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

Contact Printing Frames

It is simple to make a contact printing frames for alternative processes. this can be as simple as a piece of glass and a board through to elaborate devices with special spring clips. However, there are some point to take into consideration

•make sure the glass is clean and has no scratches or these will show up on all the prints.

•Its helpful to have some system that keeps the glass, the negative and paper support base in close contact - areas where the emulsion coated paper that are not in contact with the negative will show up as blurry and out of focus.

• For some situations, It is helpful to have some means of registering the paper and the negative

Base board with a piece of glass,This is the simplest means of constructing a printing frame - It works ok for small works but if the glass is not thick enough the contact between the glass, the negative and the paper with the emulsion can be poor and produce a print with areas out of focus. Also the negative can slip an lose registration on the paper.  

Photocopier top

The hinged top from an old photocopier can easily be converted in a contact printer.

Clips and rubber bands - These can be used to hold the sandwich of glass, negative and paper down firmly.

Registration plates

As a means of registering the negative and paper,two metal plates or wooden or wooden strips can be fixed along the side of the base board.



Board with hinged glass

A board can be made with a soft spongy base and tape along the edge so it can be hinged up or down.


Large works

Obviously as the works become lager the printing frame needs to be larger and this can present some problems. The time taken to construct the printing frame can relate to the aesthetics of the image - If there is a sense of deconstruction you can afford to be more relaxed than if you are aiming for a technically perfect print - Also if you are only making a few pints you might like to improvise.


For the St Sebastian image which explored a deconstructed aesthetic, I used a series A3 photocopied transparencies and several sheets of glass.



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