Help with Bromoil

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Mark Fisher, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

    Dec 13, 2003
    Medium Format
    I made a few prints and my first attempt is hereIt is pretty close to the original BW print (my goal) so I was pretty pleased (in the gallery) I started with a negative that sounded difficult from Gene's Bromoil 101 book. I figured the faster I had problems, the faster I'd learn. I started by separating the variables a bit. I tried long, hot soaks and shorter, cooler soaks. I did it with and without superdrying. I tried applying ink with a hard rubber brayer and with a brush.

    Here is what I think I learned (smack me if this is bad information):
    1. Printing in high humidity is much easier
    2 a basic brush can get you there....I have a Blick Mega bristle brush trimmed to Gene's recommendations....and it works great
    3. Instructions to blend the ink to just the right stiffness is not very helpful, but it becomes pretty obvious quickly. Stiff enough to not leave blobs of ink and soft enough to get the ink to adhere to the paper properly.
    4. Superdrying is really important
    5. Re-inking is a great solution to a number of problems and color option
    6, To control contrast you can either change the exposure of the matrix, change the temp/time of soaking bath, or change the way you do clearing. I found a foam brayer cleared highlights quite nicely. No I'll need to make mini-rollers to do some selective clearing.

    I could really use advise in how to increase contrast.....I need to get more ink into the shadows. I tryed to use incredibly thick black ink, but that wouldn't adhere att that well. I thinned it a bit with some brown for the second coat and went with pure brown on the third thickened with CaCO3. My next shot will be to reduce my soak time by half (9 to 4.5 min) just to see the effect. I'm afraid that it will just muddy the midtones, but an experiment should settle that!

    Te larger story is that I am trying to settle in to a process that works for me aesthetically clearly looks like a handmade print. Currently in the running for me is bromoil, Pt/Gum (know PT (no expert in Pt, need to learn gum), liquid emulsion on handmade papers and lith (which I know fairly well). This stuff is hard to learn on your own. Hopefully, I can have at least a few exhibition quality images of most of the prints by spring.