[Alt-photo] salted paper answer?

Darryl Baird darryl at darrylbaird.com
Fri Apr 22 01:14:38 UTC 2016

Richeson 9010, also known as the magic brush.;)

Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

-------- Original message --------
From: Productions via Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> 
Date: 4/21/2016  7:41 PM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org 
Cc: Productions <productions at johnesimmons.com> 
Subject: Re: [Alt-photo] salted paper answer? 

My coatings got better when I began using a synthetic brush made by Richeson - I believe the number is 9010.  It seems to work better for me than other synthetics.

-----Original Message-----
From: Alt-photo-process-list [mailto:alt-photo-process-list-bounces at lists.altphotolist.org] On Behalf Of Christina Z. Anderson via Alt-photo-process-list
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 10:54 AM
To: Alt List
Cc: Christina Z. Anderson
Subject: [Alt-photo] salted paper answer?

Good morning!

I have continued to upload mistakes and examples to my salted paper page, and I came across finally one intriguing answer to the coating issue. http://christinaanderson.visualserver.com/Text_page.cfm?pID=6523

You can see the mistakes and also a perfect salted paper frame I found!!

First, here is what I have settled on to get a successful salt print:

1. Tray salt/size only. No brush salting. Never. Nada. The only way I have found to get even salting. 8g gelatin, 20g ammonium chloride 20g sodium citrate per liter.
2. Platine or HPR only. No Bergger. Even with tray sizing Bergger I got black mottling. Blame me, not the paper, but I will not get one more failed print if I can help it.
3. Color the silver nitrate with blue food coloring to see the coating.
4. Use a synthetic bristle brush, soaked in distilled water first and coat up to 6 pieces at once and then soak the brush again in distilled water until all black precipitate falls out.
5. Expose BONE dry. I let it sit for even up to 2 hr in 25% humidity. I sometimes carefully blow dry it evenly and then let it sit some more before exposure.
6. Expose for 38 minutes in UVBL with a +40 negative and a 50% hybrid curve (only makes sense if you have PDN CCIII but it is a more contrasty curve than the traditional linearized curve). 
7. 5% salted water wash for 8-10 minutes, agitating continually.
8. Fix in Photoformulary’s alkaline TF-4 fixer for 6-10 minutes agitating continually (no bleaching) at BW paper strength (don’t know the ingredients nor the strength of the fix but I mix it according to directions with no diluting).
9. Water wash for at least 30 minutes.
(Note: I have not even considered going back to toning until I nail the whole process with some measure of predictability plus I love the ruddy tone).

So I was thinking I had arrived with salted paper, contracted with my framer to mat a bunch of prints which I had to bring yesterday to her. I was printing the night before to get the last done. All but one failed with those horrible horrible areas of streaky white. Nothing like a deadline to make you realize how incompetent you really are. Next day, 2 out of 3 failed. Needless to say I did not have the work done in time. It was like, WTF??

In the meantime I have been rereading every salted paper book/chapter I own to understand this process better (easily 25) and to date only ONE mentions this so I share it as a possible Godsend answer:

The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography Book 2 by John P. Schaefer. Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1998. p. 184 “The primary source of trouble in the salted paper process is that coating the paper by brushing on a solution of silver nitrate produces an insoluble creamy white precipitate of silver chloride on the paper’s surface. Continued brushing of the paper surface to ensure complete coverage with silver nitrate disturbs the precipitated silver chloride and leads to pronounced streaks that cannot be seen until you have exposed the print.” 

Is it possible I have found my Holy Grail??? This falls in line with a student’s print; the white streaky mark like the ones on my website was the exact width and shape of my coating brush so I could tell it was the silver nitrate coating and not the sizing that produced it but I just assumed he didn’t have enough nitrate solution coated there. But how could that be when we are using a tsp per 11x14 and brushing back and forth over and over??

Today I will use the synthetic brush so lightly on the paper and see if that produces some measure of predictability again and if not, buy a coating rod. Which, of course, since I hate them, I had just given away this year. So I really hope to go back to predictability again with the brush (I am using the wonderful hake brush that Tsyoshi Ito sells).
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