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  1. #1
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Salted Paper/Albumen recipes?

    Does anyone have a favorite recipe for salted paper and albumen printing? I'm looking for ones from actual personal experience, not the ones commonly listed online or in Reilly or other books unless they have worked well for you.

    Favorite papers or unusual techniques (e.g., Schaeffer where he salts, sensitizes with 12% AgNO3, then rinses and sensitizes again with 1% AgNO3) would be welcome.

    I'm experimenting with a few different recipes this week and trying to see which works the best for me.

    Thanks for any info.

    Joe

  2. #2
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Well, great results from my initial experiments. I used two different salt formulas and tried brush sizing and sizing using a puddle pusher and got equally good results. The difference in today's prints compared to my past efforts has to do with a change in paper and in the silver nitrate sensitizing solution.

    I got the following recipe from Michael Mazzeo (http://www.michaelmazzeo.com/) who I took a wetplate collodion workshop from 2 months ago. (Great workshop BTW.)

    Salting stock solution is 2 gm ammonium chloride in 98 ml distilled water.
    Paper is Crane's Cover stock.
    Sensitizer stock is 20 gm silver nitrate in 80 ml distilled water. This solution is brought to pH2 by the addition of citric acid crystals. (It took about 1/2 tsp of citric acid to reach this pH.)

    The paper is salted using a hake brush and dried. Then, under a red safelight I used a different hake brush to apply the silver nitrate solution and the sensitized paper was then dried in the dark.

    Following exposure I bathed the print in a 1 1/2% solution of sodium chloride for a couple minutes then followed that by a 5 minute wash until no cloudiness was observed coming from the print. Clerc's Gold Toner was used until a lilac color was achieved. The print was then rinsed in tap water and fixed in a solution of plain hypo (15 gm sodium thiosulfate in 1 liter water) for 5 minutes each in two successive baths. After a 1 minute rinse in tap water, I immersed the print in a solution of Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent for 5 minutes followed by a 30 minute wash. It's not dry yet but it looks like the nicest salt print I've ever made.

    I also used a different salt solution on one print and that looks like it worked equally well (although I overexposed that print). That salting solution was:
    6gm sodium chloride
    8 gm ammonium chloride
    13 gm sodium citrate
    3 gm 250 bloom ossein (photographic gelatin)
    600ml water

    The ossein was added to the water and allowed to swell for 15 minutes. The solution was then heated slowly until it reached about 100F and the gelatin dissolved. The other ingredients were then added in the order given.

    I'm very pleased with what I did today and will post a scan of the properly exposed print as soon as I can get to it.

    I think the stronger silver nitrate solution (20% instead of the usually recommended 12%) and dropping the sensitizer pH to pH2 with the citric acid really made a big difference. The coating is very even and there is good max density with a single coat of sensitizer regardless of whether it was done with a brush or glass coating rod. Salted paper has always given me headaches with inconsistent and poor results in the past, but this combo looks like a winner.

    Joe

  3. #3

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    Very cool Joe - looking forward to seeing scans of your results.

  4. #4

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    This is a yes and no answer-

    yes I have a fovorite (matt) albumen paper

    500 ml. of egg whites(prepared the standard way but with no additives)
    500 ml. 2 percent solution of cornstarch
    mixed together

    after coating and drying the paper,I use the standard VDB formula.

  5. #5
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Ok here are the scans. (Caution: nude in woods image.) No manipution during scanning and only a bit of unsharp mask applied post-scan to simulate the actual print appearence. Both had the salt and sensitizer applied with a hake brush. I hope the lovely lilac color from gold-toning is coming through - I'm on a LCD monitor which makes it hard to tell what the scans actually look like.

    The image at left is done with 2% ammonium chloride as the salt and 185 units exposure on a Nu-Arc 26-1K plateburner. At right the salt was the blend above and included some ossein, given 200 units exposure. The image at right is cleaner and has more contrast even with more exposure, presumably the difference has to do more with the addition of ossein than the different salts. In any event, I'm pleased with the initial tests.

    Joe
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Salted_test_05.jpg   Salted_test_02.jpg  

  6. #6
    John_Brewer's Avatar
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    Nice work and thanks for sharing Joe.

    J

  7. #7

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    Joe... Just wondering... on my monitor the 2nd print shows a shift in tone (warmer) as well as contrast... is this true of the original prints? If so is the tonal shift attributable to the addition of the gelatin or some other factor. Thanks for posting your prints!

  8. #8

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    Joe, from the scan it's hard to tell but on the right print it looks like the step tablet is *just* reaching max black @ 200 units?

    Cheers,
    Roger...

  9. #9

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    Whoops, forget what I asked - my 7 year old niece was over last night and mucked with my monitor settings......no wonder everything looked 'off' all day!

  10. #10
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annie
    Joe... Just wondering... on my monitor the 2nd print shows a shift in tone (warmer) as well as contrast... is this true of the original prints? If so is the tonal shift attributable to the addition of the gelatin or some other factor. Thanks for posting your prints!
    Annie,

    Yes. The print on the right is warmer, sort of a purple-brown while the one at left is kind of purple-gray. On my LCD monitor at work both prints appear more neutral than they actually are. I'll check at home tonight to see if there is an improvement on a CRT monitor.

    They are different salts so I can't really say if the tonal shift is only due to the addition of gelatin, but I suspect it is the main factor. I'm planning to run some more tests comparing different amounts of gelatin with the same two salt mixtures as above to see if I can't get the highlights to be a bit clearer when max d is reached. I'm also curious as to whether more gelatin affects the color as well as contrast.

    Joe

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