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Paper Negatives, 1850's style

  1. Octavius
    I have been making Calotypes with recipes found in very old books.
    See some photos here: http://www.octaviusnorthwood.net
    Is anyone playing around with Calotypes? Does anyone have any questions? I might be able to help.
  2. NedL
    I'm hoping to start soon! I have my "shopping cart" at B&S all filled up but need to go through and double check that I have everything I need. Maybe I'll post it here and you can see if you think I've remembered everything. I want to start with some salt prints but my ultimate goal is calotypes + printing out somehow, salt or other POP.

    Edit: Here's my list ( I also have in mind trying to make some POP emulsion, along with salt prints )

    1. citric acid
    2. silver nitrate 30gms
    3. gallic acid
    4. glacial acetic acid
    5. gelatin
    6. potassium iodide
    7. sodium sulfite
    8. sodium citrate ( presumably this is tri-sodium citrate, but it doesn't say )

    I will get salt + distilled H2O locally, and I've got plenty of hypo. I don't know what to do about papers... I've read that "canson marker" is good for calotypes and that "lana aquarelle" is good for salt prints but I don't know anything about those papers or if something from the local art supply might work. Also I don't know what sort of brush or coating rod to try first. I have a scale that supposedly measures down to 0.01gms. I also have Alan Greene's book and it looks like I could try salt prints either POP or DOP with these supplies... I've read all over the web... but never tried it before. Oh and I have a nice split-back contact printing frame already. I probably do not have enough glass bottles or trays yet.

    Edit2: I've tried one exposure in my box camera with a paper negative sandwiched between two sheets of glass, and it seems like it will work okay, I will need some small adjustment for the focus but I'm hoping this will keep a calotype damp enough to work. Won't know until I try it!

    Edit3: Too late, it's all in the mail!
  3. NedL
    Hmmm. Well in case anyone reads this in the future, the one thing I wish I'd added to my list is potassium bromide. I'll have to order that separately and it looks like it would be useful for calotypes.

    I now have all the chemicals, a pad of Canson "Universal Sketch", some distilled water and some salt. Nearly ready to try a salt print. Still looking around for a suitable small glass bottle to mix up my silver nitrate solution. I also ordered a pad of Canson "layout pro marker" from Amazon which supposedly is good for calotypes.

    This morning I shot a paper negative ( regular photo paper ) with no pre-flashing, hoping to get one with lots of contrast...we'll see. I'll develop it tonight or tomorrow. If it looks good I'll probably try to make a salt print from it.
  4. jnanian
    thanks for the link to the website !
    wonderful photography
    i wish i had a farthing !

    sounds like a lot of fun ..
    ive been itching to make calotypes and salt prints
    but never followed through ..

    looking forward to another installment !
  5. NedL
    YAY Success!!

    I made my first salt print! Trying to keep it as simple as possible, I brushed on some salt solution ( Mortens table salt from the cupboard! ), let it dry, brushed on 1ml of silver nitrate solution, let it dry. Paper negative, I looked at it after 3 hours and then just left it overnight in the garage under a single BLB blacklight tube. Then wash and hypo this morning. It is so awesome to see a picture come out on paper you coated yourself! I am totally hooked after only one! Can't wait to try again.

    I'll start a new thread later on to discuss more and post some results. But I intentionally did everything as simply as I possibly could. All I used from my list above was 0.12 grams of the silver nitrate.
  6. jnanian
  7. NedL

    Crane Creek Salt Print by Ned, at ipernity

    The paper negative was made from modern commercial paper, but the print made on hand-coated paper.
    Some details are here: http://www.f295.org/main/showthread....st-salt-prints
  8. Octavius
    Amazing! Looks like you are on the right track. My Calotype negs are where I want them to be, contrasty with no fogging, but my first Salt Print was sad. I found that commercial Ilford Hypo actually bleached out the negs, so I make my own Sodium Thiosulfate and it works well.
  9. NedL
    Thank you Octavius! I only tried sodium thiosulfate. These salt prints did not fade nearly as much in the fixer as I expected, and dry down was not very dramatic either. The main thing is color shift.

    I've ordered some potassium bromide and will try to make a calotype when it arrives. I'm going to start with the Greenlaw process since it seems to be fairly simple and it is a dry paper process. I'm looking forward to producing a photograph completely from camera, negatives and paper homemade.
  10. jnanian
    that is beautiful ned great work !
  11. NedL
    Don't laugh.. this was my first try ever and there were some problems. Not the least of which was that my camera was not in focus. But the paper was not completely blank or completely black.. there is a recognizable picture. First try at a calotype, and an inverted scan of it.

    First calotype par Ned, on ipernity

    Rock Point calotype. par Ned, on ipernity

    No it's not a Rorschach test... I was at the coast and there was big surf crashing in . If you see butterflies or something you'll have to talk to someone qualified to learn what that means....
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