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  1. #11
    Gadfly_71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    If you want a true historic answer related to Talbots original salt prints (photogenic drawings), contrast is not inherent in this process. If you use his original formulation and dry in darkness, a scan can provide what you may be looking for. But then some people on this site will probably say that I don’t know what I’m talking about.
    Seeing as I am one of the people that disagrees with you. Could you elucidate on this statement a bit? Quoting the relevant passages from Talbot's notes would be a good start.

    Also, bear in mind that his photogenic drawings and his calotypes were two, very different (albeit related), processes. They are not the same thing. Generally when we refer to salt-prints we are referring to the latter, rather than the former.
    Last edited by Gadfly_71; 03-27-2012 at 06:59 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: clarification

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    would love to read talbot's writings related to his original salt prints. can you tell me if they are available to read online ?
    You can get "The Pencil of Nature" by Fox Talbot at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33447

  3. #13
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadfly_71 View Post
    Seeing as I am one of the people that disagrees with you. Could you elucidate on this statement a bit? Quoting the relevant passages from Talbot's notes would be a good start.

    Also, bear in mind that his photogenic drawings and his calotypes were two, very different (albeit related), processes. They are not the same thing. Generally when we refer to salt-prints we are referring to the latter, rather than the former.
    Relevant passages from Talbot's notes are perhaps too numerous to quote, but I would suggest you refer to Larry J Schaaf, Records of the Dawn of Photography; Talbot's Notebooks P & Q
    (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). You can then back this up by actual experiments to confirm his observations. When you mention that generally when we refer to salt-prints we are referring to the latter, rather than the former. I thought calotypes were called calotypes and not salt prints. Perhaps what is in confusion here is that I am not referring to an alternative print making process, but recording the imagery as the image changes during chemical reaction. Perhaps this should be called Imageography?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #14

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    hi clive

    i think calotypes refer to the paper negative that was printed out onto salted paper .. ( at least that is my understanding )
    i do similar things as you do ... watch unfixed sun prints change over time ... and i would love to do that with salted paper
    and silver nitrate .. i find it to be much in touch with my 19th century alter ego .. i gotta win the lottery though, salted paper prints
    probably cost oodles more than old expired almost free photo paper ...

    thanks for suggested readings !
    john

  5. #15
    Gadfly_71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Relevant passages from Talbot's notes are perhaps too numerous to quote, but I would suggest you refer to Larry J Schaaf, Records of the Dawn of Photography; Talbot's Notebooks P & Q
    (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). You can then back this up by actual experiments to confirm his observations. When you mention that generally when we refer to salt-prints we are referring to the latter, rather than the former. I thought calotypes were called calotypes and not salt prints. Perhaps what is in confusion here is that I am not referring to an alternative print making process, but recording the imagery as the image changes during chemical reaction. Perhaps this should be called Imageography?
    My understanding from research, education and training is this; What you refer to as a salt-print is what Talbot frequently referred to as a "photogenic drawing" (essentially a photogram on salted paper sensitized with silver nitrate) and I think this is where much confusion sets in. What I (and just about everyone I know) refer to as a salt-print (or salted paper print) is the later process Talbot used to make prints from his paper negatives (i.e., the calotype). While the basic printing process is similar, the formulae are a bit different.

    It's important to note that while Talbot was unhappy (ish) with the aesthetic compromise that using hypo instead of a salt solution required, he favored permanence above all. It's easy to see how the salt-print became the de-facto standard for quite a while, eventually yielding to the platinotype and factory prepared albumenized paper. (Slightly OT, albumen prints are just salt-prints on albumenized paper)

    Warmest Regards,
    Andrew

  6. #16
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I accept what you say entirely, as he was trying to discover a practical photographic process. My point which perhaps I did not explain well, is that in doing so, we have much to learn about image evolvement within the short time frame of these early photographic experiments.
    Last edited by cliveh; 03-28-2012 at 07:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  7. #17
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Another way to increase the contrast with a regular film is to selenium tone the negative. I've made successful salt prints using Polaroid type 55 negatives toned for about 5 minutes in Kodak selenium toner diluted 1+3.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz View Post
    Another way to increase the contrast with a regular film is to selenium tone the negative. I've made successful salt prints using Polaroid type 55 negatives toned for about 5 minutes in Kodak selenium toner diluted 1+3.
    And I have done the same with standard B&W film -- but first a light bleaching to knock the shadows down a little, then selenium toning to bump up the highlights (wash in between).

    Works best with negs that got sufficient, or even a little too much, exposure.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  9. #19
    Gadfly_71's Avatar
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    You can also improve contrast on a negative by sepia toning. I would recommend trying it with an unloved negative to start with, and be warned, the image will nearly disappear when you bleach it. Immersion in the sepia toner after the bleach will bring it back, but it's kind of scary to watch.

  10. #20
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    I'm a newbie too. I bought a Salt print kit from Bostick and Sullivan and it came with potassium dichromate to increase contrast. It seems to work, but still not enough contrast for my Polaroid type 55 negative. I'm beginning to think that I have to shoot and develop a negative specifically for salt prints. I'm wondering negatives for salt prints can be printed on silver gelatin paper.

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