Alternative and Historical Processes

Making Cyanotype Prints

The Cyanotype, which is also known as ferroprussiate or blueprint was invented by Sir John Herschel in 1842, when he discovered that ferric (iron) salts could be reduced to a ferrous state by light and then combined with other salts to create a blue-and-white image. Not long after, Anna Atkins, one of the few women in photography during that century, published the first book with photographs instead of illustrations, "British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions" Cyantype is a contact print process and you will need a negative the same size as the size of the print you want. A cyanotype with a blue image on a white background is obtained using a negative transparency...

Printing Black and White Negatives on Color Paper

Is it possible to get a color print from black & white film? Occasionally, the question comes up about whether or not a black and white negative can be printed on color paper. It is possible, however you will get a monochrome print, meaning that it will only have varying shades of one color...

History of Photography

Events In 500 B.C.500 Mo Ti (China) Creates first pinhole camera...

How to Lith Print Black & White Negatives

In Lith Printing black and white negatives are over exposed (usually by two or three stops) onto conventional black and white paper. The paper is then developed in a highly diluted lithographic A/B developer. The result is a print that nearly jumps off the page because the developer increases the edge-sharpness (or accutance) in the higher contrast areas of the print...

How To Make Platinum and Palladium Prints

A method for printing photographs in these precious metals was first patented in 1855 by William Willis, an Englishman. The permanence of silver based prints was suspect, and photographers wanted a process where the image was sure to last. Platinum is an ideal candidate, as it is very permanent...

Chris McCaw's Sunburns

Between my involvement as a teacher and with PhotoAlliance, I have the opportunity to see some very innovative work. This past year I have had the great pleasure of watching Chris McCaw develop a wonderfully inventive series called Sunburns. Chris is a young photographer living here in San Francisco known for his platinum printing and view camera work...

Working With Pyrogallol Developers

Although pyrogallol (pyro) is the oldest b&w developer and was dominate in the 19th century, it was mostly ignored in the 20th century except for a few photographers mostly on the west coast. About 30 years ago, John Wimberly and I created a resurrection of this developer. For some time these formulas had to be made in each photographers darkroom...

Liquid Emulsion

I introduce the possibilities of liquid emulsions to students in their third semester of photography. After two semesters of learning camera anatomy and functions, darkroom etiquette, and quality black and white print production, students begin to explore alternative approaches to darkroom printing. Photography's inherent reproducibility is both a gift and a curse...

Tintypes with Holga Cameras

People usually think of doing tintypes in large format cameras such as 4 x 5 or 8 x 10's, but for years I have been encouraging students to use any type of camera they have on hand. Brownies and pinhole cameras have been used as well as something that has become a favorite – the Holga. Dry plate tintypes are not faux tintypes...

Mordan├žage

I will never forget the day I met Jean Pierre Sudre standing in his darkroom and viewed his works in mordançage. It was the summer of 1983 in Lacoste France and as I stood there waiting to be introduced, I was taken by his sparkling blue eyes and the knowledge that this was someone that had figured out life. The Maine Photographic Workshops were beginning to organize photographic programs in Provence conducted by Kate Carter and Craig Stevens and I was assisting my former teachers...

The Lure Of Collodion

Click HERE to find the Collodion supplies Freestyle currently offers! Pouring Collodion An ether-rich liquid is poured onto a sheet of glass, and deliberately flowed to the edges... Thus begins the process of making collodion film from scratch...

The Lure Of Collodion - Developing the Plate

Click HERE to find the Collodion supplies Freestyle currently offers! France placing plateholder in camera Making the exposure After the exposure is made, the plate holder is secured, removed from the camera and brought back to the darkroom. The plate is removed from the holder and the developer, a dilute solution of ferrous sulfate (iron), acetic acid and alcohol is gently poured onto the collodion side of the plate and rocked...

The Lure Of Collodion - Ambrotypes

Click HERE to find the Collodion supplies Freestyle currently offers! Only those who made negatives and prints were called "Photographers." Tintypes were made by "Tintypists" or "Ferrotypists", ambrotypes by "Ambrotypists," etc...

The Lure Of Collodion - Modern Times

Click HERE to find the Collodion supplies Freestyle currently offers! In recent times, printers of platinum/palladium, gum, carbon, salt and albumen prints have made negatives with ortho film, digital facsimiles or conventional silver gelatin films. Collodion negatives, on the other hand, were the negatives of choice when most of these printing processes were introduced...

The Platinum/Palladium Print

A Historical Perspective William Willis invented and patented the Platinotype processes in 1879. By the 1930's the commercial availability of platinotype paper had come to an end. During this period of time photographers had marveled at the ability of platinum to record fine detail and subtle to dynamic tonal ranges...

Kanchi - Alternative Underwater Photography

It's a glorious day when the mind discovers something new. For over thirty years I've been doing sharp, toned, large format photographs of the landscape and still lifes. Then one day three years ago I found myself photographing underwater---a world where I had spent much of my youth, and a world most people will never experience...

Quick and Easy Chromoskedasic Sabatier

Click to enlarge image Chromoskedasic is a unique darkroom process that provides fun darkroom experimentation for those who like to put "play" back into the darkroom. In a nutshell, a black and white print that has been freshly developed but not yet fixed is subjected to two mild photographic solutions, an activator and a stabilizer, while under room light. These chemicals in the presence of light will produce deep red-browns, blues, yellows, oranges, greens and even purple...