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  1. #21

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    emulsions

    Folks, With all the interest in cooking over the past 30 years, it is now impossible to go out to eat and find a restaurant able to serve what we can make at home for 1/4 the cost..... It's a lot more planning and work, prep thru clean up.... Same is true for emulsion making and like cooking, the more you do, the better & faster you get. Of course we won't starve, because it's not food, AND we CAN just keep using film, now that it's clear it will not die. Think of it as brain plasticity training, now that science has made it clear, if you don't use it, you lose it... I'm having a very interesting time learning calotype (checkout the calotype society on flicker) which is not for the faint hearted. Carbon is the visual opposite in image quality & wet plate somewhere in between if you print in albumin with the glass wet plate. The added learning that comes with the exposure to the history of the times when a particular style you may be interested in was being practiced is clearly a bonus, especially if you like to get decked out in period uniforms and gowns.... It costs a few bucks to get started, but in the long run, less than LF & ULF once a year with Ilford ($ching-$ching, due to buying for a year) Kodak ($$$) and to a lesser extent Acros and now Adox is back.. The more of US that do honest to goodness hand made work the more the market will grow ($$$ in our pocket) and the more interesting people in the field there will be to share information with.... It's a shot in the arm waiting to happen for all areas of photography. Even digital if you wish to mix ... there's room for all the varied purists to play well with others. Thank you Light Farm, Ostermans, Sandy, Artcraft et al, and to those about to become a part of a slow growing sand-box of fun.
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

  2. #22
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    As a printer for others who constantly is putting images on gallery walls, my interest is to make hand made colour prints that will have the ability to achieve a level of permanence that current inkjet and RA4 technology could only wish to achieve.
    Its the reason why I have one of few large commercial wet labs in Canada.

    Also I think the prints look pretty cool...

    The more this envelope is pushed the marketplace will have to take archival issues into their buying practices. I am changing my complete business model to push these historical prints.

    I only cringe to think the damage that has been done with the current crop of art stars placing inket an RA4 into the hands of collectors with huge influence
    and legal friends.

    These types of prints do have a very limited lifespan and I believe its only a matter of a few years before we start reading up on the lawsuits that start happening
    worldwide...... here is and example.... FIDDILE STICK, STOMPWINDER AND FLUXMATTER LAW FIRM HAS JUST SUCCESSFULLY SUED JAMIA/FLAVOR OF THE MONTH ART STAR FOR 50 THOUSAND EUROS.... due to complete collection of dye coupler prints fading off their walls..

    Its only a matter of time..

  3. #23
    kb3lms's Avatar
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    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.
    A class is not needed and the time required isn't that much. If you could make a cake from scratch, you can make and coat an emulsion.

    Actually, it's a fine activity that you can do in stages. For example, precipitate and ripen. Stick in the refrigerator and walk away for a week. Wash, then refrigerate and walk away and so on. A work flow like that may or make not make a noticeable difference in the final product but you can work that way with just fine results. Most of the hardware supplies you need that you might not already have in your darkroom can be bought at any dollar store.
    All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

  4. #24
    dwross's Avatar
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    Thank you, Bill, for including The Light Farm on your list. I love the phrase "slow growing sand-box of fun" . It is indeed that.

    And Jason (above) is spot-on. So many things are far more about organization than actual time. It really comes down to priorities and what stokes the fire in your belly. No right or wrong answers there, of course. But, sometimes excuses should be recognized and acknowledged.
    www.thelightfarm.com
    Dedicated to Handmade Silver Gelatin Paper, Film, and Dry Plates.

  5. #25

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    Emulsion making has been high on my to-do list for several years now, but has never quite bubbled to the top. If I can manage to quit my day job, ship my kid off to college, and get the cleaning fairies to take care of the kitchen, I'm there! :-)

    The one-day seminar at the Light Farm a few years back was enormously inspirational, and I'm sort of embarrassed that I never got around to following up on it, but one of these days. I wonder if there aren't a lot of people (well, "a lot" in relative terms) in a similar position, hanging back from saying anything because we have nothing to add to the discussion yet.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  6. #26
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    I've been making emulsions for a couple years now. Started with a workshop at Eastman House, making a simple Azo-type paper.

    Having "caught the bug", I've been slowly building a lab so that I can pursue the more technically advanced preparations. Although a decent emulsion can be made simply with minimal equipment - pursuing higher speeds, spectral sensitivity, latitude, good LIK etc., does require some $$ chemistry and equipment.

    Along with copious amounts reading (both old and newer technical information), experimentation, and the disposal of significant amounts of money (by my standards), I've had some great successes, and many failures.

    Ron (PE) has been very supportive: advising on technical matters, hand-holding, and saving me from racing down the wrong path.

    Unfortunately, there has been a history of "pissing matches" regarding emulsion work on APUG: unsubstantiated technical claims, dismissal of advanced techniques/chemistry as being "unnecessary", and often, a bizarre bias against anything related to EK. For this reason, I've taken the majority of my discussions off-line.
    - Ian

  7. #27
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    My emulsion making will have to be limited to carbon printing for the next few years -- still have three teenagers in the house and a job. But I bought a house and with (finally) my own darkroom in the foreseeable future, such endeavors such as film-making will be possible.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  8. #28
    winger's Avatar
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    A class is not needed and the time required isn't that much. If you could make a cake from scratch, you can make and coat an emulsion.

    Actually, it's a fine activity that you can do in stages. For example, precipitate and ripen. Stick in the refrigerator and walk away for a week. Wash, then refrigerate and walk away and so on. A work flow like that may or make not make a noticeable difference in the final product but you can work that way with just fine results. Most of the hardware supplies you need that you might not already have in your darkroom can be bought at any dollar store.
    I didn't know that. (And I'm not entirely sure about the cake part, but I am a chemist who has made acrylamide gels for electrophoresis successfully).

    Quote Originally Posted by dwross View Post
    .....And Jason (above) is spot-on. So many things are far more about organization than actual time. It really comes down to priorities and what stokes the fire in your belly. No right or wrong answers there, of course. But, sometimes excuses should be recognized and acknowledged.
    And for those of us who haven't done more than read a bit about it, we don't necessarily know that we can put it away for a bit until we have another block of time. I also have a very tough time learning anything by reading about it. A class would be the visual learning push that would make the reading make sense.
    It's tough to know where to start without a class to see what really matters in doing it. Those who have been doing it for awhile don't always remember what it's like to be a total newb (I know I was bad with that aspect when teaching new trace analysts how to do polarized light microscopy and infrared spectroscopy). Having a simple roadmap would be a great assist.
    I'd be most interested in making paper - especially one that worked well for contact prints as I'm currently in between darkrooms and don't have an enlarger.

  9. #29
    dwross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    Emulsion making has been high on my to-do list for several years now, but has never quite bubbled to the top. If I can manage to quit my day job, ship my kid off to college, and get the cleaning fairies to take care of the kitchen, I'm there! :-)

    The one-day seminar at the Light Farm a few years back was enormously inspirational, and I'm sort of embarrassed that I never got around to following up on it, but one of these days. I wonder if there aren't a lot of people (well, "a lot" in relative terms) in a similar position, hanging back from saying anything because we have nothing to add to the discussion yet.

    -NT
    Nate:

    That was a fun weekend. I had a great time. I'm glad you remember it fondly. Every year I think about doing it again, but can never get it pulled together (See, when I preach about organization, it's from embarrassing personal experience!) Next summer, if you come to Florence, drive up the road for the afternoon and visit. If you give me a head's up, maybe I can even organize something .
    www.thelightfarm.com
    Dedicated to Handmade Silver Gelatin Paper, Film, and Dry Plates.

  10. #30
    dwross's Avatar
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    Bethe,

    Workshops can be a lot of fun, but they are also expensive and few and far between. If you are interested in working with homemade paper, I hope you don't wait for a brick and mortar workshop. I invite you to check out the web tutorials on The Light Farm. I designed them to be go-at-your-own-pace home workshops. The first recipe (KCl Gaslight Paper) is a fool-proof contact printing paper. I can't imagine you'll have any difficulties, but I welcome any and all feedback.

    http://thelightfarm.com/Map/TLFTutor...-emulsions.htm
    www.thelightfarm.com
    Dedicated to Handmade Silver Gelatin Paper, Film, and Dry Plates.

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