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  1. #1
    Uncle Goose's Avatar
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    Salt Print Bleaching problem

    So after making my own silver nitrate I tried to do some Salt Printing (2% Sodium Chloride, 12% Silver Nitrate). The good thing is that i got an image, the bad thing is that the moment I put it in the fix (10% Sodium Thiosulphate and about 2 grams Sodium Bicarbonate) the whole picture bleaches to a diarrhea like brown color. Don't really know what the problem is, might it be that I have to grossly overexpose the salt print under my UV tubes in order to compensate for the bleach? Or did I miss something else?
    Sure, I could give you a boring explanation who I really am but I rather let the Origami do the talking.

  2. #2
    garysamson's Avatar
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    Yes, you need to over expose by 1.5 to 2 stops to have the proper density when the print dries. I am assuming you are rinsing the print in water until the water runs completely clear and that you are not gold toning the print before it goes into the fixer.

  3. #3
    Uncle Goose's Avatar
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    Yep, I rinse enough and do not gold tone. I will try this evening again with longer exposures.
    Sure, I could give you a boring explanation who I really am but I rather let the Origami do the talking.

  4. #4

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    There's considerable dry down with salt (and iron-silver) prints... Does the print STILL stay the same way (weak / anemic) AFTER waiting at least 6-8 hours (to let it dry thoroughly)? Definitely try gold-thiourea toning BTW...

    Regards,
    Loris.

  5. #5
    Herzeleid's Avatar
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    My prints go brown in the fixer too, but I never observed bleaching, just color changed. The tones get slightly darker, have reddish maroon like color after complete dry down.
    I use a hair dryer to hasten it for test strips.
    Exposure can be misleading, when I started experimenting salt print I thought 3-4 minutes exposure was ok, then I thought 7 is good, but later I found out 12 min was spot on.
    If you are using film, the exposures might be even longer.
    Well the times can differ for everyone's workflow but reaching the darkest tone in the print during exposure, not necessarily means it is exposed enough for salt printing IMHO.

  6. #6
    Uncle Goose's Avatar
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    At the moment I did some shots in the dark concering time and I found out that not all papers work that well, the aquarelle works great but the more glossy paper doesn't work that well. I coated some aquarelle and will expose them tonight. I will make a long exposure first and then go from there. Thanx for the already interesting info provided here.
    Sure, I could give you a boring explanation who I really am but I rather let the Origami do the talking.

  7. #7
    Herzeleid's Avatar
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    One thing that came to my mind, you haven't mention sodium citrate in the formula, it is not essential but it decreases contrast and affects the color as well as the gelatin ratio. When I tried to increase contrast of the print without adding potassium bichromate, and keeping the negative density a constant.
    I completely eliminated sodium citrate and increased gelatin ratio to %3 the resulting prints color were according to a painter friend of my mine was diarrhea brown even when dry. The worst I have ever seen. I like the salt print colors without gelatin very much but I use gelatin anyway. BTW I am fairly new to the process myself.

    You should take a look at Young's applied science thesis on the color of Salt Prints, I find it a bit more comprehensive than the Salt Printing Manual.
    http://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/eser...7850/Young.pdf

    Bleach is as stated by the others is probably related to exposure, but the final color might be a combination paper, gelatin ratio and salt formula.

  8. #8
    Uncle Goose's Avatar
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    I didn't use Sodium Citrate, I know that it has a bleaching effect. I tried to do longer exposures and have now a nicer Sepia color. I'm now in progress to expose even longer to see where the limit is. I don't use Gelatine at the moment, might try that too. And that PDF went straight to my E-reader, always good to read when between classes.
    Sure, I could give you a boring explanation who I really am but I rather let the Origami do the talking.

  9. #9

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    Do you have a 21 or 31 step tablet? (Stouffer or PDN transparencies...) It's a very useful tool for the purpose of determining the correct exposure!

    Regards,
    Loris.

  10. #10
    Uncle Goose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loris Medici View Post
    Do you have a 21 or 31 step tablet? (Stouffer or PDN transparencies...) It's a very useful tool for the purpose of determining the correct exposure!

    Regards,
    Loris.
    Nope, nothing like that but I don't feel that I really need it at this point, I wouldn't know where to get those transparencies here in Belgium, it's a wasteland here in terms of photographic specialties.

    I did longer exposures (see attachment), this is a 30min exposure with my UV light source, it however doesn't have much difference with the 20min exposure I did so maybe 25min will be the benchmark for me. I'm very pleased with the result, it looks a little better IRL than scanned.

    Had some contamination from my brush but that will be eliminated with better cleaning procedure.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Viona (salt print) klein.jpg  
    Sure, I could give you a boring explanation who I really am but I rather let the Origami do the talking.

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