U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Anyone doing autochrome?

Re: Anyone doing autochrome?

Hi, Richard,

Thanks for writing.

I've seen enough autochromes to know what I'm looking at, but I can't say know much about the autochrome process -- except that it produces a color image using potato grains on a B&W base emulsion. I know the originals were done on glass plates. I accept that we don't have a multi-ton press in a light-tight room to make the real thing. Even if the images were a bit fuzzy, less than permanent, could the process be done on B&W sheet film?

My interest in asking is that I work with high-school students in an arts-infused program. This means we use the arts to teach other subjects -- chemistry in this case. For the past two years I've been doing cyanotype printing with a group of chemistry students as a way of teaching about chemical reactions. I'm hoping to deepen my bag of tricks as it were. So, I'm not looking for a digital rendition, but an actual physical/chemical process. (In the best of all possible worlds, I could wow my students by showing them photos made from a potato.)

BTW, the idea of doing autochromes was only one thought. I'd entertain any other ideas for other darkroom chemistry projects. Keep in mind these are high school students. Anything involving critical measurement of hazardous chemicals probably wouldn't look too great on the evening news.


Richard Vallon Jr. wrote:
On Aug 28, 2007, at 1:58 PM, Barry Kleider wrote:
Is there anyone on the list with experience doing autochrome printing?

I'd like to do some experiments on my own and then offer it to some of my high school students.

Barry Kleider

Hi Barry-

Are you familiar with this process? I'm asking as it is a glass plate covered with colored potato starch grains.
The grains are pressed together under a multi ton press then the back of these grains is coated with a photo emulsion
- this plate is then developed as a positive after it has been exposed in camera...
The final result is a color transparency...
So the chances of anyone doing this themself w/o a research grant are small.

However- it would not be impossible to contact print onto color photo paper through a multi colored screen made in an inkjet printer.
I also have a simple digital method in photoshop that looks very similar to an autochrome.
If this interests anyone I can write this up...

Richard Vallon - Orleans Photo Inc.