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    500+ Posts earlj's Avatar
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    digital negative progress

    I have been working diligently to make prints for the late 2014 print exchange. I committed to myself that the prints would use the argyrotype process, a iron-silver process developed by Dr. Mike Ware. It is similar to Kallitype and Van Dyke prints, though I think that it is superior to both.

    Even though I own both PDN and QTR, I have not developed a good workflow for digital negatives yet. Christina Anderson's new book Gum Printing and other amazing Contact Printing Processes provides a relatively simple workflow. She recommends using the Epson Advanced Black and White functionality, using Photo Black and as much yellow ink as the Advanced Color Settings will allow. Argyrotype gives a long contrast scale (22 or 23 steps on the 31 step wedge), so I had to lay down a lot of ink to make a good negative. I jacked up the color density slider as far as it will go - +50%, printed the 100 step gray scale, scanned it, and measured the densities in Photoshop. I created a curve and printed the image negative, and I like what I see.

    The image was from a 2011 trip to Northwest Montana for a family reunion. We were staying at a resort on Swan Lake, which incidentally, is not that far from the Photo Formulary. I got up early, and set up my 8x10 plywood camera on the floating dock. If I remember correctly, the exposure was about 5 minutes. The negative was scanned on my Epson V700. I adjusted levels, and did some burning and dodging in Photoshop.

    The paper is Fabriano Artistico Extra White hot press, acidified in 10% sulfamic acid. The sensitizer was coated with a glass rod. I exposed the paper before it was completely dry - it was still limp (the argyrotype process is very sensitive to the humidity of the paper). After a 5 minute distilled water wash, I toned the print in Gold Thiocarbamide toner (argyrotype is normally brown).

    I am very happy with the result, and as soon as I can make two more just like it, Omar, Danny, and Ned will each have their very own.

    SwanLakeArgyrotype.jpg
    Last edited by earlj; 02-20-2015 at 10:09 PM.
    because:
    "a squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?"
    -Don Van Vliet

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