June 2010

Monthly Archive

Portfolio Presentations

Posted by on 17 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

There were great portfolio presentations at the Eurobrom meeting, here are pictures of just a few of the numerous presenters.

Pierre-Louis Martin from France showed some incredible mordançage prints.

Maija McDougal from Great Britain showing her portfolio.

Lawrenz Le Goffic usually works with palladium, but at the Eurobrom she had aluminium plates that were sensitized in a mysterious way…

…to produce beautiful images.

Pirkko Holm from the Project Vedos.

Lynda Tygart from USA with her bromoil porfolio.

Heide Chalmot from Germany had a very elegant portfolio.

René Smets from Belgium has mastered many alternative printing processes. What he’s holding here looks like a mirror — but it’s a daguerrotype, made by himself.

More Eurobrom Demos

Posted by on 15 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

More pictures of the demos that we had at the Eurobrom meeting.

Pierre Monnereau (on the right, browsing the book) gave a demonstration of oilprint and gumoil inking and showed his work.

Pierre starting oilprint inking.

Also two small videos, on the first one Pierre finishes the oilprint, and on the second one he shows how to ink a gumoil print.

Kirk Toft from Great Britain demonstrated the Oleobrom process.

René Smets from Belgium (in the middle) with his inks and equipment preparing for his presentation of soft-ink bromoil printing…

…and here is the print (a bad reproduction though)… the man surely is a master!

Dusting On

Posted by on 15 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

François Leterrier from the Association for Early Photographic Processes and their Techniques (APA) demonstrated some interesting dusting-on processes at the Eurobrom IV meeting in Paris.

Basically, in the Garnier & Salmon process paper is sensitized with  ferric ammonium citrate, dried and exposed with UV light through a positive film.

François showing an exposed paper and a positive film.

The paper is then “developed” by introducing moisture to it. Local humidity can be supplied on a small area at a time, for example by breathing on the paper. A small amount of fine powder or pigment can then be rubbed on the humid print.

Rubbing the powder on the moistened print.

“Developing” the print.

The print is then cleared by washing to remove the ferric citrate.

Clearing the print.

Another version of the process is to sensitize black paper with ferric ammonium citrate, expose it through a negative, and dust the humidified paper, using shaving brush, with ultra-fine metallic powder (powders called gold or silver are more often made with copper or aluminium).

Dusting with gold powder.

No fixing needed — ferric citrate is not visible on the black substrate, and the more the image is exposed to light, the more it is stable!

A gold powder print by François Leterrier.

More about Eurobrom to come…

Greetings From Paris

Posted by on 08 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

We Vedos folks are staying in Paris right now… we participated in the Eurobrom IV meeting there. I always thought Eurobrom was for those people doing bromoil only, but I must say I haven’t seen such a repertoire of high quality alt-prints in any other meeting before (where I have been, that is)… there were cyanotypes, vandykes, platinum/palladium, gum prints, photogravures, mordancages, pinholes, even a daguerrotype and ambrotype (and I’m sure I can’t even remember them all), and of course, bromoil and oil prints.

We had some very interesting presentations and demonstrations too. I will report back on the meeting when I get back home. For a starter I post here a picture of François Leterrier “breath developing” a Garnier & Salomon dusting-on print.

May this be our greetings card from Paris… 😉

Positive or Negative?

Posted by on 01 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Ambrotype

If the wet plate collodion would be my choice for alternative photography, I’m not sure which I’d like the best – the positive ambrotype plate or a print made from a negative plate. With collodion you can’t really get them both from one plate.

If you want a positive plate you have to underexpose; make a thin negative which appears as a positive when viewed against a black backround, or when exposed on a black metal plate (tintype). For printing with salted paper, albumen, palladium or such, you need to give the plate more exposure, thus creating more density to be able to produce a good print. But that denser plate won’t work as a viewable positive image then…

For my previous post I scanned the plates with an Epson Perfection 4990 Photo scanner in reflective mode – the normal way to scan positive photographs. That’s the way to do it, if you want to show how the plates look on a black background. Usually ambrotypes look better when viewed from the collodion side, but that also means that the image is seen reversed, flipped horizontally. That, of course, can be easily fixed in Photoshop, but I wanted my ambrotypes look like the real things and didn’t flip them.

But I also wanted to see how the plates would scan with Epson’s transparency scan settings, corrected as right-reading. I must say I was surprised to see how good they looked on the display! Although the shadow tones were very thin and lacked separation, the highlights scanned very well. If my plates had been exposed a bit more (like for negative work), the tone rendering would have been better still…

An inkjet print from a scanned ambrotype.

An inkjet print from a scanned ambrotype.

So it made me thinking… which would I like more, the positive ambrotype plates or, say, palladium prints from collodium glass negatives? I admit I’m more of a printmaker, enjoying the delicate highlights and deep shadows in a print.

On the other hand, ambrotypes on glass can be very effective in their moody low tones, although their highlights are seldom white and subtly separated.

I just made these quick inkjet prints from my scans, and toned them digitally… and started thinking of all the different methods to print these plates. Some issues of originality, authenticity and reproducibility raised to my mind… but I will talk about these more next time.

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