Once upon a time, before the digital era, there was a photographic printing technique that called wet printing or darkroom printing or silver gelatin printing. You could print a photograph without using computer or printer by using this mysterious technique. Nowadays there are only a few master remain who knows the mystery. Hold on there, I will tell a secret. I am the master and I will whisper the secrets to you in this blog. Keep this secret with you.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Rising the Bird
I have only one digital taken photograph in my portfolio. Hence I couldn't print it at darkroom, I was feeling uncomfortable. Then, one day I decided to print it by using an alternative processing technique and started to search an appropriate one that I can do. Most of them need several chemicals and they are too hard to find for me, but I faced with gum printing that need just one chemical for making. It is potassium dichromate. I found it and decided to give a chance to it.
For making these print I converted the digital image to negative and printed it to a A4 transparency sheet. Then prepared a 5% solution of potassium dichromate. The other metarials that I used were gum arabic and prussian blue gouache paint. For paper I preferred 425 gpm hand made, textured watercolor paper.
Paper was prepared under dim light conditions by applying solutions using a brush. Dried papers are contact printed under direct sun light.
Here are the print details:
Paper: Hand made, textured, 425 gsm, watercolour paper. Paper Size: 21x29 cm (8.2x11.5in) Image Size: 16.8x22.3 cm (6.6x8.8in) Developer: Water Toner: Untoned
Uploaded image is the best one that I could make. First problem that I faced was the exposure. What I read from the internet was suggesting 5 to 8 minutes exposure time under sun light. But in my situation I found best exposure time is 1 minutes.
The other problem was details in shadows. I prepared three different negative which were low, normal and high contrast. This image was made with high contrast one. Unfortunately none of my negatives were not contain enough shadow details. I understand that I have to prepare contrast and more dense negative.
BTW, most of the source I read about gum printing were suggested to size the paper but I didn't do it.