Hmm, that's tempting. D, uour AJ-12 image looks very nice.
I'm in the process of starting up again.
All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.
Yes you can make AJ12 as is for what you specify, or close to it. But I wonder how much it would cost if you began to make those modification you talk about. And then average the cost overall to get the average cost per emulsion. Dont forget utilities! And, how variable are your batches?
AJ12 happens to be very sensitive to fog and temperature. So, it takes some finesse to work with it outside of the formula given.
You oversimplify. I have the experience of dozens of students who worked with me personally in a lab and classroom either alone or along with Mark Osterman and our interns, and I have literally thousands of e-mails from those students and other APUG members. I guide them all by return mail in their trials to alter this or that formula that was either taught to them, read in my book or read on-line. And I have many many personal years of lab experience.
I recommend your web site to my students with a caveat to be conservative in their interpretation of results. Indeed, you are a marvelous photographer, and you did it over years of work. Please don't think of yourself as an instant expert in emulsion making.
my apologies to mark for seeming to derail his thread ...
id love to attend more than one of these teachings, but
unfortunately commitments keep me close to home ...
at the risk of being argumentative ...
i think it is wonderful that you teach these classes with and without mark o at GEH
and i think it is valuable that you have feedback and experiences of "thousands of emails"
but making emulsion does not need to be that sophisticated.
it can be done in a small room by a college student who has absolutely NO emulsion making experience
at 2:15 am using a (then)80 year old recipe, no internet, no seminars, no help
.. i wish i still had prints from that emulsion i made it was OK ...
but i have moved maybe 15 times since then and some things got lost.
one does not need sophistication, one just the will to make it ...
im not saying, it wouldn't be great to have thousands of letters of feedback about everything from
making emulsion, to coating cyanotypes, to making exposures to making prints
but it doesn't need to be like that ...
this whole emulsion thing reminds me of the "mystique" around using large format camera.
people for years told me it is sooo hard, its complicated, and isn't for the faint at heart ..
i bought one and find it to be easier to use than a 35mm point and shoot.
Originally Posted by dwross
my pleasure denise !
Last edited by jnanian; 05-30-2013 at 02:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Are we in a competition I haven't been made aware of?
Great to hear! I'll keep my fingers crossed you find the time.
Originally Posted by kb3lms
And speaking of finding time, the clouds here have cleared and I'm heading out for the rest of the day with d.i.y. film in a camera (and truth be told, also a digi P&S )
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Denise, your AJ12 image is indeed very beautiful. As I said before, you are a very good photographer.
John, you are correct. Emulsions can be made very simply in a small darkroom with little equipment. Mine is 7 x 14 ft.
HOWEVER, you have to be using a cookbook emulsion, and you will not have complete instructions, and your results will differ substantially from that in the textbook. It will look good but have bad latitude, bad LIK, bad reciprocity, bad keeping and so on.. It will probably be blue sensitive and have a lot of halation depending on the image.
If you make 10 or so plates over one hour, the first plate may be ok but the last plate may be foggy and have a different speed. If you make it more than one time it may vary by one stop.
I am trying to FIX some of those problems and to warn those who might try this that they may see it but that it is NOT THEIR FAULT and IT CAN BE FIXED!!!
I hope someone out there is listening and understanding what I am trying to say.
Hi - Sorry i misunderstood your comment, I thought you said something about photo grade gelatin not being attainable but then thought I saw Mirko of ADOX recently talking about this new product.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
I appreciate all's comments here, nice to know there are options. Just still wonder why we've no APUG'r selling "Joe's 25 ASA" or "Sally's 25"....guess maybe all that training you all at EH have of Holmburgers might make my dream come true....
I've a bottle of Liquid Light I need to mess with....gotta start somewhere....
Andy, one of the points being missed here is that photograde gelatins of the 1920s and earlier were active gelatins and came in 3 or 4 grades which controlled speed and contrast - and caused emulsions to vary a lot depending on the diet of the cows.
Modern gelatins are specially purified to give constant speed and contrast, but this speed and contrast are quite different than the one the 12920s writer intended. Generally, modern gelatins make emulsions that are up to 5 stops slower than those of the 20s and have much lower contrast. And so, AJ12 is nominally a nice long scale emulsion with an ISO of 25 or so if made with old gelatins (or made using modern methods which I teach). Without active gelatins or without modern methods, you get an ISO 1 emulsion with short latitude.
I attended a emulsion workshop at GEH a few winters ago - it was wonderful experience.
Ron Mowrey (PE) and Mark Osterman took turns describing the history and process of silver-gelatin emulsions, and guided the attendees through the hands-on portions. It really was "plug 'n play" : Put on a labcoat, gloves and goggles, walk into the lab, and everything was ready: chemicals, glassware, hotplate/stirrer, coating rods, coating wells, paper, etc., Our freshly coated papers were hung to dry in a large room next to the lab. Stacey Vandenburgh (GEH) was invaluable in keeping everything organized and on-schedule. (As if by magic, refreshments such as coffee, tea, pastries and fruit appeared on a regular schedule). We made contact prints on our treasured paper the next day. The group was also lucky enough to view some selections from the GEH archives.
A fantastic experience!
Things were a little different when I got home: small cramped darkroom, a meagre stock of chemicals, no hotplate/stirrer, no coating blades or rods, etc., One can make a basic emulsion with a few glass jars, some silver and salts. You can simply brush it onto paper, and do a few bubbles or dust marks really matter?
So the moral of the story is: yes, a simple, pleasing emulsion can be made easily with a few basic tools. If you want to make a camera-speed, panchromatic film, with good LIK, latitude, and anti-halation, it becomes rather tricky and finicky. You want streak, dust and bubble free coatings? It gets a little more complicated. Now, let's try to do the whole thing again, with the exact same results. Ohoh, perhaps the temperature is one degree off, or it cooked for a minute longer...accuracy and control start becoming significant players. Perhaps one can claim that batch of emulsion costs only a few bucks, IF you don't include the labware, tests and trials, coating tools, hepa air filtration, scrupulous cleaning, precision weigh scales, pH meter etc., etc.,
I sometimes feel that I am cursed with the insatiable thirst to know "why and how" things happen in the emulsion kettle. Good 'old AJ-12 has undergone numerous tweaks in my 'lab': varied addition times, stepped additions, sulfur, TAI-restrained sulfer, dyes and so on. So far, I've only had a few complete failures - most emulsions have been usable and quite capable of recording an image. What I'm learning is of far greater value than the money (a few $k) into building a lab.
Should there be an opportunity to take a workshop at GEH, I would highly recommend it as a fast-track into emulsion-making with some of the best in the business being guides along the way.
A bazillion thanks to Ron (PE) for putting up with my endless questions, supplying answers and suggested reading, and providing much "hand-holding" along the way.
Many thanks Ian. You are one of many that are holding my virtual hand over the internet. Mark is doing the same. Only, next week he is sailing down the Erie canal with Chris and Nick. They are doing dry plate (IIRC) and supplying period music with banjo, mouth organ, washtub and guitar. Knowing my limits, I am staying out of this workshop!
Best wishes to al.