Liquid Light image "dissolving"?
I recently have begun to explore using liquid light on glass using an oil-based polyurethane sub. On three different tests now, I've nailed my exposure, and the image develops beautifully; however, with all four tests the same disappearing act has occurred when I go to fix the image. The image seemingly dissolves/fades nearly completely as soon as it hits the first fix solution. The first test I did, I didn't use a fix hardener, as I was curious how much the image would fade, and I figured that was the reason it disappeared. The second test I used a fix with a hardener, Sprint Record Alum Hardener in Sprint Record Fix and got the same result. Thought maybe it was the rapid fixer, so I bought the oft recommended Kodak fixer with added hardener. Again, as soon as it hits the fix, the image dissolves. The emulsion isn't lifting off the glass surface, or even flaking for that matter. In fact, the image is still very much on the glass surface as a very, very faint ghost only visible under very direct light. Has anyone ever experienced this issue? Might there be a solution?
What color is your base material and what color is your polyurethane sub?
My guess is the Ag image isn't going any place, you just can't see it well when you remove the 'creamyness' of the Liquid Light emulsion.
Using a clear gloss with a black base applied behind the image after for an ambrotype effect. The faint image does achieve this effect to a small degree. But certainly not as expected, especially considering when the image develops there is a clearly discernible negative. And then, instantaneously, in the same manner as the image appears in the developer, it disappears in the fix.
have you spoken to the good folks at rockland colloid about your problem?
i have used LL off and on since 1986, expired, new plainold LL, VC as well as AG+
on glass and paper and never really experienced what you are talking about ...
but i never used an oil based urethane pretty much everything else under the sun as a sub though.
maybe .... the oil in the urethane is somehow fouling your gel layer and damaging your emulsion?
have you used the emulsion using a different sub layer ... like gelatin?
maybe bob at RC can help, he knows his stuff !
I had thought that might be an issue, the polyurethane, but suspected if it was, the emulsion likely wouldn't survive the developer. Of course, I could be entirely wrong. I will contact Rockland Colloid and see if they don't have a solution to the problem. I had purchased some Knox gelatin that I would step up to from the polyurethane once I got comfortable with applying the LL, I think a bit of a test is in order. Two plates, one coated with gelatin and the other with polyurethane, and I'll know if its the sub or not. Thanks.
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My guess of what you're seeing is that the fixer is dissolving the white unexposed silver chloride under the negative (black/gray) image the developer creates. The white base of the unexposed silver chloride makes the image seem twice as dense by light passing through the image, to the white base, back through the image to your eye.
When making an (dry plate) ambryotype/tintype using Liquid Light, you'd need to use a unconventional developing agent that tints the exposed silver a color away from black, most commonly a ammonium thiocyanate is added to a developer to give the image a yellowish green/orange tint, or adding some amount of an exhausted rapid fix to the developer (ammonium thiosulfate). Ammonium gas does fume out when using these developers, so I've been trying (off and on) to use plain hypo (sodium thiosulfate) to achieve the same effect. Though I got the same color range as the ammonium, I have yet to achieve the reversal effect.
Also when the plate dries, the image will have less light blocking "power" because of gelatin's quality of contracting when it dries.
Last edited by musila; 10-07-2012 at 09:33 AM. Click to view previous post history.
One of my students used a yellow toner one time on a traditional GSP. I wonder what would happen if you treated one of your glass plates to yellow toner. I forget who made the toner, but it was ready made, perhaps Rockland. I do think musila has diagnosed the problem correctly. Liquid light is designed to produce blacks and they won't show up against black.
Originally Posted by CharmingRascal
i might have misunderstood what your problem is, and after reading the other responses
i now realize you are making SG tintypes / ambrotypes ...
if that is the case musila is right-on ( as artonpaper said ) ...
the good folks at RC also suggest using their AG+ emulsion because it has a higher silver content
and is better ( i guess ? ) at doing this sort of thing. i too am starting to make these sort of images
and i was thinking of doing exactly as you are doing, on glass so i can at least see if i am making an exposure
that is working ... on the black metal i have found it nearly impossible to see what i am doing ...
regarding their developer ... with thiocyanate and fix in the bath, it exhausts faster than a conventional developer
... so if you are making a bunch of things you might want to divide up your developer so you can use fresh from time to time
i have never had trouble subbing with gelatin, the only times i have had trouble was with minwax urethane
because it yellowed a while after it was applied. maybe the yellowed minwax urethane would work well
as the yellow toner artonpaper mentioned
good luck !
Yeah, I think musila got it. Makes sense now that I think about it. the urethane that I used was Minwax. Haven't noticed any yellowing, but we'll see what happens as it ages.
Originally Posted by jnanian
If you want to try my working formula...
60ml dektol (stock solution)
5ml bromide (10%)
10ml freestyle's universal fixer (diluted 1:4)
You can probably omit the bromide if you want, I never tried without it. And the fixer has been used, but isn't exhausted. I'm guessing you can use fresh fixer, but you might want to cut back the amount a bit. Some clues to help fine tune the developer would be that if your image doesn't reverse (if it look like a negative) you'll need to add more fixer to your developer. Or if your image reverses, but it's very faint, reduce the amount of fixer. This developer does release ammonia gas because the fixer used is a ammonium thiosulfate fixer.
I'm redoing some old plates, and I found this developer poured onto my plates until the image appears, gets a nice golden-orange image. It usually takes 2-3 minutes for the image to appear. I keep a tray under my plate to catch the developer that falls, and pour it back on. This is enough developer for a full plate sized image (6.5"x8.5"). If you want an even development, you could fill a tray with it, just keep the proportions the same, but i never tried. I use the standard (cheapest) liquid light, but it is expired (2008).
I use film positives in the darkroom to make my plates. I expose my plates from 50 to 75 seconds, with my lens wide open (f/4.5) depending on the height of the enlarger.