[Alt-photo] salted paper

Christina Z. Anderson christinazanderson at gmail.com
Mon Mar 7 00:32:03 UTC 2016

Jorj, Dennis, Kees, Fernando,
Thank you for your answers.
It was a time consuming and expensive mistake. I threw away 20 sheets of salted paper just now. 
If I had known what Kees suggested when the first Bergger print came out of the processing baths that it was my brush sizing method at fault I would have saved an entire day’s printing if not the sized paper. I just assumed it was a fluke, kept printing, but when all the brush-sized paper did it, that’s when I realized it was no fluke but operator error.
What a PITA. I can handle the cost, but the time waste was really discouraging. Made me want to quit and go back to the ease of gum!
I went back to my notes and the batch I had brush sized a couple weeks ago, I had presoaked and then brush sized so the paper was suitably wet through and through when it absorbed the sizing.  I don’t know why I decided this time to skip the presoak stage!
Today I was able to print the images on the tray-sized Platine and nary a spot. 
I doubt I will attempt to brush size in the future, as long as my prints are 11x14 or smaller.
I will now tray-size Bergger, Kees, to make sure there isn’t another factor at play but I think you nailed the reason.
Now for humidity: I am operating at probably 15% humidity and I have found that if I wait to expose until the sensitized paper is bone dry, all proceeds well. But the uneven wetness at the SALTING stage was a huge problem. 
Another thing I found out? I am using a +30 ink density on Pictorico Premium, not ultra. I kept having these marks in the sky of this one image and assumed it was my uneven brush strokes. Then I saw it upon scrutinizing the negative. My point for sharing this is that a) I will buy Ultra when upping ink density b) Salt will pick up EVERY nuance and I mean every, even that hardly visible to the eye and c) those who say there’s a lot of bleaching that goes on in the fix? Well, I am using B&W paper strength Photographer’s Formulary TF-4 fix, an alkaline fix, HOPING to bleach out that unevenness in the sky and not a budge. 
The end. Thanks for being there for me, alt list. Back to the drawing board, as they say.

On Mar 6, 2016, at 4:37 PM, Jorj Bauer via Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:

> ... Which is basically what Fernando said, if my Spanish and Latin combined to get that right. :)
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Mar 6, 2016, at 17:41, Dennis Moser via Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
>> Keep in mind that humidification is a HUGE factor in this "micro-climate"
>> discussion — back when I was doing rare book and paper conservation, we
>> would often cold-humidify paper before working with it ... and I mean
>> humidifying it to the point that it was almost like a "pre-soak", i.e.,
>> humid to the near-point of wet.
>> This WILL have an impact on the surface tension of the paper and how
>> absorbent it will — or won't — be.
>> Best from near Bellingham,
>> Dennis
>> ~~
>> If your first move is brilliant, you’re in trouble. You don’t really know
>> how to follow it; you’re frightened of ruining it. So, to make a mess is a
>> good beginning. — Brian Eno
>> On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 12:40 PM, Kees Brandenburg via
>> Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>
>> wrote:
>>>> Kees,
>>>> No surfactant but ahhhh, I did not presoak this batch of paper before
>>> brush salting. Do you always presoak before brush salting?
>>>> Chris
>>> Until now I have allways tray salted. But I am sizing a lot of paper for
>>> either gum/casein and alikes and even more for carbon final transfer
>>> papers. I allways presoak the paper before rod or brush sizing. The idea
>>> behind this is that the water in the paper expells ‘air’ and also that the
>>> size stays better on top of the wet fibers.
>>> Salting is of course different from sizing and the salt in fact has to go
>>> into the fibers. But it might be an interesting experiment to presoak the
>>> paper before brush salting. When brushing a dry paper the first contact of
>>> the brush makes some fibers swell and others not. The idea is that
>>> subsequent strokes might even this out but it could also be that the
>>> allready swollen fibers will take even more, thus keeping the coating
>>> irregular. Afterwards the silvernitrate might penetrate irregular too,
>>> meeting more or less salt and/or gelatin on it’s way into the fibers. Maybe
>>> this is perceived as measles. To be tested of course...
>>> Kees
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Alt-photo-process-list | altphotolist.org
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