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Thread: Salt print problems

  1. #11

    Salt print problems

    Any paper made for digital processes has the potential for freakish chemistry.

    There are countless proprietary processes for digital papers now including clay coating of all things to make them hold ink, dry & not bleed.

    We have run into dry mounting issues with mystery materials people bring in, thinking it's ' a photo'. Some of them seem to have the ink just suspended on the surface.

    If you get good results, I guess I'd be the last to say 'don't do it'. Personally I'd either avoid or try to get technical info to the extent the papermaker will tell you if I had an inkjet paper.

  2. #12

    Salt print problems

    Murray, the inkjet paper didn't give good results -- fogged and didn't hold chemistry (I now suspect it is in fact clay coated, like the paper in a glossy magazine, specifically to keep the ink from penetrating and spreading). The Strathmore Bristol that gave good results is a common art paper touted for mechanical drawing, pencil, pen and ink, and airbrush. It's marked as acid free, but apparently doesn't have whatever is in Canson Montval watercolor paper that makes that fog so badly.

    Given the price and the results to date, I'll be using the Strathmore Bristol for the foreseeable future.

  3. #13

    Salt print problems

    I'm gonna need to get some Strathmore Bristol. It sounds like a good paper.

    The wooded area print above is very very nice indeed.

    Earl,
    I just re read this whole thread and saw your comment about adequate washing (clearing) before the fix. I have been experiencing muddy highlights lately and thought I was washing long enough but maybe not. I usually go around 10 minutes but maybe I need to do more like 15.

  4. #14

    Salt print problems

    Buggy, I was pretty pleased with a couple minutes in a 2% salt solution before the fix. The idea of the pre-fix wash is to ensure there's no residual silver nitrate, to avoid forming sensitive compounds that might remain after fixing. The salt bath converts all remaining silver nitrate to silver chloride, which the fixer can happily dissolve away. The prints I so treated showed no sign of blackening later, as others have when I didn't pretreat before fixing.

    Salt's cheap, too, much cheaper than a bunch of extra distilled water (I don't use tap water for *anything* photographic, except washing prints). For this, you could even use table salt, rock salt for making ice cream, etc. instead of the more expensive high purity varieties.

    BTW, I just found Strathmore Bristol listed as a good paper for VDB in Jan Arnow's (1982) Handbook of Alternate Processes (on loan from the library).

  5. #15

    Salt print problems

    I'm writing that down about the salt wash before the fix. In fact I'm gonna prepare that wash right now before I forget, that way I'll have it when I finish my current print that's cooking now.

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