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  1. #1
    fhovie's Avatar
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    I an thinking of trying some alternate type of paper. I am looking at Cyanotype, Platinum, Kallitype ... and a bunch of others. What I shoot is landscapes and portraits. I would like to try something that:

    gives rich mid-tones
    isn't terribly expensive
    isn't terribly difficult
    isn't terribly dangerous

    The kits on Photoformulary look appealing but I don't know enough to make a choice and try one. I will be using 4x5 as my choice format. I am happy to make an enlarged negative for a contact print (8x10 on a 11x14 sheet?). So I am looking for someone who has experience with several of these and can point me to a favorite.
    My photos are always without all that distracting color ...

  2. #2
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    Silver, it is becoming the new alternative process.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  3. #3

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    The cheapest are the ferrous processes like cyanotype and Van Dyke Brown, the best of course is pt/pd, the middle of the road as far as cheap with great results is Kallitypes.

    You can make a Kallitype that can be indistinguishable from a pt/pd print if due care and tonning in pt or pd is done.

    The easiest by far IMO to get an acceptable print is pt/pd. If you purchase a Richeson 9010 brush you will save a lot in solution and you wont need an army of brushes. I use 8 drops of pd with 8 drops of ferric oxalate to coat an 8x10 sheet.

    The most important thing in all of these processes is the paper you choose, some are more absorbent, some are less, some need a coating of oxalic acid, etc......In essence as I said before, getting an acceptable print in all these processes is easy, getting a great print....well that is another matter...

    None, and I emphasize none are dangerous. Potassium oxalate is mildly toxic, but then it is also present in spinach. As with all toxic subtances it is the dosage and exposure that counts. If you refrain from drinking it or bathing in it, you should not have any problems.

    The best advice I can give you is not to give up, all these alt processes are harder than silver to get a "good" print and most people give up after a few tries. But once you hit the nail in the head the processes can be adddictive. Good luck.

  4. #4
    FrankB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Gravel
    Silver, it is becoming the new alternative process.
    Ouch! Really. Ouch!

  5. #5
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  6. #6
    fhovie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Good input Jorge - I am starting to lean toward Kallitype for a first effort - I read Sandy's fine post on unblinking eye - I am a little confused as to how much of this process is under safe light - I am also thinking my first attempt would be selenium tone after the print is fixed as that is a familiar process for me. So there is lots of learning - which is made easier with all the well experienced folks here. I am considering trying the Formulary kit for Kallitype first and then if that is what I want to pursue, I can shop the bulk chemicals and try the different toning methods after I am comfortable with the process. I also wonder if the "sizing" process is skipped if you use the good Cranes bond - or the 90" watercolor paper .. Lots to learn here - I probably ought to get a book.
    My photos are always without all that distracting color ...

  7. #7
    Aggie's Avatar
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  8. #8

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    Selenium toning of kallitypes is not as effective as pt or pd toning. The problem lies in that the fix bleaches the print, so toning has to be done before you fix to keep the tonalities as you print them. I dont recall exaclty the toning formula but I remember that toning with pd was very cheap, one or two grams make a lot fo toning solution.

  9. #9
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    The Bostic and Sullivan site recommends a UV light source for printing - then sells UV light contact printers that begin at $545.
    What light source do you use? The sun or some more controlled method?
    juan

  10. #10
    Ole
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    I use a plant growlight kind of thing - except in the early spring when my wife uses it to grow plants for our greenhouse. But at that time of year, there's often a sunny day or two. At least until the plants are safely out of the house so I can have my UV light back

    Typical exposure time for a van Dyke print is about five minutes, as opposed to ten to fifteen in the kind of sun we get in the Norwegian spring.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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