discuss any of those things with you as well.

I'm very much looking forward to the coming prints.

05-06-2011, 04:33 PM
Alex's photogravure have arrived today. I am very impressed. I don't know if I ever find the guts to try intaglio printing, but your and Andrew's examples have really inspired me! Thank you very much!

05-06-2011, 11:15 PM
Now, I am eagerly waiting to see the prints. Should be great.

05-07-2011, 11:23 AM
We've not heard much from group 2 yet. Seems we're a little slower off the mark. I've picked the neg now and started printing. With luck, I'll get them into the mail before the month is out!

05-08-2011, 12:21 PM
Yesterday I received a wonderful 5x7 pt/pd print of the White Bay power station from Tony Egan. Thank you so much.

My prints will be mailed tomorrow.

05-10-2011, 10:57 PM
Just received the print from Andrew, today. I am impressed. The depth of the blacks is simply amazing. Thank you so much. Another process I may try one day.


05-12-2011, 10:21 PM
Wow, another photogravure, from Alex today, i am impressed. thank you so much.


05-13-2011, 12:11 AM
We've not heard much from group 2 yet. Seems we're a little slower off the mark. I've picked the neg now and started printing. With luck, I'll get them into the mail before the month is out!

Group 1 has also been pretty quiet - For my sins, I'm struggling to get a decent coating on my chosen substrate and that stuff called "work" keeps getting in the way. Hope to have another session in the darkroom over the weekend.

05-19-2011, 11:03 PM
Just received Eugene's lovely cyanotype. Thank you very much, its been another successful exchange.

Eugene, when going from an negative - positive - negative, process, one should target the development of the film positive to be slightly flat, with good detail in the shadows, and highlights. By this I mean, if it makes a good slide, you are over developing. You achieve the final contrast in making the enlarged negative. That being said, I have not used x-ray film, so i do not know how good it is at recording the tonal range available.

You mention two coatings, does that mean that you had to re-register the print for the second exposure?


05-20-2011, 09:54 AM
Thank you Fred, I'm glad you like it. About the negative contrast. X-ray film I used did not produce much of a contrast in my Ansco 130 developer - I think it's inherently low contrast film. The cleared highlights resulted from my multi-layer coating approach. Now, from the letter it sounds like I did it on purpose. That could not be any further from the truth. This is my first set of cyanotypes, so the multi-coating was an honest mistake, I like the results, and maybe next time I'll do it on purpose :laugh:.
The deal is, my 9 year old daughter did a first set of cyanotypes for her school project. I did not touch them, only supervised. She used Sullivan's formula, except she substituted potassium dichromate for ammonium dichromate. It produced beautiful deep blue prints. However, the coating had a few blue spots in it after drying. My initial theory was that the amount of dichromate was too much, so when I started this project, I reduced it by a third. I tried a first test print and amazingly the print was yellowish-brown like what you see in the highlights. The only issue was that it had rather low d-max. I tried adding couple more coatings from the same mix, which resulted some improvement in contrast, but still not enough. Out of desperation, I mixed the exact Sullivan formula and put another coat on the paper. And this is the result that you see. It is only one exposure, however very long. The yellow coating is slower than blue, so it causes some clipping in the highlights. I agree with you that doing some kind of registration and double exposure first with yellow coating and then with blue should produce much nicer dual-tone image. I'm only afraid it's quite a bit more than my current level of expertise.

06-08-2011, 08:29 AM
Well, I've finally finished my prints, and now Canada Post is on strike - but they're moving the action around the country - a couple of cities a day, so I'll get them packaged up.

It's been hard to find spare darkroom time this spring. Usually I'd be feeling pretty guilty about being so late, but I haven't recieved any prints. Others must be having a hard time getting it together as well.

I'm in group 1. Paul has posted, so I know he's working on prints. Haven't heard from the other 2 in our group. Are you still in? Should I send your print?

06-08-2011, 08:42 AM
Yes sly, I'm still in. I've been building a permanent darkroom in my house, and thought it would take a lot less time to finish. That, along with other obligations haven't given me much opportunity to work. My aplologies to the rest of my group, I'll get it together and have the prints finished and in the mail soon.


06-08-2011, 10:36 AM
Just glad to know you're still working towards it Adam. Hope your new darkroom is lovely, efficient, and roomy. I thought my darkroom was terrific when we built it 6-7 years ago, but that was before I had a 4x5 enlarger, before I owned an 8x10 camera, before I started alt printing. I don't have enough countertop, a big enough sink, and there are waaaay too few cupboards and shelves. 3 times bigger would be good.

06-08-2011, 11:21 AM

Here's a pic my wife took a few days ago. I wouldn't say it's roomy, but it is lovely and hopefully effecient. I've got to try it out once, and it's going to be a great space for making prints. The room is about 12.5 x 5ft with a nice 5.5 x 2.5ft sink.

Again, sorry to my group for the delay - I'll be starting on your prints soon.


06-10-2011, 05:51 PM
Fourteen sheets later, I think there might be three usable prints. Once dry, I hope to get them finished some time during the week.

07-03-2011, 09:35 PM
Just received Adam's salt print - Packaging got a little beat up by the postal system, but the print survived with minimal damage. Not seen a salt print before..

Mine should be in the post this week (once I've found a couple of sturdy boxes).

07-07-2011, 11:25 AM
Prints are finally on their way to sly, adamc, and tj01 - Hopefully the Canadian post is getting back to normal so Lillian's box should arrive within two weeks. Last time I checked, Homeland Security (sic) is still delaying mail for "additional security checks". No idea what the service is like to Malaysia, but I suspect it will beat all others in the race ;)

As to the process used, I'll leave it as a surprise for the recipients.

07-12-2011, 01:58 PM
Just received tj01's print - Unfortunately, no info attached so I kinda assume it is a gum print of view around Bukit Tabur near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - I've tried my hand at gum printing once (must try again soon), and didn't achieve the tonal range this print exhibits. One to frame and hang on the wall for a while methinks. Thanks tj01.