Since I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to sent out all handmade alt-process prints for this year's pinhole holiday card exchange (not a f295 event). My readings on salted paper prints indicated that the 19th century practitioners used paper sized with either starch or gelatin (at least until the albumen print took over). I have not tried to size before; I have also found that salt prints are very sensitive to differences in paper chemistry. For example, my favorite cyanotype paper - Arches Platine - spontaneously fogs with salted paper sensitizer. I mixed up a batch of arrowroot sizing/salting solution and applied it to Arches Platine, and lo and behold, I am getting the best salt prints that I have ever made. The detail is outstanding (due, I think, to the silver chloride forming in the starch layer, above the bulk of the paper fibers). The d-max is darker, and the contrast is much better.

The example shown does not do the print justice. This is a scan of a salt print that I consider to be a fine photograph, in the strictest sense of the term. The negative is familiar - one of the 2007 Pinhole Day images from the Symposium walkabout on Carson Street in Pittsburgh. Arches Platine sized with arrowroot, salted with sodium chloride and sodium citrate, sensitized with 12% silver nitrate with a little 12% citric acid, toned in gold/thiocarbamide toner before fixing.

I can't wait to print a tasty 8x10 with this process. Attached files