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Alternative Photographic Processes - (Hand made photographic -emulsions and processes)

Processes - Brom etching

Brometching from c.1935

Discovery 1935 Brometching is a method of treating bromoil paper so that the resulting picture shows the texture of the paper, reminiscent of an etching. Richard Lluellyn first described the process in an article published in Amateur Photographer in 1935. This article was probably written soon after the process had been discovered. Earlier references to brometching, some as early as the 1890s probably refer to another process by the same name, in which lines were drawn over a print in waterproof ink, then the silver was bleached out, leaving a result similar to an etching. Recent Work Brometching Kit Kentmere produced products for the Brometching process in the 1940s. They continued to be sold until the 1990s. The products were an "Etch-Bleach" kit, to be used in conjunction with "Kentint" papers. Brometching Today Brometching is still being carried out today [2003] by at least one worker, Sri Lankan, Dr Dustan Perera, living in London. He is also planning to write a documentary on the Sri Lankan artist, musician and photographer who was a brometching worker in the 1930s. Process 1. Produce an overexposed print - six times the normal exposure. 2. Develop fully for 50% more than normal time 3. Rinse 4. Make an etching solution of salt, sulphuric acid and potassium permanganate in water. [The Amateur Photogrpaher article gives fuller details] 5. Apply the etching solution in stages until the brightest highlights are practically cleared of silver. 6. Wash until the wash water no longer has a pink tint. 7. Fix in an acid fixing bath. During the process, care has to be taken to ensure an even action of the etching solution. Result Brometching pictures show the texture of the paper on which they are printed, and so resemble an etching. They have rich charcoal black tones. The process produces its most impressive results if rough or very rough paper is used. The picture, being 'etched' into the surface of its paper, appears to have more depth and believed to have greater permanence than a normal bromide photograph.



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