help deciding on a process

Discussion in 'Silver Gelatin Based Emulsion Making & Coating' started by stevewaschka, May 11, 2010.

  1. stevewaschka

    stevewaschka Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Medium Format
    my assumption for even considering this is that finer silver, and more of it can be achieved by making my own paper providing deeper richer more dimensional images and more one of a kind final pieces. i have very little experience with using bottled comercially available emulsions, and aside from tons of research, no experience making my own.

    for those of you who have adopted liquid emulsions into your craft, i have a few concerns for starting liquid emulsion usage. i am hoping you guys have overcome these concerns yourself and dont mention them here because they are non-issues:

    is it reasonable for me to use this process to replace commercially available paper?

    exposure too slow? we try hard to keep vibration out of the exposure process. if i make large printings, my 23c setup will only do 16X20 on the base so i have to flip an project to a second surface. now the longer the light is on the more the image can get slurred.

    emulsion too fragile? i process a bit by feel. its probably a bad habit i agree. but touching the emulsion during processing tells me if the print is slimy or clean. i've read you'll wipe the new commercial stuff right off the paper.

    final image not going to have the tonal range, contrast and sharpness of high end commercially available paper without making my own emulsion with space and money intensive lab equipment?

    thanks in advance.
  2. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

    Jun 17, 2004
    Portland, OR
    4x5 Format
    Welcome -

    I suggest you might want to consider making your own emulsion. Go to Denise Ross' "The Light Farm" - and check it out.

    I've held prints that were made on hand-made emulsion and hand coated on to paper by Denise, and the coating and print quality were so good that I would have had trouble believing it was hand it I did not see the coating artifacts on the edge of the print. (Keep in mind you can trim the edges, and then no one would know you made it yourself!)

    Denise has a lot of info there on her site, and if you have further questions this forum can certainly help get you going.

    From all your questions, the answers are:

    #1 - Yes, you could replace commercial papers. Keep in mind that the larger the coating the harder it is to make. 8x10 paper could be done without too much effort. 11x14 get a bit trickier, and larger, well, you probably need some fancy machinery to do that well. So it you are content with 8x10...

    #2 - Speed can be as fast as commercial papers or very nearly so without too much effort.

    #3 - Paper does a pretty good job of taking emulsions. If you are coating onto glass or acetate/mylar, then it's another story.

    #4 - Hand made emulsions can be tailor made to the contrast range you want to make. Commercial emulsions the contrast range is pretty much fixed. Sharpness is not going to be an issue as papers have lots of resolution to spare.

    Check out Denise's site as she has found many economical tools and setups to help making your own emulsion less expensive than buying a full lab of equipment.
  3. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

    Dec 30, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Multi Format
    check out carbon printing. IDK what format you use, but if its LF, even MF film(120/220), you can contact print.

    message Vaughn(Hutchins, he's on here). His primary method of printing is carbon, as well as pt/pd printing. All contact work. I think he does some enlarging too though, not 100% sure

    he's a nice guy too :smile: