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  1. #1

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    Lith oddities - little patches of white

    I have all the requisite reading material at hand, but I can't quite identify what this thing is that keeps popping up on my lith prints. It only happens on this paper.

    Here are the specifics:

    Fomabrom 111
    Moersch Easylith 1+20
    Plus 3 stops over base exposure

    So.. what is it and how do I banish it from my paper?

    Also, is there a way to get a more rich black without bumping the contrast? If I extend the snatch point it seems to just lose detail in the shadows and never get a punchy black (which I've gotten with this paper before.)

    Thanks for your help!





    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  2. #2
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    I've sen those before. I forget what they are but I think I remember reading in 'LEE FROST'S SIMPLE ART OF BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY' about how you can get rid of them.

    Maybe you could increase exposure to alter your blacks.

  3. #3
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Probably a paper issue.

    And, are you 'poking' the print with your tongs to keep it under water at all? If 'yes', that can be a reason. Some papers are sensitive to that, and you want to avoid touching the print surface during developing to the largest possible extent.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #4
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    It's hard to tell from these photos but it could be drops of fixer that got on the prints before total submersion. It's probably some kind of contamination, especially if the spots are different and in different places every time. I used to get spots all the time doing lith until I changed to a much more "clean" process:

    I always wear gloves (nitrile). New gloves go on right before putting the print in the developer. Usually only one hand ever touches the developer/print. Then straight to stop, then fix. After the fix, gloves are thrown out and all surfaces (especially the lip of the trays) are given a quick wipe and I wash my hands. It's amazing what the prints will pick up (and from where), even though you think you are doing everything right.

    I could be wrong of course, but my weird spots disappeared after I started being much more consciencious of the process and what were possible sources of contamination.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Yes, lith chemistry is so dilute that it will pick up all sorts of contaminants and react harshly to them. I always scrub my developer tray thoroughly with a Scotch Brite pad before I use lith chemistry, to get rid of all regular developer remains.

    One thought occurred to me - why would the spots be darker AND brighter in bright areas if they had been contaminated with fixer? The fixer would surely inhibit development and make the spots ONLY brighter, wouldn't it? Just a thought.

    I still would like to know what the OP does to the prints to keep them submerged.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #6
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    thats a cool shot,
    hope you get it sorted out.

  7. #7
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    I'm siding with Thomas in that it is probably a paper issue, particularly if the spots are in the same location on each print.

    To quote the master (Tim Rudman)..."Lith has a way of showing up emulsion flaws that regular processing 'to completion' does not show."

    Do you have some different paper you can try?
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the responses!

    My first thought would have been contamination as well, but I'm pretty darn clean through the process, including scrubbing trays, etc. This issue has happened with different packs of this kind of paper and different sizes, but only with the 111. I've used some of the Fomatone papers and didn't see this.

    Curiously, I added about 600ml of water to warm it up and effectively lowered the dilution. After that the problem vanished. There's also the fact that the developer is closer to exhaustion after a few prints have passed through. Still, I have no clue as to the actual cause.

    This Fomabrom isn't a "recommended" paper for lith, but one of my first lith prints was with it and it might be my favorite print I've ever made, so alas, I am chasing the rabbit down the hole.
    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  9. #9

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    Also, the spots have been in different locations each print. For kicks I ran a piece of Fomatone 542 through and it came out clean.
    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  10. #10

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    Oops, one last addition.. I'm agitating by rocking the tray and flipping every minute or so, careful to keep my fingers in the white border space. Times are running around 12-15 minutes.

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