Carbro process

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roy

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One for Sandy possibly. Having seen some images posted on an alt.photography site, I would like to find out more about this process and wondered whether there were any books on the technique and whether it is a difficult process. Any pointers would be appreciated.
 

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roy said:
One for Sandy possibly. Having seen some images posted on an alt.photography site, I would like to find out more about this process and wondered whether there were any books on the technique and whether it is a difficult process. Any pointers would be appreciated.


Hi Roy,

I describe the process in my book The Book of Carbon and Carbro: Contemporary Procedures for Monochrome Pigment Printmaking, available through Bostick and Sullivan.

I printed with carbro for a bunch of years and made a lot of nice prints, mostly by projection printing with 5X7 negatives. Eventually I became more interested in ULF camera work and switched to carbon. And now that I can make digitally enlarged negatives I find that carbon has a lot more pros than carbro. I talk about the pros and cons in the book.

A carbon and carbro final print are physically identical. Carbros tend to have a bit more relief but the process is much more finicky than carbon. If you have a good enlarger give the process a try. Just make sure that your work room is not too hot, say over 65º F.

One of the significant differences between the two processes is that carbro has a definite point where development ends, whereas carbon does not. The definite end point of development is one of the main reasons people preferred carbro to carbon in the 30s and 40s for commercial prints.

Sandy
 
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Luis Nadeau has a very detailed book that is out of circulation. I got mine directly from him in 1996. He was very responsive so you might try contacting him. Also Allworth Press published "Historic photgraphic processes" by Farber it is less detailed but an easier read. I've had both these for some time and there has been some tissue progresses so more current information may be available.
 
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roy

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Thank you Sandy and Thomas. I shall investigate the references you mention. Now that there are more varied means for enlarged negative production, this route could be an option to consider.
 

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roy said:
Thank you Sandy and Thomas. I shall investigate the references you mention. Now that there are more varied means for enlarged negative production, this route could be an option to consider.

Roy,

Just to clairfy, with carbro one way or the other, either by contact or projection printing, you will eventually need to make a bromide print the same size as the final carbro because the carbro process works by chemical rather than light sensitization. That is what carbro means, i.e. car(bon) + bro(mide).

Sandy
 
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roy

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sanking said:
Just to clairfy, with carbro one way or the other, either by contact or projection printing, you will eventually need to make a bromide print the same size as the final carbro .Sandy
Sandy,
Thanks. In view of your earlier comments and without making matters over complicated, I would probably opt for what would seem to be the less involved process, Carbon. Presumably that would require a contact print. I shall delve into this in more detail later when I have had a chance to read some texts.
Thanks for your help so far.

Roy.
 

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roy said:
sanking said:
Just to clairfy, with carbro one way or the other, either by contact or projection printing, you will eventually need to make a bromide print the same size as the final carbro .Sandy
Sandy,
Thanks. In view of your earlier comments and without making matters over complicated, I would probably opt for what would seem to be the less involved process, Carbon. Presumably that would require a contact print. I shall delve into this in more detail later when I have had a chance to read some texts.
Thanks for your help so far.

Roy.

LOL....Roy, I am sorry for laughing but thinking of carbon printing as a less involved process is an oxymoron... :smile:

You want fairly simple try pt/pd, van dyke, or any of the other processes...Carbon is on a class by itself. Just making the godforsaken tissue is a PITA in itself. I am on my 3rd try and finally got two good sheets.

Don Bryant tried with the B&S tissue, that seems to be the way to go.
 

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Jorge said:
You want fairly simple try pt/pd, van dyke, or any of the other processes...Carbon is on a class by itself. Just making the godforsaken tissue is a PITA in itself. I am on my 3rd try and finally got two good sheets.

Jorge,

Don't give up because the rewards are great. You are making great progress. On my 8th try I was still cleaning up the pigmented gelatin that exploded from my mixing blender on the 4th try.

Sandy
 
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roy

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Jorge said:
LOL....Roy, I am sorry for laughing but thinking of carbon printing as a less involved process is an oxymoron... :smile:

Jorge, you have over simplified a phrase from my posting by taking it out of context. I was referring to a comment by Sandy that Carbon is less finicky than Carbro. I know nothing about either process and my interest was sparked by some images I saw on the Alternative Photography newsletter by "Carbromac". I am under no delusion about how involved some of the old processes are as I have dabbled in some myself and I realise how masters of their arts are able to spark interest by the quality of their work and the impact it makes. (I refer partly to the work by you and Francesco,in passing). I am on a fact finding mission because I have seen something that appeals to me photographically. After research, I may well find that I have to stand back and appreciate the work of others.
 

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roy said:
Jorge said:
LOL....Roy, I am sorry for laughing but thinking of carbon printing as a less involved process is an oxymoron... :smile:

Jorge, you have over simplified a phrase from my posting by taking it out of context. I was referring to a comment by Sandy that Carbon is less finicky than Carbro. I know nothing about either process and my interest was sparked by some images I saw on the Alternative Photography newsletter by "Carbromac". I am under no delusion about how involved some of the old processes are as I have dabbled in some myself and I realise how masters of their arts are able to spark interest by the quality of their work and the impact it makes. (I refer partly to the work by you and Francesco,in passing). I am on a fact finding mission because I have seen something that appeals to me photographically. After research, I may well find that I have to stand back and appreciate the work of others.
Nah Roy, you will get there, all I am saying is buckle up and be prepared to fail more than once....or twice,...or three times.... :smile:
 
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roy

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Jorge said:
Nah Roy, you will get there, all I am saying is buckle up and be prepared to fail more than once....or twice,...or three times.... :smile:

Jorge,
You consider it worth persevering with then ? What sparked your interest ?
Roy.
 

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roy said:
Jorge,
You consider it worth persevering with then ? What sparked your interest ?
Roy.

I have been curious about carbon for many years, like Thomas I have the Modern Carbon printing book by Luis Nadeau, that I got from him, it has been sitting on my shelve for about 8 years, so I figure is time for me to try it. I have never seen a carbon print, so I want to know what it looks like. The rest is just pure undiluted stubburness.

I realize my first attempt will not be perfect, but if I can see just a glimmer of a nice process, I might just keep on doing it. I like the fact that you can do many color, and even true color prints, I have seen some in the internet and they look fabulous, so the real thing must be amazing. The print King has in the Comming Into Focus book also looks real nice, so....here I am with gelatin up to my armpits.... :smile:
 
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roy

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Jorge,
You may well have seen them but I was looking at the prints on 'carbromac.com'
 

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roy said:
Jorge,
You may well have seen them but I was looking at the prints on 'carbromac.com'
I 've seen them on the net, just not for real....we will see after tonight, I am getting ready to print one... :smile:
 

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roy said:
Jorge,
You may well have seen them but I was looking at the prints on 'carbromac.com'

Mac is very possibly the best carbro printer in the world. His work is certainly the best I have seen. I have a small sample print that he made, in fact it is one of the prints featured in the gallery, and the relief is simply incredible. He has really perfected this technique, primarily in the tissue making stage. The Bostick and Sullivan tissue is not optimized for relief effect and it generally gives fairly low relief, at least with carbon. I have not tried it with carbro.

As I mentioned in a previous message, you will generally get more relief with carbro than with carbon. This has to do with the fact that the chemical sensitization of the carbro process carries through the gelatin, whereas the light sensitization of carbon sometimes works only at or close to the surface.

Carbro makes a lot of sense if you like projection printing because you can start with a small negative and enlarge it to whatever size you desire for the final print.

Sandy
 
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roy

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sanking said:
Mac is very possibly the best carbro printer in the world. Sandy

Trust me to pick somebody like that as an inspirational example !!
 

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Thanks to all for posting this thread and the link to carbromac.com . This is just more great stuff that comes out of this place. Don't know how you alt process guys do it, but glad you turn out such great work. Now if someone could just point me to a place where I can see a 8x10 or larger tintype. :wink:
 
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roy

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photomc said:
Now if someone could just point me to a place where I can see a 8x10 or larger tintype.

Have a look at the Alternative Photography website; you can find examples of lots of different processes there. On another forum, I believe somebody enquiring about tintypes was directed to the National Geographic pages if I remember correctly.
 
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