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Thread: Lith question.

  1. #1

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    Lith question.

    I have an issues that I cannot figure out.

    First I am using Forte Paper, Semi Matt.
    Developer is Fotospeed LD20 Lith Developer

    When I use the lith developer and snatch the print, put it in stop then fix for 1-2 mins in fresh fixer and rinse it off it looks perfect. The problem comes when it dries. When it dries it becomes yellows like it is fogging BUT the paper borders remain pure paper base white. Just the image fades and it isn’t dry down either as I tried little exposure as possible. The dev time is about 5-7 mins. Once the developer’s exhaust it is more on the 7 min side. The exposure on the paper is about 50 seconds. I have no idea what I am doing wrong or how to fix this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Kev

  2. #2
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    How do you get results that no one else can? You are either cursed or a genius.

    Could you post an image?
    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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    What do you mean? I tore them up and threw them out but I can replicate it time after time. Is this what it is supose to do? I dont get it.

  4. #4
    richard ide's Avatar
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    Lith developer has very high alkalinity which lends itself to high contrast images, and also to a very short tray life. From past experience, regular photo paper sometimes will not even show an image in lith developer. I have used special lith papers made by Dupont, Kodak and Agfa; but only for very high contrast images. I think you will get the results you desire by using a normal paper developer such as Dektol.

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    No, I am really after the affect of lith but since I am new to it I do not know what to look for. I was reading an article by Tim Rudman ( Spelling ) and the paper I am using is listed I think. I just want to know why it is turning yellowish but yet the borders remain pure white. I would like to know if this is what it is suppose to do and if not how do I fix it.

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    Hey Kevin,

    You're actually on the right track, you just need to take what's happening and make it work for you. If your borders are clean then you can also get clean high values you just need to work with your exposure times. How do you know that it's not dry down...dry down takes on a whole new meaning with lith printing. Not only will your values jump around the color can make trippy shifts. I've still got some of the old Kodak transtar paper and it is clearly yellow when it's wet and dries down red, go figure. Starting out with lith I would recommend using very contrasty negatives; ones that would print on grade 1 paper.
    "If I only had a brain"-Some badly dressed guy made of straw in some movie I think I saw

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    One thing is sometimes on the borders not all the time I see staining. But there is none on the image itself. This only happens after I try to sel tone. For dry down effect I even took the exposure down in steps from 50 seconds to 40-30-20 sec test strips and all of them produced the exact same thing but I guess lith is a whole different game. I really like printing with it, as it is fun and completely different.

    Ok so I guess maybe this is the way it is. Any ideas on the stain I get sometimes?

    Also one more question. IF I wanted to tone with Gold I have a 50ML 1% solution. How much water do I add to make a working solution for toning and how much gold chloride? I bought a premixed bottle.

    Thanks,

    Kev

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mateo View Post
    Hey Kevin,

    You're actually on the right track, you just need to take what's happening and make it work for you. If your borders are clean then you can also get clean high values you just need to work with your exposure times. How do you know that it's not dry down...dry down takes on a whole new meaning with lith printing. Not only will your values jump around the color can make trippy shifts. I've still got some of the old Kodak transtar paper and it is clearly yellow when it's wet and dries down red, go figure. Starting out with lith I would recommend using very contrasty negatives; ones that would print on grade 1 paper.
    This is correct Kevin. As Mateo says, Lith prints not only change tonality to some extent when they dry, they change colour too. With some papers the colour change is small (but take a dry lith print that you think hasn't changed colour and immerse half of it in water. you may find that it has changed more than you realised).
    With other papers the colour change is dramatic, especially the ultra warm tones obtained with some papers in high dilutions. Maroe mentioned Transtar. Fomatone Mg in very dilute dev is another, - extreme colour change.
    Always judge the dried image against what you want. If it isn't the right colour, there are 4 main ways you can go:
    1) Change paper type. This can make a HUGE difference - much more so than with conventional printing.
    2) Change dilution of developer. Some papers are especially sensitive to this. this is why for some images I use high dilutoions and Looong dev times. for others I use shorter dev times of maybe 7-8 minutes.
    3) Change snatch point. This has a major effect on colour - but also affects many other things that you might not want (but try - sometimes you get pleasant surprises!)
    4) Use toners to shift the colour. Lith prints are extremely responsive colourwise to toners. Keep a wet untoned reference print alongside as you might need only a minor colour shift and this can be missed if you only look at the print changing colour.

    There are other ways too, but these are the basics and enough for most people most of the time.
    The new Lith book (below) goes into other things, like changing A:B ratios, additives, 2-bath techniques &etc.

    If your borders are white, it sounds like you are doing OK. You need to find the paper or technique now that gives you the colour you are after.

    Tim

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    Hello Tim,

    Thank you very much for your reply. By any chance is your book going to be available through Amazon or only through your website?

    I was showing Robert Hall one of the work prints I didn’t destroy last night and he said it is suppose to look like that. Boy do I feel like a moron! I am new at it and I see how it can get contagious.

    Thank you again to everyone for helping with the question.

    Kev

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto View Post
    Hello Tim,

    Thank you very much for your reply. By any chance is your book going to be available through Amazon or only through your website?

    I was showing Robert Hall one of the work prints I didn’t destroy last night and he said it is suppose to look like that. Boy do I feel like a moron! I am new at it and I see how it can get contagious.

    Thank you again to everyone for helping with the question.

    Kev
    That's OK Kevin. Don't worry - it's all part of the learning process.
    I remember well having similar feelings when I was trying to teach myself how to exploit this process over 20 years ago. There was nothing written up about it and so I was working it out from basic principles.
    I had heard that it was possible to get pinks in lith prints and so, although I didn't want pink prints particularly it did irritate me that I couldn't get this colour as it meant I hadn't fully cracked the possibilities. I printed nearly all night tweaking the developer and the process to this end but with no success. I finally went to bed wondering what other options there could possibly be that I hadn't thought of.
    When I got up and inspected the later part of the night's work I found myself looking at dozens of dry prints - all pink!

    Re your question, Yes the 1st lith book is available through amazon, has been for years (now in its 3rd printing ). The new one will come to amazon in the soft back version but not the hardback limited edition.

    Tim

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