Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
Who else are we trying to simulate, he discovered the process. In terms of Salt Printing, which was originally discovered by Fox Talbot, I would suggest this is not the best advice. If you read notebooks P and Q you will see Sodium Thiosulfate was introduced for the Calotype. You are indeed correct in saying that sodium chloride was not up to the task. However, if you read between the lines of Talbotís notebooks, you will see that even after the more practical process of complete fixing, he returns again and again to salt for its aesthetic value.
I respectfully disagree (I'm not really a fan of "reading between the lines"). The Talbot Museum at Lacock Abbey would disagree with this interpretation also.

My understanding (and of course my notes are packed in preparation for a move) was that he used the salt fixing more for his photogenic drawings and not so much for the prints from his calotype negatives. I'm also aware that much of the color difference in prints had lot to do with the sizing used in the different papers of the day (i.e., one color from arrowroot sized paper and another from gelatin sized paper). Also keep in mind, he improved his process many times before he was satisfied. His original photogenic drawings are very different from the salt prints he did later (the processes are related but not the same). The aesthetic value of a given print was always a bit secondary to permanence.

Post-Talbot workers almost always use(d) plain hypo for their salt prints.