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  1. #1

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    Couple of clarifying carbon printing questions

    I have been doing a lot of reading lately about Carbon and was thinking about maybe trying it. But I have a few questions

    Re: Squeegeeing the tissue

    Is the tissue on a substrate strong enough to withstand being squeegeed or is the tissue strong enough on its own?

    Bostic and Sullivan ready made tissue:
    Is this an easy way to start?
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Hello!

    First question -- The word "tissue" is misleading...don't confuse carbon "tissue" with "tissue paper". A carbon tissue is a layer of pigmented gelatin on a substrate (the substrate is usually called the tissue support material). Generally one uses a substrate that is fairly strong. A few examples of what is used is Yupo (a synthetic water color paper), water color papers, unglued wallpaper, and what I use -- old litho film (.004" thick). Since one squeegees the tissue with the gelatin layer down, one is pulling the squeegee across the tissue support material -- so no worries about how strong it is.

    Second Question -- B&S tissue is a quick way to get started. Eventually, one will probably get into making one's own tissue in order to personalize the process...refining the color of the image, getting raised relief if one wants it, adjusting the process to the type of negatives one uses. etc. But one might be content staying with B&S tissues. They (Dick and his carbon helpers) are always refining the product. They are working on making a thicker tissue so that it can produce a raised relief, and on color tissues for making full color carbon prints.

    Hope this helps...

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Vaughn. I was definately getting confused by the term tissue. I could not figure out how one would squeegee gelatin

    That answers the questions. Now I have another. Yupo can get washed off, is it possible to reuse the substrate if it can be cleaned off.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Yupo can be re-used. I believe it is recommended that before using it, that one should clean it well with a weak bleach solution.

    I use litho film that our students toss out (reject prints), so it has images on it, but that does not matter. I reuse the litho film until it becomes too damaged to use (major creases, torn corners, etc...but even then sometimes I will cut it down a little to get rid of the defects). Some sheets have been used 20 times or more. I don't use any kind of cleanser on it.

    Sandy King prefers to coat large sheets, then once they are dry, cut them down to the size he needs. A very efficient coating method, but it does not allow one to reuse the sheets.

    If you try some of B&S tissue, they use some sort of synthetic paper for the support -- save the tissue support and use it later to make your own tissue!

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  5. #5

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    Thanks.

    In the reading I have been doing this does not seem to be a very complicated process, just takes a lot of practice.

    I have never seen a Carbon Print. I know what relief means but can't put my head around it for a photograph. Is the Image "etched" in to the gelatin?
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Not etched in, but "raised above". If one exposed a thick layer of (relatively) lightly pigmented gelatin, the clear areas of the neg will allow the UV to penetrate deeper into the gelatin layer...thus a thicker layer of gelatin is hardened (or tanned, or has its melting point raised) in the black areas than in the highlights. Since the process is a matter of melting away the unexposed gelatin, the blacks of the final print are made up of a thicker layer of gelatin than the highlights -- thus the relief.

    Raised relief is not seen in most of the historical carbon prints...probably for two reasons. 1...it may not have been considered especially asthetically pleasing, and 2) a double transfer process was usually used to make the images read correctly (single transfer reverses the image) -- and with a double transfer the raised relief is usually hidden.

    I taught myself the carbon process and never saw an actual carbon (other than my own) print until 10+ years after I started. Early on, I saw a slight raised relief in my wet prints that disappeared when the print was dry (and the gelatin shrank). So I pushed the process to get as much relief as I could...fortunately not knowing that carbon prints "are not suppose to" have raised relief. I use the single transfer process.

    I am giving a workshop in carbon prints next month in Hayward, CA (by PhotoCentral) -- part of a workshop covering cyanotypes and van Dykes. I'll cover just the basics and everyone will go home with a print they made in each of the processes. For a workshop that goes into much further deail, see Sandy King's workshops in Idaho (thru Photographer's Formuary).

    But in any case, please feel free to contact me directly, or post here with any questions...I am very happy to be of any help.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  7. #7

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    Thanks Vaughn
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  8. #8
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Mark, if you have not checked it out already, there is a lot of help with carbon printing on the Bostick & Sullivan carbon site...

    http://bostick-sullivan.invisionzone...ex.php?act=idx

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  9. #9
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    I'm wondering a few things about Yupo "paper". To use it as a final support, does it need to be sized at all, or is it good to go out-of-the-box?

    Also, since it can be used for tissues too (and subsequently reused), it seems like a panacea! What should I be weary about with Yupo paper and carbon? Thanks in advance.

    (I'm considering a trip to Kansas City to pick up this stuff, hence the barrage of questions)

    And also, what's the best deal/archivability trade-off when it comes to watercolor papers? I'm considering buying a roll. Arches is the best, but quite expensive. Strathmore makes a hot-pressed, archival watercolor paper called 500 Series Imperial. Any other suggestions off the top of your head? I'm going to crunch the numbers throughout a variety of brands...
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  10. #10
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Rives paper too.

    Surely someone has compiled a giant list of all potentially useful papers. Didn't jnanian?.... the search continues...

    update: Found it! -> http://www.alternativephotography.co...survey-results

    further update: This list sucks for carbon.
    Last edited by holmburgers; 08-12-2011 at 01:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

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