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  1. #1
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Dye-Imbibition (dye-transfer) & Carbon printing

    Dye-transfer matrix film is nothing but a carbon tissue with no pigment and the addition of silver-halides... basically.

    Then, thanks to a tanning developer the gelatin hardens in relation to the developed silver in a given area. In this respect, it is just like carbro; a process in which you take a carbon tissue and put it in contact with a typical silver-print (bromide) in the presence of potassium-ferricyanide (off the top of my head). The potassium-dichromate in your gelatin/carbon tissue and the bromide of the print interact and the gelatin is hardened, just as though it was hit with a strong UV light source.

    My point you ask? Well, you'd have to hunt down some old Kodak matrix film or make some of your own to do dye-transfer in this manner. But, a carbon tissue could be exposed in the typical manner, UV, and instead of doing a gelatin transfer, the gelatin could be imbibed with dye to make a sort of rag-tag dye-transfer print.

    Sure, tailor-made matrix films would be luxurious, but would this not be capable of creating a reasonable dye-transfer print? The gelatin relief images could then be re-used in the normal dye-transfer manner, to make any number of prints thereafter. This is the huge advantage of DT over tri-color carbon and the reason why it remained a viable commercial printing technique long after the other "assembly" techniques faded into obscurity.

    I see this as a solution to two problems; 1) the unavailability of dye-transfer materials and 2) the difficulties of making a tri-color carbon/carbro print; which is not as simple as using 3 pigments, due to reflection characteristics and a host of other things... or so I've been told. Plus, the enormous effort to make a one-and-done print.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  2. #2
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    By the by and by... Louis Ducos Du Hauron did exactly this to create his heliochromes.

    http://www.laputanlogic.com/articles...5/25-0001.html
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  3. #3
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    Dye-transfer matrix film is nothing but a carbon tissue with no pigment and the addition of silver-halides... basically.
    You may wish to visit this web site:

    http://www.dyetransfer.org/
    Don Bryant

  4. #4
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    I've definitely visited that website, thanks. I can't make the materials so I'm proposing a simpler method.

    And I think that Louis Ducos didn't do exactly what I'm proposing, despite what I said. (I got excited)

    He basically did a tri-color carbon print. But what stains did he use?

    To make this work, you couldn't wash away the soluble gelatin as in a normal carbon print, at least I don't think. You need it to remain and become the "sponge" for the ink. The tanned/hardened portions react differently than the soluble portions. One could soak the matrix in water; the soluble portions would imbibe water and then an oily ink would resist this and thus stay in the tanned. Alternatively, a water based dye would do the opposite. Depending on whether you make separation negatives or positives, either method could form a true-color image.

    Something to think about... I know I am!
    Last edited by holmburgers; 10-29-2010 at 10:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    I've visit it frequently.
    Okay I assumed you were into making art. Apparently you just enjoy tinkering. Good luck.
    Don Bryant

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    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Those two things aren't exclusive! To make art, one must first tinker

    p.s. sorry, I was editting my "curt" post into something longer, but you beat me to it

  7. #7
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    10 minutes later...

    Ok, it does always pay to listen to people's advice. I went back and read the PDF for materials making. It says:

    "Dye Transfer works by creating a relief image in gelatin. The thickness of the gelatin on the matrix is proportional to the amount of exposure the area receives. This is accomplished by exposing the matrix through the base. A yellow dye is incorporated in the emulsion, which absorbs the blue light to which the film is sensitive. The exposure proceeds to a greater depth into the emulsion with greater exposure. The film is developed in a pyro tanning developer that cross-links the polymers of the gelatin in exposed areas, and ‘hardens’ it, or makes it insoluble in water. The film is then washed in very hot water, and the unexposed gelatin washes off. The matrices are then soaked in dye baths, and the dyes migrate into the gelatin relief image on the matrix. The matrix is rinsed, and then rolled into contact with the receiver sheet. The dye transfers from the matrix to the receiver."

    And indeed, there is no mention of K-dichromate in the emulsion making. My simplication was way too simple.

    Instead, it's hardened in a tanning (pyro) developer. So my question is, is gelatin hardened in a tanning developer fundamentally different than gelatin hardened by K-dichromate?

    And obviously the matrix must be washed and the soluble gelatin removed.

  8. #8
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    10 minutes later...


    Instead, it's hardened in a tanning (pyro) developer. So my question is, is gelatin hardened in a tanning developer fundamentally different than gelatin hardened by K-dichromate?
    Yes there are different chemical mechanisms involved, though I can't describe the differences.
    Don Bryant

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    Dye-transfer matrix film is nothing but a carbon tissue with no pigment and the addition of silver-halides... basically.

    Then, thanks to a tanning developer the gelatin hardens in relation to the developed silver in a given area. In this respect, it is just like carbro; a process in which you take a carbon tissue and put it in contact with a typical silver-print (bromide) in the presence of potassium-ferricyanide (off the top of my head). The potassium-dichromate in your gelatin/carbon tissue and the bromide of the print interact and the gelatin is hardened, just as though it was hit with a strong UV light source.

    My point you ask? Well, you'd have to hunt down some old Kodak matrix film or make some of your own to do dye-transfer in this manner. But, a carbon tissue could be exposed in the typical manner, UV, and instead of doing a gelatin transfer, the gelatin could be imbibed with dye to make a sort of rag-tag dye-transfer print.

    Sure, tailor-made matrix films would be luxurious, but would this not be capable of creating a reasonable dye-transfer print? The gelatin relief images could then be re-used in the normal dye-transfer manner, to make any number of prints thereafter. This is the huge advantage of DT over tri-color carbon and the reason why it remained a viable commercial printing technique long after the other "assembly" techniques faded into obscurity.

    I see this as a solution to two problems; 1) the unavailability of dye-transfer materials and 2) the difficulties of making a tri-color carbon/carbro print; which is not as simple as using 3 pigments, due to reflection characteristics and a host of other things... or so I've been told. Plus, the enormous effort to make a one-and-done print.
    Take a look at this link:

    http://www.colorcarbonprint.com/

    View and read the Process tab.

    Also don't forget about the Ultrastable process.
    Don Bryant

  10. #10
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    The color carbon was once called Carbro. They still make color pigments for this.

    PE

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