Fogging on Albumen prints?

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nsurit

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I'm thinking I know the answer and am looking for some confirmation and/or solution. I have been making albumen prints, taping the paper to get clean edges and using a black border around my negatives. When my prints come out of the hypo clear, the highlights are bright and white, however after washing they become grey as does the unexposed (but sensitised) area adjoing the image.

The piece of information which I think will put us on the right path has to do with my silver nitrate solution. I've been using it for a couple of weeks and noticed a white percipitation in the bottom of the bottle. Yesterday, I put the silver nitrate solution in a beaker and smashed the percipitate up and tried to get it to go back into solution. This is what I think caused the problem. I'm thinking bleaching the prints might offer some relief. Any ideas? Bill Barber
 

MDR

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Heat is another suspected source for fogging of Albumen prints do you heat dry it (Blow Dryer)? Some Papers can cause fog as well. The silver solution could be another source instead of smashing the crystals try to remove them by filtering the silver solution.

Good Luck
 

Peter Schrager

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someone knows the answer to why the silver nitrate goes out of suspension...on of the reasons I do not enjoy doing albumen; otherwise a beautiful process. silver nitrate is NOT cheap anymore so maybe there is an answer to recovery
Best, Peter
 

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Are you floating your albumen paper on a bath of silver nitrate or using a brush? The white precipitate might be the result of albumen + salts mixing reacting with the silver nitrate.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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You're sure you're fixing adequately? I use two bath plain hypo.

How are you toning?
 
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nsurit

nsurit

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My table looks like this:5 minute Kosher Salt/Citric acid bath, 5 minute fresh water rinse, 2 minute fixer, 2 minute fixer, 2 minute hypo clear and 30 minute wash. At this ime, I am not toning, however may when I get the current problem solved. It basically comes out of the hypo clear with no base fog and the fog develops in the wash. I albumenise the paper (arches 88) by immersion and roll the silver nitrate on with a small paint roller. I generally apply three coats on silver nitrate, drying them with cool air from a hair dryer. I'm in Corpus Christi, Texas and the tap water may be part of the problem. In December I'll move the operartion to my home where I will be using well filtered cloud juice (collected rain water.) If I don't get it sorted out before then, that may offer some relief. Bill Barber
 

David A. Goldfarb

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The problem is likely that you're not toning. Albumen prints must be toned. If gold toning is too costly, you can get not unreasonable results from selenium. I find the tone a bit more neutral with selenium than with gold, and it seems to serve a protective function. I have selenium toned albumen prints that have been stable for several years.

When you start gold toning, you need to plan your printing sessions around the toner, because it only lasts for one session, at least with the formulation I've used.
 

MDR

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Regarding the Silver solution Christopher James: The Book of alternative photographic processes page 472: Precipating Contaminates from a discolored Silver Nitrate Solution with Kaolin. " You can maintain a silver nitrate solution for years if you add 15g of Kaolin to every 1000 ml of your silver nitrate solution...... Mr. Goldfarb is right toning is pretty much a must. The albumen print should also be processed right after exposure, longer contact between excess silver and the albumen results in yellowed highlights. Again Good luck
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Mark Osterman says that he and France Scully Osterman keep their silver nitrate solution clear in the summer by sunning it in a glass jug, and in the winter they use kaolin. What I do is after every sensitizing session, I pour the silver solution into a jug with kaolin, shake it up, and decant it a few times, filtering the last, and that clears out the precipitates that cloud the solution.
 

Peter Schrager

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thanks to all!! this was the info I was looking for!!
Peter
 
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