[Alt-photo] Chromoskedasic Painting again....

Christina Z. Anderson christinazanderson at gmail.com
Fri Sep 29 14:27:28 UTC 2017

Dear Udo,

I have done a lot of “chromo” and teach it every year in my experimental photography class so I know every mistake in the book. In fact, our gang chromo lab is this coming week. Unfortunately chromos are impossible to scan/photograph as they fluoresce differently or look flat gray. They have to be seen in person. 

I am not a chemist nor scientist so if you are, you can figure out why the practice I describe below happens, but I just know it does.

If you want the paper to silver out, the two papers that silver out the best are Arista and Ilford Warmtone. Other papers just aren’t as predictable. 

I call them a “poor man’s daguerreotype” because they are truly a silver mirror print. That was Jolly’s term for them.

If the solution gets grungy, you will get dull amorphous silver coating the surface of the print and it looks really ugly. So I do switch out the solution frequently. If that happens right away, you can try to avoid it by developing the print face down. During the gang chromo lab I do have to switch out the chemistry probably after 10 prints per liter tray, and you can imagine with 16 students all doing chromo how this goes. It looks like in the URL you shared that you had that sludge.

I also always use a WARM solution (mixing the chems in water at least 80º) thanks to Alberto Novo who told me to make plate glass mirrors, the solution has to be in the 80s or more to have the silver plate out. Works like a charm and I literally have everyone in the class successful with an instant silvered print if the paper is Ilford or Arista (glossy! Matte works…ok enough but not my fave) and the temperature is as it should be. 

The secret to also making this work instantly or regularly is the use of Eco-Pro developer, not Dektol. I have NO IDEA why this is the case, but when I inadvertently switched to this developer, always silver. Google an MSDS sheet and compare the two developers and perhaps you can tell me why. There’s an MSDS on Freestyle’s website and you can make your own I would suppose.
http://www.freestylephoto.biz/1231036-LegacyPro-EcoPro-BW-Paper-Developer-1-Quart-(Makes-2.5-3.75-Gallons) <http://www.freestylephoto.biz/1231036-LegacyPro-EcoPro-BW-Paper-Developer-1-Quart-(Makes-2.5-3.75-Gallons)>
http://www.freestylephoto.biz/static/pdf/msds/legacypro/450200_LEGACYPRO_ECO_PRO_B&W_PAPER_DEVELOPER_9.2.15.pdf <http://www.freestylephoto.biz/static/pdf/msds/legacypro/450200_LEGACYPRO_ECO_PRO_B&W_PAPER_DEVELOPER_9.2.15.pdf>

For the colors, which will only occur in the whites of the image as the silver does also, There are two things you can do to get them: be out in room light, and the colors primarily come from contamination between the three solutions. The solutions also have to be in a particular proportion to work, 2 activator to 1 stabilizer and then the developer is variable, but instant color happens when the developer goes into the mix. Too much stabilizer and it inactivates.

I mix little cups of the three solutions and the students have most fun brushing on the chems outside in room light. We get burnt oranges, some greens and occasionally blue, yellow if stabilizer is used. Certainly no bright red and true green though. 

I’ve visited/had lunch with Dominic in Hong Kong when I was on sabbatical, and I saw his prints in person. In fact, he was working on a huge one, say 2 feet by 8, like a scroll, when I was there. Quite an energetic soul.

One last thing is that the old Kodak Activator and Stabilizer produced a warmer/more gold toned metal than the Arista Activator/Stabilizer. I don’t know what the difference, but I have I think one last set of the Kodak in my office at school. It’s quite lovely stuff.

I apologize that if you have the Experimental Photography Workbook this is a rehash of what is in it already so I will have shared nothing new, but maybe said in a different way will help solve your problem.


> On Sep 28, 2017, at 10:03 PM, BJ68 via Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
> Dear List, 
> here are my first tries with Chromoskedasic Chemistry:
> http://illumina-chemie.de/chemigrams-and-co-t4590.html#68935
> I try to mix the Chemistry myself from chemicals, because you will not run in trouble with obsolete/abandoned products.
> Any suggestions to change things?
> Sadly I got not the nice colors....like Dominic Man-Kit Lam.
> Bj68
> _______________________________________________
> Alt-photo-process-list | altphotolist.org

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