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  1. #1
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I need your help

    Today, I passed another benchmark, achieving ISO 100 speed with a paper negative using one of my own homemade emulsions. It was only sensitive to blue light. I expect higher speeds in the near future, assuming this was no fluke and I can repeat it.

    Having done that, I now am faced with a perplexing problem and a question for everyone out there. It was posed to me by a very reputable person in an exchange over my work on emulsions and the workshop I mentioned in another thread a while back.

    Here is the question:

    "Why would you want to attend a workshop to learn how to make and coat emulsions when there are products like Liquid Light that you can buy"?

    I answered as best I could, but hearing from you all would be a great help to me.

    Disinterest and negative opinions are very welcome.

    Thanks.

    PE

  2. #2
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    More tools in the tool box.

    Better understanding of the craft.
    Robert Hall
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    Technology is not a panacea. It alone will not move your art forward. Only through developing your own aesthetic - free from the tools that create it - can you find new dimension to your work.

  3. #3

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    Why would anybody want to go through the hassle of learning pt/pd printing when you can just make brown prints with a computer?

    These are two enterily different things, coating a paper with a gelatin emulsion is different than coating with liquid light. As I understand it, LL is a whitish emulsion where you have the color incorporated. Making your own paper will let you take advanatage of the paper color, paper texture, will allow you to tone and obtain different looks. IOW you cannot do many things with LL that you can do with regular papers and in your case with home made papers.

    OTOH you will be wasting your time trying to explain to anybody that asks this kind of question, you might as well respond "yep, you are right" and move on.

  4. #4
    Daniel Lawton's Avatar
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    Just like anything else in photography the more you are able to do yourself the more control you have over your images. If one were to become proficient at coating their own emulsions, he/she may be able to achieve certain results that are not available in the consumer market place. If it ever became possible for someone to coat film emulsions at home than it may revolutionize the way we create images. Imagine if there was an emulsion kit that had numerous components which allowed one to create films with different speeds or extended sensitivities to different light wavelengths (ala Techpan). I know I'm dreaming here but just imagine!

  5. #5
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Lawton
    Just like anything else in photography the more you are able to do yourself the more control you have over your images. If one were to become proficient at coating their own emulsions, he/she may be able to achieve certain results that are not available in the consumer market place. If it ever became possible for someone to coat film emulsions at home than it may revolutionize the way we create images. Imagine if there was an emulsion kit that had numerous components which allowed one to create films with different speeds or extended sensitivities to different light wavelengths (ala Techpan). I know I'm dreaming here but just imagine!
    Daniel, that is NO DREAM. I can do it now. I want everyone to be able to realize the same dream.

    PE

  6. #6
    Daniel Lawton's Avatar
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    PE I think your work in this area is very intriquing and definitely goes beyond coating paper with Liquid Light. Just as Robert said, being able to work with emulsions would be another tool in the box and possibly a very important tool that could give a photographer as much creative control as the developing/printing process.

  7. #7
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    We COULD go back to 1880 something to be self suffcient photographers, but throwing out 125 yrs of progress isn't a desirable thing. Somehow, if we can move forward and free the photography from dependence upon technological monoliths, we win.

    But we only do that if we can learn selected 'artisan' skills.

    You know, a couple more beers, and this'll make sense.

    Do I need to get a cheap food processor on Ebay ?

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  8. #8
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    My initial response is positive excitement because I love all the tinkering and process. But then nasty old reality kicks in. The cold fact is with a family to care for and a home that's falling down around me and employment demands the number of hours each year I can devote to my passion is ___ The readers here can fill in the number. We all have to make decisions about how to use those precious few hours we get to create. Some folks build their own cameras. Some build dream darkrooms. Bottom line is we choose the things that we think will bring us the most satisfaction to consume those precious few hours. For me I'm afraid it won't be making paper negatives. I'm very glad that this trail is getting blazed though. It may be instrumental 100 years from now in keeping the traditional crafts alive.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  9. #9
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    ... Do I need to get a cheap food processor on Ebay ? ...
    I for one would love to learn how to make a homebrew 100ASA emulsion. Reasons? More than I can count; but doing it for the enjoyment of it is the best I can think of.

    Anyhow, who wouldn't want another kitchen gadget in their house marked "not for food"?

  10. #10
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    A food processor for emulsions?

    How baroque.

    I use a potato ricer or just a plain old pen knife to cut it up. Sometimes a teaspoon.

    PE

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