Hello,

I'm in the process of making several big bromoils for an exhibition (to be held hopefuly next month). The prints are mostly sized from 20x20 to 30x40 and so on.... I do not use bromoil papers, I make my own papers with liquid emulsion.

I use Neutol WA as developer, Agefix for fix. Then I bleach the images with standard bleach for bromoils and refix the prints. Fixer and developer are non hardening, liquid emulsion is non hardened.

The prints are generally fine, I use Graphic inks.

I have only one problem on some prints.

After the print has been bleached and dried, I soak the paper into water. Then I blot the water away (both sides) and start inking. I do use brushes, sponges, rollers. The problem is that there are some areas (spots of 1-3 centimeters wide) on which ink refuses to adhere. Sometimes the spots are roughly circular/oval shaped, sometimes the shape is random, sometimes thin (half cm) and long (3-4cm) like a small "river". Whatever they look like, after I have inked the image they will always appear lighter (sometimes white) than the surrounding areas. In landscapes I can easily retouch those spots to make them like foliage, clouds, water, grass... But with architecture and portraiture is literally a pain...

The problem does not always occur... I'd say it happens in one print on every two or three. Sometimes is just a couple of spots, sometimes is an hepidemy. I've been able to "save" most of my prints from this nuisance, but today, for example, I had to throw away two big 30x40 prints because I couldn't fix and finished to ruin the whole thing. (I did not really trashed the prints, I hardly do that, but still I don't think I will be able to fix them for display).

I thought in the beginning that it was necessary to soak the prints in water more. I usually soak the prints for 10-15 minutes at 20C (ambient temp). I tried for 5' and 30' and did not see any change. I prefer using 10-15' soaking time because the inking goes better at this stage. With 30' does not improve significantly and the spots are still there.

The only thing I noticed is that the spots tend to appear in light areas. With high key images there's a lot of them. On other images is more likely that they will appear on the sky for example. I don't thin I ever seen one in dark areas.

I thought then it could be the bleach. But the spots have appeared also on paper bleached with fresh chemistry. Perhaps I should mix the dichromate bleah before use instead diluting a stock solution everytime. I shake the stock solution before diluting, anyway.

Could it be something related to the chemical side? Or just to the way the prints are dried before soaked and inked? I can't hang them, I dry my prints on a custom made tray system.

What do you think it could be?

Thanks