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pdeeh

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A CAUTIONARY TALE FOR LITTLE FOLK​

So.

Today, for the first time since July last year, I thought I'd make a print.
I found a suitable negative, blew the dust off a printing frame, cut up some paper and closed the curtains.

Taking a small brown bottle from the shelf, I noted that I had labelled it as follows:

______________________________
(NAMIAS)
Ferric Ammonium Citrate 40%
Citric Acid 10%
______________________________

What ho! sez I, that's the very stuff. And I proceeded to coat 3 pieces of paper in my usual manner.

Hanging them up to dry in my darkened bathroom, I closed the door and went about my business for a few hours.

On my return (having lunched first) I took them down and prepared to expose them, only to find the little buggers were sticky. Sticky!
Now ... the weather isn't humid and the bathroom is quite dry enough for them to have dried properly.
First thought: Too much sensitiser. Long time since I've done this, perhaps I forgot that I need much less than I actually used this time.
Second thought: I'll get the hairdryer out. Yep, that's dried them nicely.

Print exposed, it looks a little weak, but Namias is like that, it blooms in the first wash. So into the (mildly acidulated) first wash it goes.
And all the sensitiser washes off, with what little image there was with it.

Bugger.

Third thought: The sensitiser has 'gone off' somehow. But it's perfectly clear, the right colour, smells faintly of Thymol so it's not bacterial or fungal growth.
Also with Silver nitrate in it, it's not going to go off with or without Thymol. So there's some weird chemistry shit gone on? I dunno. Probably. Sigh.

OK, do something simple: stick a coin on a sheet of sensitised paper and leave it in the sun for 10 minutes.
Yep, done that. Coin area white, exposed area dirty brown, let's wash it.

Oh. Oh OK, it all washed off again.
This is annoying.
It must be duff, I'll tip it away.

Washing the bottle out (only a 50ml one, so not a terrible waste, but annoying and offputting) I note again my label:

______________________________
(NAMIAS)
Ferric Ammonium Citrate 40%
Citric Acid 10%
______________________________

Ah. Ahhhhh.

F#ck.

So that's why I've got a bottle of 10% Silver nitrate solution next to it on the shelf, also labelled '(NAMIAS)'.
This is only two-thirds of the formula in this bottle, or rather, down the toilet bowl.

This is why, in fact, it's important to check that you *are* correctly remembering what to do rather than just think you are remembering correctly.
And this is why, when a label lists only two ingredients, it is probably safe to assume that that is all that is contained therein.
And Furthermore, this is why you need to check a bit further along the shelf, where you would have found a bottle carefully labelled

________________________________
NAMIAS' SENSITISING SOLUTION
________________________________

However, tomorrow is another day.
 

NedL

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:D saw that coming...

I have something to try the next time you wait a year and make the same mistake again.
After you expose your coin ( or photogram, or positive ) and wash off the AFC, let the paper dry, then coat w/ 2% salt, let surface dry ( 20 or 30 minutes should do ), then coat w/ your 10% AgNO3, and let surface dry again..

Then take the paper outside and watch it change. When you like it, fix and wash as usual.

( I've only tried this with a dunk in 0.3% H2O2 after exposure, and only on paper sized with gelatin... but I wonder if it will work w/o the peroxide and on papers with other kinds of sizing.... a six hour in-camera exposure, with the lens wide open in full sun, was not enough to make a picture this way... )
 
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pdeeh

pdeeh

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Ned, I left out the bit where I decided it would be a good idea to try and develop an exposed sheet with ferricyanide. Quite what I thought this would prove I'm not sure. The water was a nice shade of blue tho'.

(Fun fact: You can coat paper with just Ferric Ammonium citrate, expose it as you would a cyanotype, then 'develop' it by brushing on a solution of ferricyanide. I can't remember where I read this, though it was probably alternativephotography.com)

I've literally just taken down a test sheet from drying, after coating it with Namias sensitiser that's been in the bottle for about a year. His original article only mentions mixing them up to "some days beforehand" so we'll see tomorrow how robust it is :D

off to me bed now!
 
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