Sequence viewing > Index - Alternative Photo Emulsions - Resource - ©
Photographic Processes - (Hand
made photographic -emulsions and processes)
While there are various interpretations on what alternative processes
(or what are sometimes called hand made emulsions) are, for this resource
photographic processes that use photosensitive emulsions, which sit outside
the traditional commercial materials, and processes commonly available.
This usually means mixing chemicals from base, applying to a support base,
exposing and processing.
Van dyke brown prints, Salt prints, Platinum, Lactate Acid prints, Gum
bichromate etc. are among some of these processes. During the development
of photography into the processes we know today, nearly all of these processes
were discarded in preference for more modern processes that were able
to record the scene being photographed in a more realistic manner with
materials that could be used quickly and cheaply. However, in recent years
there has been a renaissance of interest in the aesthetic that these processes
can produce. Searching for information on the processes can reveal a wide
range of variations and often it is worth noting that no one recipe or
description can provide all the answers. My suggestion for anyone wishing
to use any these processes in their work is to continue to research and
refine the process for their own needs.
of the recipes and methods contain general information, or wrong information
that tends to get recycled. Workers who do unearth the finer details often
guard them. Remember the basic photographic principals of light darkening
the emulsion usually hold true.
use some of these processes successfully you may need to do considerable
research and experimentation. When Kate Mahoney, one of of BFA students
first began with gum bichromate it just would not work, after researching
more than a dozen sources the answer became clear. All previous methods
suggested exposing the paper to sunlight, often for various times. But
it is actually UV that sets the emulsion, and depending where and at what
time of the year you are working, UV can be quite variable. Kate found
that exposure to strong sunlight created gross over exposure. What was
needed to make successful prints was diffused sunlight.
Want to learn more? - do a workshop or one on one with Lloyd Godman