Orotone Process

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photomc

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While a the AC yesterday, noticed that they had a E. Curtis that was identified as a Orotone print? Done a little searching on this here www, but can anyone here tell me more about this process and does anyone attempt to reproduce this old process?

One other question - saw a 1927 version of Adams "Monolith, The Face of Half Dome", looked to be a 6x8 contact print, but what kind of paper was it printed on..not like anything I have seen before, rather interesting..seeing this print that led to his 'visualization' of a print..hate to say it was not that good an image, yet it was.
 

Donald Miller

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photomc said:
One other question - saw a 1927 version of Adams "Monolith, The Face of Half Dome", looked to be a 6x8 contact print, but what kind of paper was it printed on..not like anything I have seen before, rather interesting..seeing this print that led to his 'visualization' of a print..hate to say it was not that good an image, yet it was.

My impression of that print at the AC parallels yours.
 

Donald Miller

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Mike,

I think that what struck me about the print at the Amon Carter was that it didn't carry the impact of all of the reproductions that I have seen of the image. I was left with the impression that the values were weak and that the image did not carry the overall contrast of the reproductions. The color seemed to be very cool to the point of carrying somewhat of a green cast.

What I would attribute this to is that perhaps the Amon Carter image is a more vintage print. Whereas the image upon which the reproductions are based may have been printed later. The exposure was made on April 17, 1927 and probably gained much more notoriety after Adams included it in his portfolio III in 1960.

I hadn't remembered until I looked this up a few minutes ago but the image was exposed on a wratten panchormatic glass plate. The camera was a 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 inch Korona.

Do your impressions of the print seem to be what I have described or did you have another impression entirely?
 
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photomc

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Don,

Would agree that it is cool, does not 'POP' like the later ones. I pretty sure I have seen another version previously, and it was much better.

The Carter version is an early one, I think it was printed in 1927 - will check next time there if it is up. At first I felt it might be the lighting in the gallery, but I have seen it on more than one wall, with different lighting and for some reason it just seem dark, not like many of his later works.

And yes, I did the same thing and read where it was made with the 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch Korona,,had forgotten about that - as well as the glass plate.

Also noted the signature is different than on later works, which leads me to think it is a very early version.

Thanks for the input (you hate to pick at one of the masters works, but there was just something about it....)
 

RHRedDragon1

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photomc said:
While a the AC yesterday, noticed that they had a E. Curtis that was identified as a Orotone print? Done a little searching on this here www, but can anyone here tell me more about this process and does anyone attempt to reproduce this old process?

One other question - saw a 1927 version of Adams "Monolith, The Face of Half Dome", looked to be a 6x8 contact print, but what kind of paper was it printed on..not like anything I have seen before, rather interesting..seeing this print that led to his 'visualization' of a print..hate to say it was not that good an image, yet it was.

Dear photomc, so your thread regarding orotones, I make them, currently Edward Curtis Ltd Editions in hand made frames, also utilize a collection of 5000 glass neagtives from the 1890s, and have finished some Yosemite images both in gold and silver backings. View my store at: http://shop.vendio.com/RHRedDragon1 or search Froogle: Huntington Historical Photographic Trust We make our own plates and emulsions for our own production..........RHRedDragon1@aol.com
 

sgs

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i have a question about the orotone process. i have been told that the image is either first selenium toned or brown-toned and either backed with gold leaf or coated with gold powder mixed with banana oil and a binder? are either of these correct?
gayle
 
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Dear photomc, so your thread regarding orotones, I make them, currently Edward Curtis Ltd Editions in hand made frames, .....RHRedDragon1@aol.com

Hello Red Dragon,

Looked at your website. Your orotones look beautiful! I saw Curtis' excellent orotones when an exhibibit of his work passed through Paris a few years ago. As well, Roger Koekaerts, in Belgium, showed me some really exquisite orotones he'd made. He gives workshops too (http://www.permadocument.be/ ).

I don't want to start a polemic, but seeing the $2500.00 price tag on your portraits of Native Americans of the 19th (and early 20th?) century brings something to mind, and causes me to get something off my chest .. and believe me, it's nothing against you, personally. See, I doubt that any of those Native Americans ever received anything valuable from Curtis for sitting and posing (anyone reading this who knows otherwise is certainly welcome to correct this impression ...please!). Have you ever considered perhaps contributing a little something to an American Indian charity of your choice for each print you sell? Just a thought.

No need to respond with, "It's not my fault", or "That was a long time ago", etc. I know and I agree. But gee, wouldn't it be great to —simultaneously— sell a beautiful print, do a "good deed" that's socially helpful and earn a tax deduction?

Best regards,

Christopher

.
 
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paul_c5x4

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Sparky - Thanks for posting that link. It fired me up to try a pseudo-orotone of my own. Really impressed with the overall result. Having done one, got some real gold and am about to have a go with a second one.
 
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