Tips needed on liquid emulsion printing
Old 07-18-2015   #1
Melancholy
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Tips needed on liquid emulsion printing

Last night I made some prints with Fotospeed liquid emulsion, both on aquarelle paper and photo paper, not with great results. I“ve not read much about this process, just seen some great pictures made this way and understand that it“s not as easy as it might look. I“m use to wet printing and get some decent results most of the time, and would like to learn more about emulsion printing too.


This is a very nice print posted by ThomasM in the "show me your latest darkroom prints" thread

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...&postcount=515




Is there anyone who can guide me a bit on how to prepare, coate the paper, exposertime and so on?
I would really appreciate every tips and guidance.
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Old 07-18-2015   #2
Roger Hicks
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What were you unhappy about? Without knowing that, it's hard to judge what information you need.

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Old 07-18-2015   #3
Melancholy
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Good point Roger, thanks for reminding me.

Here is a print I made last night, it“s a contact print from a digital file that I inverted and printed out as a negative.



This is the original file/picture


If you compare my print with the print from ThomasM, it“s obvious that my result is far away from his, and what I“m trying to get.
I would like more contrast in the print, sharper results (my homemade negative might be a factor here) and a better exposed image. Now, I didn“t try to expose a print from my enlarger like I do when wet printing, maby that will give a better result?
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Old 07-18-2015   #4
Roger Hicks
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I'd certainly try using an enlarger: it's what Frances and I normally do.The home-made "neg" was clearly far too lacking in contrast. Also, how did you apply the emulsion?

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Old 07-19-2015   #5
Melancholy
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Ok, I“ll try with an enlarger and a real negative next time.

I follow the instructions regarding the emulsion, heated and mixed 1:2 with water and the correct temperature. I use a brush with not much emulsion on the tip, brushing the paper carefully in the same direction (horizontal) till I“ve covered the paper/area I want to expose. Then I repeat the brushing vertically after getting some more emulsion on the brush. Hang the paper on a clip to dry, before I expose it and develop it.

I“m not sure how much emulsion I shoud put on the paper, is it critical if it“s to much? Also, I might try to dry the paper for a longer period than I did. Looking at my result posted above, I see that there are more contrast in the black at the end of the brushing, I guess that could be because there are more emulsion there?

If I get time tonight, I“m gonna give it another try with the enlarger and a 6x6 negative that I know is good for printing. Looking at the print from ThomasM, I“m also going to brush only one way when I apply the emulsion.
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Old 07-20-2015   #6
Roger Hicks
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Use a broader, softer brush: Chinese or Japanese hake brushes are ideal. Yes, more emulsion = denser image -- which is why liquid emulsions are not normally variable-contrast (thickness affects contrast).

You can also try twisting the brush while applying the emulsion. The results are always somewhat aleatory, but you get good surprises as well as bad ones.

Hope this helps,

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Old 07-20-2015   #7
sevo
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The regular way of doing it involves pre-coating and drying the paper before the emulsion is applied, usually with a foundation of gelatin and white pigment - but pure gelatin or any other substrate to separate the emulsion from the paper fibre will do as well.
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Old 07-20-2015   #8
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevo View Post
The regular way of doing it involves pre-coating and drying the paper before the emulsion is applied, usually with a foundation of gelatin and white pigment - but pure gelatin or any other substrate to separate the emulsion from the paper fibre will do as well.
Very true but I've never considered using white pigment as well. A PVA adhesive such as UniBond, well diluted, should make a good size but I've never tried it.

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Old 07-20-2015   #9
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What bothers me is that even the parts that are not covered by the negative is not black enough. It seems that the emulsion is fogged even before the image is formed.

One tip that I learned from making a digital negative is to print a linear gradation of grey percentage from white to black at the side of the print. That way you can judge how contrast is translated in the image by referring to the these values.

And when you actually expose and develop the print, you can refer to this "strip" to see which values don't translate well. Of course, you'll trim out the strip when you are finishing the print.
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