Carbon Workshop by Sandy King

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sanking

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I will be teaching a workshop on carbon transfer printing at the Photographer’ Formulary in Montana this summer, June 26-July 1. Carbon transfer is one of the oldest, most beautiful and most distinctive of all photographic processes. Images can be in any color or tone desired, placed on a wide range of final surfaces, and, if worked for that purpose, have a relief or dimensional quality that is unique among photographic processes.

My work with carbon printing goes back to the early 80s when I began using the three-color carbon and carbro process. I switched to monochrome carbon transfer in the early 90s and have been working exclusively with monochrome for the past decade. All of my capture is with large and ultra large format film, primarily 5X7, 7X17 and 12X20, though in many cases I scan the in-camera negative and make the final print with a digital negative.

The workshop will include the use of commercial carbon tissue from Bostick and Sullivan as well as training in the making of one’s own tissue. I will be introducing for the first time at this workshop special procedures for making very high relief carbon images that I have developed over the past several years. So even if a person has attended one of my private or public carbon workshops in the past this particular session will present much new information, such as instructions in the high relief technique, more efficient coating procedures using special frames, and the use of digital negatives.

If you have any specific questions about the content of the workshop please feel free to contact me directly at my personal email, sanking@clemson.edu. For tuition costs and logistical questions please go to www.photoformulary.com and look for the Workshops in Montana, or call 1-800-922-5255.

If you are interested in carbon printing carefully consider this opportunity. For a variety of reasons I don’t teach many group workshops and this is an opportunity to learn this beautiful and unique process in a georgeous setting with great facilities.


Sandy King
 
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philsweeney

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Hi Sandy,

After a 5 week trip from december to january I cannot afford this trip! Please let us know any workshop you have on carbon on the east coast in the future!! I can get anywhere on the east coast in one day.

Phil
 
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sanking

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philsweeney said:
Hi Sandy,

After a 5 week trip from december to january I cannot afford this trip! Please let us know any workshop you have on carbon on the east coast in the future!! I can get anywhere on the east coast in one day.

Phil

Phil,

I don't have any group workshops planned on the east coast in the near future. However, I have done numerous two-day carbon workshops at my home in South Carolina with one and two persons so if anyone in my area is interested in that kind of arrangement please contact me. Unfortunately I don't have the darkroom space to handle more than two people at a time. However, it is difficult to schedule because I am still a full-time univeresity professor and the only period of the year when I have a lot of free time on my hands is the summer. Unfortunately the summer is the worst time to do a carbon workshop in South Carolina because of the heat and humidity, and especially the temperarture of the water from the faucet which gets close to 80F in July and August.

Sandy
 

smieglitz

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sanking said:
... Unfortunately the summer is the worst time to do a carbon workshop in South Carolina because of the heat and humidity, and especially the temperarture of the water from the faucet which gets close to 80F in July and August.

Sandy


Seems like some combination of grad students and ice cubes could solve that problem. :smile:

I came across some of your color carbon work online several years ago and found it very beautiful and marvelous. Is that work still online? (The site also had Ernie Thiessen's casein bichromate prints showcased IIRC.)

I'm planning on attending APIS this year in Santa Fe and doing a workshop somewhere/sometime on my trip to/from NM and the Pacific NW this summer. Perhaps I'll see you in Montana.

I haven't checked the PF site yet for details, but will there be any shooting time involved or is it strictly a darkroom workshop?

Joe
 
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sanking

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smieglitz said:
Seems like some combination of grad students and ice cubes could solve that problem. :smile:

I came across some of your color carbon work online several years ago and found it very beautiful and marvelous. Is that work still online? (The site also had Ernie Thiessen's casein bichromate prints showcased IIRC.)

I'm planning on attending APIS this year in Santa Fe and doing a workshop somewhere/sometime on my trip to/from NM and the Pacific NW this summer. Perhaps I'll see you in Montana.

I haven't checked the PF site yet for details, but will there be any shooting time involved or is it strictly a darkroom workshop?

Joe

Joe,

No, that work is no longer online because the person who operated the site with the gallery dropped it.

There will definitely be an opportunity for making new negatives at the Formulary workshp. The days in Montana in the sumnmer are very, very long and you would have 2-3 hours of daylight before the beginning of class in the morning and after the end of class in the afternoon.

I plan to be at APIS also so will see you there for sure.

Sandy
 

Shinnya

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Hi Sandy,

I am very much interested in your carbon workshop. I just wanted to know what will be covered in the workshop, i.e. are we going to make our own tissues? Also, is there any prerequisite (I know it is not a college class...) for learning this medium? I am relatively new to historical processes in general.

I was planning to attend APIS this year, but now I would like to go to Montana for your workshop. I will need to decide one over the other...

Warmly,
tsuyoshi
 
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sanking

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Shinnya said:
Hi Sandy,

I am very much interested in your carbon workshop. I just wanted to know what will be covered in the workshop, i.e. are we going to make our own tissues? Also, is there any prerequisite (I know it is not a college class...) for learning this medium? I am relatively new to historical processes in general.

I was planning to attend APIS this year, but now I would like to go to Montana for your workshop. I will need to decide one over the other...

Warmly,
tsuyoshi

First, I regret that you have to choose between APIS and the worshop in Montana. Both would be enriching experiences for a newcomer to historical processes.

The only pre-requisite for the workshop in Montana is that you come ready to learn, and that you be prepared to work.

The carbon workshop will cover the following.

1. How to make your own carbon tissue. Although there is currently a source for commercial carbon tissue (Bostick and Sullivan) my belief is that a person who really wants to take full advantage of the carbon process should want to learn to make his/her own tissue. The ability to do so expands the range of print colors as well as surface qualities as regards relief effect.

2. Sensitizing the tissue with dichromate, using both the tray method of immersion (potassium dichromate) and the spirit method of brushing on (ammonium dichromate).

3. Preparing the negative for exposure and exposing using UV light source.

4. How to transfer the exposed tissue to a final support.

5. Developing the image in warm water.

6. Final finishing of the image. Drying, retouching, etc.

There will also be some discussion of how to optimize our negatives for carbon printing, using both in-camera and digital types. However, the focus in this effort will be practical to give immediate results since the workshop should focus on carbon printing itself, and not sensitometry or Photoshop manipulation. I will of course provide a list of the things that people should bring to the workshop, and to a certain degree those who can bring suitable negatives will have a leg up on the learning process.

Sandy
 
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sanking

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sanking said:
First, I regret that you have to choose between APIS and the worshop in Montana. Both would be enriching experiences for a newcomer to historical processes.

The only pre-requisite for the workshop in Montana is that you come ready to learn, and that you be prepared to work.

The carbon workshop will cover the following.

1. How to make your own carbon tissue. Although there is currently a source for commercial carbon tissue (Bostick and Sullivan) my belief is that a person who really wants to take full advantage of the carbon process should want to learn to make his/her own tissue. The ability to do so expands the range of print colors as well as surface qualities as regards relief effect.

2. Sensitizing the tissue with dichromate, using both the tray method of immersion (potassium dichromate) and the spirit method of brushing on (ammonium dichromate).

3. Preparing the negative for exposure and exposing using UV light source.

4. How to transfer the exposed tissue to a final support.

5. Developing the image in warm water.

6. Final finishing of the image. Drying, retouching, etc.

There will also be some discussion of how to optimize our negatives for carbon printing, using both in-camera and digital types. However, the focus in this effort will be practical to give immediate results since the workshop should focus on carbon printing itself, and not sensitometry or Photoshop manipulation. I will of course provide a list of the things that people should bring to the workshop, and to a certain degree those who can bring suitable negatives will have a leg up on the learning process.

Sandy

Hi Tsuyoshi, Joe,


If you will provide me with your snail mail address I will send you a small sample of a carbo print with very high relief to give you an idea of what we will try to achieve at the carbon workshop. Most people have never seen a real carbon print, much less one with high relief, so you might find this interesting.

Best,

Sandy
 

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Sandy,

I would like to take up on your offer. I will send PM right away.

It is rather hard to find carbon prints to begin with. I went through practically every photographs from 19th century at Philadelphia Museum of Art, but I do not think I saw them. Or was I just not remembering them at all. I should check again.

Looking forward to seeing your prints.

Warmly,
Tsuyoshi
 
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sanking

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Shinnya said:
Sandy,

It is rather hard to find carbon prints to begin with. I went through practically every photographs from 19th century at Philadelphia Museum of Art, but I do not think I saw them. Or was I just not remembering them at all. I should check again.


Warmly,
Tsuyoshi


Carbon prints are indeed rather rare. One place where you can see quite a number of them is the Harry Ranson Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin. Most of the carbon prints in the collection are from the 19th century, and some are by some very famous photograpers, Nadar and Adolfe Braun for example. The collection also has some late 20th century Ultrastable color carbon prints by Robert McCowan, who is a very accomplished carbro printer. Robert has a web site on carbro printing that you can visit for information about his work.

Sandy
 

Dave Wooten

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Sandy,

I am working on clearing my schedule to make it....I love that part of the country...could you give us some insight on negs to bring...I'd like to bring a couple with me properly prepared but am not sure if I should expose and develope them with this process in mind... I would think so?

Thanks again
Dave in Vegas

PS RE: film holders

the checks in the mail
 

m. dowdall

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Sandy

I'm already signed up for the workshop. The confermation came in the mail last Friday. WOO WHOO, goin' to Montana soon... Anyway, this weekend I'm hoping to get out and take some 4x5 and 8x10s. But I'm not sure what density range to develope them to. I've read Phil Davis' BTZS but didn't understand contrast index. I've no problem with log densities and have access to a densitomiter with a blue channel. So what I'd like to know is what density range would fit best.

Thanks

Michael
 
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sanking

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Dave Wooten said:
Sandy,

I am working on clearing my schedule to make it....I love that part of the country...could you give us some insight on negs to bring...I'd like to bring a couple with me properly prepared but am not sure if I should expose and develope them with this process in mind... I would think so?

Thanks again
Dave in Vegas

PS RE: film holders

the checks in the mail

Hi Dave,

The carbon process has contrast controls that allow virtually any density range negative to print. I personally make my in-camera negatives for carbon printing with a DR of about 1.75 because this allows me to also print them in kallitype or palladium easily.

If you will tell me what film/developer combination you are using, and your method of develoment, I will suggest a development time that should give you a good printable negative for carbon.

Sandy
 
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sanking

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m. dowdall said:
Sandy

I'm already signed up for the workshop. The confermation came in the mail last Friday. WOO WHOO, goin' to Montana soon... Anyway, this weekend I'm hoping to get out and take some 4x5 and 8x10s. But I'm not sure what density range to develope them to. I've read Phil Davis' BTZS but didn't understand contrast index. I've no problem with log densities and have access to a densitomiter with a blue channel. So what I'd like to know is what density range would fit best.

Thanks

Michael

Michael,

As I said to Dave, if you will tell me what film/developer you plan to use I can probably suggest a develoment time that will give a good negative for printing in carbon.

If you are using a traditional non-staining developer just take the reading in Visual channel, and shoot for a DR of about 1.5 - 1.7. If you develop with a staining developer the Blue channel reading will be quite a bit lower than effective printing density. However, a Blue channel reading of about 1.3 will translate into an effective UV density of around 1.6-1.8, depending on developer.

Best,

Sandy


Sandy
 

m. dowdall

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Sandy

I use FP4+ and Tri-X developed in trays with pyrocat HD. I've been able to nail down the time for Tri-x for silver printing; 7.5 min. 2:2:100 @ 68F 200EI. Not sure about the FP4+ though. I've used 9min 2:2:100 @68F 80EI and got some good negs and some under developed ones. The worst were developed this past weekend. These last ones could be the developer has gone off, it's 8 months old now. Mixing some more is on the list for this weekend as well.

Michael
 
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sanking

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m. dowdall said:
Sandy

I use FP4+ and Tri-X developed in trays with pyrocat HD. I've been able to nail down the time for Tri-x for silver printing; 7.5 min. 2:2:100 @ 68F 200EI. Not sure about the FP4+ though. I've used 9min 2:2:100 @68F 80EI and got some good negs and some under developed ones. The worst were developed this past weekend. These last ones could be the developer has gone off, it's 8 months old now. Mixing some more is on the list for this weekend as well.

Michael

In fact your time for FP4+ is very close to what I would recommend. I develop this film Pyrocat 2:2:100 at 72º F for about nine minutes, with rotary develoment (in tubes, constant agitation). This should gives a density range with UV processes of around 1.6 to 1.8.

Best,

Sandy
 

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Hi,

Now I am really trying to get myself to Montana after seeing Sandy's prints. I just need to figure out some logistics...

I am wondering if anyone would share a room with me during the week of the workshop. I need to make this trip as economical as possible, hoping that I can go to Santa Fe as well... Let me know.

Warmly,
tsuyoshi
 

Dave Wooten

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Sandy,

I just received order o bergger 200 from view camera...I develope in trays, one neg at a time and my developer has been D-76, I also just received pyrocat HD from P-Formulary and will try that one.

For exposure I have only an incident meter....

I have been told to expose the Bergger from 60 to 100-for platinum etc...?

Thanks again
Dave in Vegas
 
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sanking

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Dave Wooten said:
Sandy,

I just received order o bergger 200 from view camera...I develope in trays, one neg at a time and my developer has been D-76, I also just received pyrocat HD from P-Formulary and will try that one.

For exposure I have only an incident meter....

I have been told to expose the Bergger from 60 to 100-for platinum etc...?

Thanks again
Dave in Vegas

Dave,

I would rate the BPF 200 film at about EFS 100. If you rate it too low you will get too much density and your printing times will be very long with UV processes, whether carbon or pt./pd.

If you use an incident meter you have three choices.

1. Take the reading in the shadows and double the EFS of the film, i.e. rate it at EFS 200.

2. Take the reading in full light and halve the EFS of the film, i.e. rate it at EFS 50.

3. Take one reading in the shadows and one in full light, average the two, and rate the film at full EFS, which would be EFS 100.

I generally follow #1 since for me the most critical parts of the scene at exposure are shadow density.

Best,

Sandy
 

magic823

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Who's all going to be there?

I'm signed up. Looking forward to learning from the master :wink:

Steve Allen
 
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