Emulsion coating workshop by Photo Engineer
I just attended the "Emulsion Making and Coating" workshop conducted by Photo Engineer (Ron Mowrey) at Photographer's Formulary in Montana and I thought I'd give some feedback for those interested.
1) This workshop will change the way I approach photography for years to come. I had never made my own paper before and when I made my first contact print on the AZO-like paper, I was amazed at the quality. I took a negative that is hard to print even on AZO and the highlight detail was excellent and the blacks were very deep. Great contrast, too. If you look in my gallery and see the scanned negative of a large rock - that is the one I printed. My first coatings had some defects so the print wasn't perfect, but the tonality was great.
2) As promised, it does not require knowledge of chemistry. It is a testimony to Ron's teaching abilities that he could teach this course to someone who knows as little about chemistry as I do. He had all the necessary e
3) There was a huge amount of content in this course, barely hinted at in the course description.
4) I bought one of the 8x10 paper coating blades. They are very easy to use, but they do require a little practice as you might imagine. Everyone in the course had the coating blades down in the first day or two.
5) The food served at the PF is excellent. There are no places nearby to eat so they have a B&B on site. The PF is in a very rural area - I saw 2 bears my first day and deers walked thru the property regularly!
6) The PF sells everything you'll need after the course, including the blades. They offer a 10% discount to students.
I highly recommend the course for anyone interested in coating your own paper, paper negatives, glass plates, etc.
I will not pass along any of the formulas or proprietary information that Ron provided. If you want that information, take the workshop. We had one student fly in from Germany to take the course.
Sounds like a really cool workshop. If you don't mind me asking, what was the total cost? Thanks!
Well darn, we were all counting on you to post those Mike. Sounds like you had a great workshop.
Originally Posted by mikewhi
Thanks Mike and that is good news indeed....and thanks to PE for all his research and help to all on the forum....also ditto on the facilities at Photographer's Formulary, I was able to take Kerik's class last summer and it was one of the most enjoyable vacations I have had and plan to return...even took the little woman....and the cookin' is tops..
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There's some info on Ron's upcoming workshop in NYC here--
The site lists costs:
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Date: September 11 though September 15
Time: Monday through Friday 9:30 to 6:00pm (1 hour lunch)
Price: $750.00 (plus $45.00 lab fee)
Registration Deadline: August 16, 2006
Our lab fee was $81, which was the actual cost of materials used and handed out. B&B costs at PF were about $450+ for 5 days and the meal plan was another $200 - $250. I stayed at a motel 2 miles north for $50\night for a single room. It was a nice place. So the workshop costs me $750 + $250 + $250 or $1250. I drove there so that was about $10,000 in gas. Thank goodness it is a write-off for me.
The hours for the one in NYC are wimpy. We worked from 8am to 10pm. Well, I usually dragged in about 8:30 and made a bee line for the coffee but still we worked full days. If you like wine, bring your own. They buy Costco stuff. They have a wine bread about an hour before dinners. I brought a few bottles of a decent but petulant read wine from California that didn't last the first night. A case would have been better.
One thing I can tell you, I thought that the cost was more than worth it. I hope Ron lives forever, but finding someone who is willing to part with this kind of info is hard to come by. This seems to be an area with a CIA mentality - those that know formulas just won't share them unless they are bad ones and they keep the good ones to themselves. Even books on the subjects are 50-60 years old or more. I can't read emulsion papents - can you? After taking Ron's course I can make my own AZO, modify it's speed and contrast ranges and make great contact prints. Money well spent.
I am now acquiring the magnetic stirrer\mixer and other lab supplies and I'll be coating my own soon.
PF has bright white uncoated byrata paper for sale from Kentmere. It is very nice stuff and provides a great base for AZO - it still curls but flattens in a hot press. I microwaved a Grade 1 print to dry it and it turne dthe paper warm. Odd.
Plus, there is the amusing sight of me going around Montana liquor stores buying up pint and quart bottles of Everclear. That stuff always raises eyebrows when you buy it in gallons at a time<g>. We use it as a surficant like PhotoFlo to make the emulsion spread uniformly.
Thanks for the link David. Great amount of information.
I would like to live forever, but I answer to a higher authority on that Mike.
Originally Posted by mikewhi
Thanks for the comments.
Not many of us want to share our experiences. Most everyone else posting so-called emulsion data are really inexperienced amateurs. Many of them are making it harder than it really is. Sorry to you all out there, but there is a difference between reading and doing. I've been called a lot of names. My students now know the truth of the matter.
We produced an AZO work-alike and a good ISO 40 ortho negative material. Unfortunately, all of the students hovering over the emulsion, as it was made, with their flashlights seem to have pretty much rendered it rather foggy but it was useful.
So, after several days thought, here is my response.
I will offer to all of my students a complete home lab series if they make it to Rochester. This is part of the course as well as updates in formulas. It is good for as long as I am able to keep up with this work. It is my thanks to those first students willing to put up with me. Coming soon for them is the Agfa Brovira paper formula.
I will offer hourly paid instruction similar to the workshop for interested students willing to come to Rochester. I will offer free demonstrations to interested parties that visit Rochester, but these demos do not include formulas or data paid for by my students. I think that this is a fair response to the mail I have been getting. Thanks to all for those notes. I will do my best to help you all out.
I will NOT send formulas or data to people who send e-mails saying "gee, sorry I couldn't make your workshop, please e-mail your formulas and techniques to me". Or "sorry, but your workshop was too expensive, please send me the formulas so that I can do what you are doing". (approximate quotes from e-mails) I spent plenty of my pension developing the coating blades and adapting the formulas for simple use. I cannot afford to give them away. Sorry.
B&W analog products are destined to vanish or become difficult to obtain at some point in time. I hope to ease the transition to custom produced high-end analog products.
I wish you all well. My thanks to my class.
You mean Kodak?
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer