Re: salt printing questions

From: [email protected]
Date: 10/21/05-12:58:12 PM Z
Message-id: <>

I finally got my salt prints to clear well enough (on Arches Platine paper) by using much agitation both during the rinses before fixing (5 water baths at 2 min each, with the last being distilled water); this is after the post-exposure salt wash (I also increased to salt concentration by about 3x over the amount recommended in James book); and also much agitation during the post clearing - final rinse (5 min each in 5 separate trays of distilled water). It still looked good after 24 hours.

I've been "reading" a lot of books-on-tape since starting alt-photo printing and developing my own film. Smiles!

I decided to used distilled water after the first retry when I noted a brown-gray scum in the tray of running water where I did my final rinse, even though the pH of my tap water is around neutral, if not slightly acidic; the retry was after changing to plain sodium thiosulfate (with sodium bicarb) fixer and sodium sulfite clearing bath (as opposed to Kodak products), So I don't know for sure yet if it was the extra salt or the agitation or the distilled water, though I suspect the agitation helped greatly. I will sort that out one variable at a time now that I have one successful print!

This reference, sent recently by Eric Nelson, also gives some guidelines as to # prints/liter of fixer and clearing bath.


Judy Rowe Taylor
Mukilteo, WA
Art is a voice of the heart, a song of the soul. or
> Good morning,
> Since I'm teaching alt process next semester and cannot just confine the 
> course to my own interests (gum/cyano/pd/argyro/VDB) I made my first foray 
> into salt printing these last 2 weeks.  What a hoot to learn a new process 
> that I never intended to.
> What is the capacity, do you think, of a liter of 5% sodium thiosulfate fix 
> (with 1% sodium carbonate) for 8x10 salt prints?
> Is it an old wive's tale (alias young live in lover's tale) that blow drying 
> with heat after fixing and washing will add density to the print?  I can 
> see, if this is a myth, how one might believe that because the salt print 
> starts out very red at first, lightens and yellows in the fix, and exhibits 
> amazing dry down and tonal change to a dark brown when completely dry.  But 
> I can't see how, once fixed, the tones remaining will get added 
> exposure/density by a blow dry that wouldn't be there anyway with an air 
> dry.
> How do you clean silver nitrate stains off your sink/bathtub/hands?
> I used a few different papers--of course, Arches Platine is so beautiful, 
> Buxton at $10 a sheet needs more sizing more soaking or else it doesn't 
> release the silver and will darken and dull horribly, and I have 2 Cranes 
> papers that I think I mislabeled--they look very similar but one is slightly 
> creamier. They may be Platinotype and P Wove (?) so if someone can enlighten 
> me which the creamier one is I'd be obliged.
> I have to say that it is an addictive process, and produces beautiful 
> very first print was a keeper, not because I'm so wonderful but 
> because I calibrated a curve for it beforehand with the PDN system...during 
> which I found that salt has a seriously looonnnnng tonal range.
> Chris 
Received on Fri Oct 21 12:58:29 2005

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