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  1. #1
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Anyone know the history of Lith printing?

    I got my MFA in 1988 and don't recall much if anything about the technique. I really found out about it reading a book about it at "Borders Books" of all places. This was 1999.

    I searched through my library and I have a great book called Space Capsule by Michael Becotte. It clearly is all done with lith printing. The date is 1975.

    "American Images; photography 1945-1980" Pete Turner, No clear lith images.

    "A critical history of American Photography" by Jonathan Green has no clear lith images. He does reporduce a Michael Becotte image (1974), but the reproduction does not show the lith character.

    I checked Beaumont Newhall and there is no reference to the technique. It does show a 1971 Les Krims "Homage to the Crosstar Filter" that looks like the lith printing technique.

    There is a self portriat by Bruce Nauman dated 1970 that could be lith printing. If so this would be the earliest I have found. Here is a reproduction on the web: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/grap.../nauman/b8.jpg

    Anyone know anything more?

  2. #2
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Anton Corbijn, probably not the inventor of lith, is however instrumental in making lith a recognizable look.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
    Anton Corbijn, probably not the inventor of lith, is however instrumental in making lith a recognizable look.
    I saw your thread ( http://www.apug.org/forums/forum50/3...ock-music.html ) on Corbijn but need to do some more research on dates to see when his 'look' started to be popular. I know the 1980 USA release of U2's 'Boy' had a standard 'black-or-white' lith image but that is atributed to Sandy Porter so his association with them must have been later than that.

    I see that he did some early work with Joy Division, but none of my Joy Division albums have any pictures...
    Last edited by ic-racer; 02-22-2008 at 06:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    ann
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    check out Tim Rudman's most recent book it might have some information. I don't have it handy or i would give you better information.
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  5. #5
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    You may want to look into Mike Spry*Downtown Darkrooms* , he is a printer in the UK. I believe he introduced Anton Corjbin to the lith look, before Corjbins work I attributed the look to heavy bleach sepia and selenium, before I started to do lith prints with the AB devs, 1997/98 was a fairly good imitation but not exact look.
    I had not heard of Micheal Beacotte , and I will look into his work, thanks for posting his name.

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I don't have the books here in Turkey but there are some Bob Carlos Clarke images from the 70's that look remarkably like Lith prints, probably made around the time he was at the Royal College of Art in London. I think he said he used a reprographics type paper

    Carlos Clarke, Bob, Obsession, Quartet, UK, 1981
    Carlos Clarke, Bob, The Illustrated Delta of Venus - with short stories by Anaïs Nin, published by WH Allen, 1980

    Ian

  7. #7
    Martin Reed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    You may want to look into Mike Spry*Downtown Darkrooms* , he is a printer in the UK. I believe he introduced Anton Corjbin to the lith look, before Corjbins work I attributed the look to heavy bleach sepia and selenium, before I started to do lith prints with the AB devs, 1997/98 was a fairly good imitation but not exact look.
    I had not heard of Micheal Beacotte , and I will look into his work, thanks for posting his name.
    This is going back to 1984 - I had started importing Seagull paper into the UK (Silverprint Co.) & gave Mike Spry some samples. He started playing around with it in lith & discovered it was perfect for Anton's style. As far as I know Mike was the first to use Seagull in lith, even Oriental the manufacturers hadn't seen it used this way. All Anton's stuff has been on it since, but the stock of Seagull is nearly exhausted & there's nowhere to turn!
    Last edited by Martin Reed; 02-23-2008 at 04:27 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  8. #8
    Martin Reed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    ........
    I searched through my library and I have a great book called Space Capsule by Michael Becotte. It clearly is all done with lith printing. The date is 1975.

    .......Anyone know anything more?
    Tim Rudman is the man to put in the chair here. But my limited knowledge is that although the 'modern era' of lith printing started in 1984 with Oriental Seagull (above), it was known and used regularly as a specialised technique back into the sixties. The paper of choice was Kodalith LP, a thin FB paper with a beautiful lustrous matt finish. Discontinued by the mid 70's, I still have some that works, & so do quite a few old timers. It might show up rarely on ebay, & seems to age well so grab some if you find it. The key to these papers is the cadmium salts that were used in the emulsion-making, giving accelerated development of metallic silver in the shadows. Virtually all cadmium use seems to finished now, so the choices are dwindling.

  9. #9
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Hi Martin

    My hat is off to you, Mike Spry is one of my heros , He has printed for those I admire and was/is the printer for Catherine Ashmore who I had the pleasure of working with in the early 90's. She is one of the best stage photographers around and she used Mike back then.

    The original G4 in Nova Lith was spectacular but the new G4 can still hold its own.

    Les McLean has offered to take be to Mr Sprys offices if I ever make it to the UK, which would be quite a pleasure/honour to meet him.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Kodalith was the paper Bob Carlos Clarke used for some of his early images, and at the talk I went to he mentioned he had almost no paper left, Martin has just jogged my memory. I still have 2 packets of part used Oriental Seagull from 1984 or 85 which I remember Martin suggesting I try, it was a nice paper but I didn't like the off-white base.

    Ian

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