Originally Posted by juan
When I first started printing in Platinum I made a light source by screwing down two shop lights to a twelve inch wide board. The lights were four feet long. I went to a near by electric store and ordered four Black Light tubes to fit the shop lights.
I suspended this above a counter top with shelf brackets. I could vary the "power" of the lights by moving the shelf. Below that were two pieces of glass one over the print/neg and one under it.
It wasn't as fancy as the light sources I could have bought, but it worked for about five years. When I bought a plate burner, I sold it to a friend and he still uses it.
Don't overlook Centennial POP. That's what got me turned on to alternative processes. From there I tried salted papers, albumen, argyrotypes, zias, Pt/Pd, etc, and I still love it. It readily tones in gold or selenium and has a finish that is first rate. I still prefer platinum, but to learn exposure and toning processes, POP is a great proving ground.
I normally dilute Kodak selenium toner [color=red]1:500 [/color]for toning VDBs. You may wish to over print a bit to componsate for the bleack back from toning.
Originally Posted by Aggie
Jorge, an alkaline fixer will reduce drastically the bleaching for kallitypes or VDB. The fixer formula given in Sandy King's article for Kallitype printing on The Unblinking Eye works great. I usually mix a stock solution 5 gallons at a time which is later dilute 1:3.
Originally Posted by Jorge
In addition to palladium toning, gold toning gives beautiful split tones if desired for kallitypes.
Selenium toners need to be highly dilute to prevent or reduce bleaching. I prefer selenium toning of VDBs rather than kallitype prints.
I'll make a second vote for the Cyanotype. If the subject matter is correct (this is left as an exercise for the reader), then you can get some lovely results from either the traditional or the Ware process. The Traditional is less fuss to make, but tends to bleed more easily. I've had some 4x5" prints from Cyanotype that looked great matted straight up, but have also seen a 16x20 reprint of a 19th century negative (landscape with climber) that stood up well to the screaming blue. The negative density appropriate for Cyanotype is also (at least approximately) correct for Van Dyke, etc, so you can make a good copy negative and then try several methods.
Report back whatever you do.
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When making kallitypes only the actual driying of the sensitized paper needs to be done in darkness, and even this could be done in a light with a bright bulb (yellow) light. All of the other steps can be carried out in subdued daylight or in a room with an incandescent bulb.
For permanence you should tone kallitypes, preferably with either gold, platinum or palladium.
A kit makes sense for your initial work but if you get into the process at all you will want to buy the chemicals in bullk because working with the kits is relatively speaking very expensive.
Thanks for the info Sandy:
I read your article on the 'eye and this is my plan so far:
Do the Van Dyke Brown process. Use your fixer formula. Over expose by enough?? Selenium tone in 1:250 Kokak Rapid Selinium Toner after the fix. Use Crane paper (I already have some) Buy the chemicals I don't already have from the Formulary. (the cost of a kit is around $20 and the cost from bulk chemicals is less than $5.00. Make an 8x10 interpositive and subsequent negative from a few of my favorite 4x5 negatives. Make them contrasty. I should be able to make a go of it week after next. - I am really looking forward to it. I could see myself getting hooked on this one if it works out like I expect it to. I think I may try brushing as opposed to the rods - I am not sure yet - the formulary rods seem pricy - I could probably buy glass rods cheaper and bend them my self.
Any other advice will certainly be appreciated.
My photos are always without all that distracting color ...
I am also quite interested in these processes. At the present moment I have two of Jorge's Pt/Pd prints that are truly remarkable. Eric will be driving out and visiting me tonight and I will be passing the prints onto him should you have any questions. I'm pretty sure that I will be attempting Pt/Pd as my first alternative choice.
My interest though lies in making an 8x10 negative out of an original 4x5 negative. For me (after many questions and a few posts) it would seem that doing this (fingers in the ear time..folks) digitally is the best solution. Unfortunately the learning curve at least for me seems somewhat steep. Taking that into consideration and the fact that whenever possible I would much, much rather spend analog time in photography than digital has turned into a bit of a stumbling block.
I was asking on Tuan's site to see if anybody who is somewhat skilled at scanning a 4x5 negative and re-printing (Epson 2200 in my case) a new 8x10 or perhaps 11x14 would do a "Digital for Dummies" article. I personally believe that this might go well towards encouraging others to take up the alternative process. My motive is mostly economics in this case where as the more alternative users, the more product consumption and the better the availability.
I suppose it is like all other things learnt. You struggle at the beginning, spend a considerable amount of time learning the basics and then you are in business so to speak.
Does anybody else see any value in such an article?
Just to clarify I have bought and read Dan Burkholder' book on making digital negatives but it seems to be heavily geared towards Photoshop.
I have bought Picture Wndows Pro and probably would appreciate a more generic approach to the problem when it comes to scanning and curves etc.
I have a decent scanner - although not a drum scanner and my printer is just an office type. I have the skills to manipulate the image into whater I want but without the printer, I'll forego that now. - The thing is - I have done unsharp masking and have worked with ortho film and they are not hard to work with at all. They work like paper for the most part - The nice thing is that the interpositive doesn't need to be archival and you can fix it for a minute, rinse it and blow dry it and use it. It doesn't bother me at all to not use digital in this process.
My photos are always without all that distracting color ...
I've tried some digital enlarged negs (for cynotypes) and have run into a couple of problems. I don't have Dan's book so don't know if my problems are dealt with in there. The two major problems I've had have been the inkjet transparency material I've used has an inbuilt motley texture that shows up in the print (was ok in one print as it added texture to a featureless sky, but on the whole is a problem) and to fix that problem I found some clear transparency material (not inkjet specific) and the ink wouldn't stick/dry to it. The 1st one I tried looked great until I held it vertical to have a good look and the imahe (the ink) started sliding down the page! I tired one on the reverse side and it did the same. It never dried either. Maybe there's clear inkjet specific materials available.