Quote Originally Posted by Lukas Werth
At the risk of being redundant, let clear a few points: 1) are you aware of James Reilly's book? This is certainly the place to start.
I got James Cook and John Barnier books, plus the old "Keepers of light" - these are my main sources about alt. photo processes. Then comes the web with apug, alternativephotography.org, etc.

Have you mixed citric acid with the silver nitrate/included citric acid in the salting formulary? Other organic acid? I take it that you use gelatine in the salting formula.
yes I have a 12% solution with a little of citric acid. This solution is some months old, but has been kept in a dark small bottle. I use an eyedropper to carry out only the required sensitizer and never put back anything inside the bottle. The solution is very transparent, no precipitates, and I always work under safelight conditions.

Which salt are you using?
I made two of them. I begun with a gelatin/table salt solution then I switched to a gelatin/ammonium chloride solution because I thought that table salt was responsible for printing issues. The change didn't solve the problem of the random stains. By the way I like the tones of table salt more, ammonium chloride is more reddish.

Which paper are you using?
I've tried Fabriano Artistico, Fabriano 5 and some Schoelleshammer n.6 leftovers. Fabriano papers have more texture inside and they look better. With schoelleshammer (very smooth and on the lightweight side... about 200gsm I believe) it's more likely to experience stains and uneveness problems.

What is your salting procedure? Brush the solution on the paper, immerse the paper, let it float on the solution (that is what I would highly recommend)
have tried floating and brushing
but then when it comes to silver nitrate I use only brushing/coating with a rod. But after my "frustrated post" I decided that coating the sensitizer by floating has to be tried as soon as possible. This will eliminate a lot of possible factors responsible for bad results.

I need to buy some caolin, this should keep the silver nitrate intact for a while. I'm a little concerned because silver nitrate is quite expensive in Italy and I don't have the money to waste a lot of it. I've read that caolin is a good preservative... How much would last a silver nitrate solution preserved with caolin and eventually some acid preserver?

Have you used any dichromate as a contrast agent in the salting solution?
not really
I had some successful prints, but just by chance... And those have are reasonably contrasty for my tastes, so I don't think adding more poison to my soup would make things better. I do handle potassium dichromate for bromoils (happily I can make those with some success) and I know how nasty it is, I prefer to avoid that when it's just an option.

thank you very much for your reply...
you were right, that was a "frustration post"... I feel much better now :-) And I'm ready tro try again as soon as I get some caolin and some info about preserving silver nitrate...

have a nice day! :-)