humidity in your darkroom........

From: christine shepherd ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 01/11/04-10:26:18 AM Z
Message-id: <>

is really important.

I know most of you see this as a conspicuous variable, but for some
reason, I had not given it much thought until Mark Nelson stressed its
import. So I went to the local smoke shop to purchase a hygrometer for
$7.99, the kind that goes in your humidor if you like cigars, and
discovered to my dismay that the humidity of my darkromm (aka my
bathroom) was a dismal 14%. No wonder my nose hurts. So I got a
cheapie humidifier and ran it for an hour before I coated - getting the
humidity up to at least 40%. I also used Mark's suggestion of passing
the paper over the humidifier immediately before coating. You will not
believe the difference in my prints. Rich, rich, smooth, dark blacks,
even on unsized Crane's. And NO bronzing! None! My Arrggghhhyrotypes
have transformed into argyrotypes, and I think I can make this deadline
after all.

Of note, I compared several papers - unsized Crane's, sized Crane's.
Buxton, and Rives BFK. The unsized Crane's was surprisingly the best,
with the sized (by myself) being the worst. Buxton was second, and
Rives was third, not so great. The best print so far has been on the
unsized Crane's with and extra .5g Sulfamic Acid added to 50 ml of
Argyotype sensitizer.

It's funny it was such a simple thing. Kinda like when your car dies
and you bring it to the shop and ther like, um, you need a new switch
so your car knows it's in park, when you thought you needed a whole new

So Judy I think you were definitely on the mark when you were discussing
the bronzing your students were getting on the VDBs when they blow-dried
- I theorize iron-silver processes greatly dislike dry air.

Thanks everyone,
Received on Sun Jan 11 10:24:09 2004

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