Tag Archives: “emulsion making”

sun print

i realized last week the emulsion is sensitive enough to print through the photo paper if reversed.

UNwaxed paper negative

hand coated, printed through paper


this was printed in full sun for about 1 hour

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper Also tagged , |

chloro bromide emulsion #2

its been a while since i made the emulsion i wrote about here
but that isn’t to say it hasnt been on my mind since a year ago january.  i’ve  been distracted with life and trying to finish off all my film, and making more sun and retina
and cyanotype prints.  but this morning i decided to make some more go-juice.

i dont’ really have a recipe that  belongs to someone else i follow but i mix and match hoping it will work,  this time around here is what i am doing:


120cc water
4g iodized salt
12g potassium bromide
1cc of watered down D72 !
20g hard bloom gelatin

( my last batch was knox gelatin, it worked OK for a little while but eventually the gelatin broke down and made a mess )

i heated up the water and added and stirred all the ingredients so they are mixed and dissolved well.  the water i put in a cheap metal pot
and i heated it up on the single burner i use to roast my coffee.  when everything got dissolved and well mixed i took the salted gelatin out of the pot
it’s now sitting on the enlarger table.  i’ll go back down in a little bit and re-heat it to liquid again as i mix the silver nitrate and water together.

next is the silver nitrate i put on an apron, gloves and EYE GOGGLES and measured 32g silver nitrate and 120cc warm water.
and mixed this until it was completely dissolved.

with the safelight on and the salted gelatin warm i stirred like mad and slowly mixed the silver nitrate into the gelatin.
eyesight is nothing to play with, and silver nitrate will blind you without a second thought.  always use eye protection !

anyways i dribbled and mixed the silver nitrate in there and the whole mixture turned white.
i’ll use this as a paper emulsion, so i won’t bother to wash it.  i put the ball jar into a locking air tight container
and then in a black paper bag and stuck it in the refrigerator to set.

i have no clue if it will work or not, i’m looking forward to finding out soon !

in a few days i will coat some paper and expose it and post my results


OK it is the next day and i really couldn’t help myself …

the emulsion was put in one of those hinged jars that have a rubber seal, like the stuff you might
have on your counter with coffee beans or sugar or whatever ..  the bell jar was inside that ..  the whole thing in
a black bag photo paper usually comes in when it is in the box ..  i didn’t really trust that the jar i put it in was light proof
so i bagged it when i put it in the little fridge.

the moment of truth ..

i brought the jar to the red room and opened it, and it set ( WHEW ! ) i always worry i didn’t put enough gelatin in there
and it would be a watery mess.  it was emulsion alright

i scooped a little out and warmed / melted it and painted it onto some card stock.

its drying now …  but when its dry i will rip it in half and hide half of it.  i’ll put something on the card and turn the lights on
and make a photogram in some dektol and see if this stuff works.  after that i will put s cut piece in my K1000 and make a test strip to determine
exposure times and iso’s.  and easy way i usually do is f 11, block the lens off and make a series of 1 second exposures. and develop the strip to see what happens.


OK …

well i realized the watered down 1cc ( if that ) of liquid i added at the end was dektol, not hypo
i hate amber bottles !

i did my first 2 tests and coated some more paper.

the photogram i made i counted to 6 with the room light on and it made a killer photogram.
i handheld a slip inside a camera f2 $ 15 seconds and it looks to be about right.

they are still washing and more paper is drying so i can’t really say for sure what everything is.
i know if in the camera ends up being too tedious i make enough photograms and sun prints it won’t be an issue using this home brew emulsion

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, liquid emulsion Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

a few more paper negatives

as i wait for single coated paper to flatten out so i can coat them a 2nd time  i have a few paper negatives exposed the last few days in a cyclone, and processed yesterday.

i scanned 8 and have worked on a few ..  i added color sometimes, or not they lean off center.

paper negative

paper negative

railing and trees

railing and trees

Posted in alternative process photography, liquid emulsion, using vintage equipment Also tagged , , , |

first emulsion made by me since 1986/1987

its been about 30 years since i dabbled in the dark arts of making a photographic emulsion using silver. i make cyanotype-stuff all the time but that is child’s play by comparison. with cyanotypes you use 2 chemicals and coat a piece of paper with them with silver emulsion, it is a little more involved, not by much though.  as a cheese eating college student i went to the salvation army / good will ( it was a long time ago i can’t remember which ) and i bought some pots and pans and glass ball jars then i mailed away for silver nitrate and some potassium bromide and probably potassium iodide.  not sure where, but someone pointed me in the right direction …  and followed a recipe that was in the back of an olde photography handbook i got at a book store. the book was from around 1904 and it had old ads, recipes and other fun stuff it was an “annual” ..  anyways, i mixed up an emulsion or 2 but they never really worked very well. while i took chemistry classes in high school and wasn’t afraid to do new things, i just didn’t know what i was doing enough to get anything worthwhile so i abandoned that and started using bottled  mulsion, mainly liquid light by rockland colloid. it worked and i continued to use it for decades off and on— even a few weeks ago i used some and wrote about it here …  there is  a website called the light farm ( http://www/thelightfarm.com ) and for years now i have gone there are read and marvelled at the great stuff there.   i read with the intent of making emulsion again but seeing i had armloads of film and bottled emulsions handy i kept making emulsion at an arms distance, something that i would eventually fall back into but not yet …  now that i have almost run out of materials ( film ) i don’t feel guilty making emulsion. anywyas, the person who runs the light farm, denise ross, is a great mixologist and explainer of emulsions, and she has written a book on how anyone can do it, recipies, techniques, you name it, its in there. http://www.blurb.com/books/6465389-the-light-farm  i got my copy maybe a month ago, and i have been poking around, reading, learning .. and going to the website and reading, poking around and learning.  so today, i decided to step up.  what i did was morphed 2 recipes together and made my own. i like the idea of using sea water ( live near the ocean ) so i made my own ( using baline salt ) and ideas from a light farm contributer named chris patten:  http://thelightfarm.com/Map/DryPlate/Patton/DryPlatePart.htm


… and while i like the idea of an emulsion that is slow and sweet, i decided to add some potassium bromide to it, just cause .. well im not sure why i did it, i just did and used a few ideas from a light farm contributor kevin klein:  http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/DryPlate/Recipes2/DryPlatePart3.htm

i mixed 60cc of warm water with 10 g of knox gelatin  (i didn’t have photography grade emulsion so i used what i had handy) i also added 10 g of the potassium bromide and 2 g of salt. i mixed and mixed and used a water bath and a hot plate ( used a ball jar to put the stuff in ) and when it was mixed i left it in the water to stay liquid and not set.  then covered from head to toe with an apron and EYE PROTECTION GOGGLES i mixed 10g of silver nitrate into another 60cc of warmish water. eye protection you might ask, why ? well, a splash of silver nitrate in your eyes will BLIND YOU , so if you do this PLEASE BE SMART AND WEAR PROTECTION ! silver nitrate will also stain your skin black, and clothes too, so BE CAREFUL, NOT FOOLISH.  once the silver nitrate mixture was dissolved, i turned on the red light, took the gelatin mixture out of the big pot and slowly added the silver nitrate to it. too fast is bad, and too slow is bad. i probably mixed it in too fast because it is supposed to be mixed in a few cc/ min, so it takes about 5-10 mins, i didnt’ just dump it in there, but i didn’t do it extremely slow either. poured a little in, mixed like mad, poured a little more in mixed like mad .. until i had none left.

the ball jar is now yellowish white with emulsion but it isnt’ done yet.  its in one of those canisters with a rubber seal sitting on my concrete floor until it sets up. when that happens i will pull it out of the ball jar it is in, i’ll can cut it up in pices … it will go in cheese cloth and i will rinse it 3-4 times in cold tap water. then i’ll heat it up again into a blob and put it someplace cool and dark until i cut a piece off of it, warm it up, put it on paper or glass and hopefully make a photograph with it !  we live in a new golden age of photography. digital cameras have made it great for people to make wonderful photographs, and silver based/ chemical based photography is back to the way it was 150 years ago. you can’t get the chemicals at the local pharmacy but they are a mouse click away, and unlike my first attempts in making photo emulsion 30 years ago … the internet has made it very easy to find people who can help you do it right …

well, its still sitting there getting cold. when its ready to use i’ll post something maybe something fun, maybe an utter failure ! its up to the fate sisters now ..

Posted in alternative process photography, liquid emulsion Also tagged , |