U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: Merits and Demerits of Salted vs. VDB

RE: Merits and Demerits of Salted vs. VDB


Sounds like you need to add a water filter to your wash water line. Pretty
easy to do even in an apartment.

Don Bryant

-----Original Message-----
From: Gordon Cooper [mailto:nwlorax@comcast.net] 
Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 3:55 PM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: Merits and Demerits of Salted vs. VDB

Sandy King wrote:
> At 9:16 AM -0600 9/1/07, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
>> However, in my packet of step wedges and test prints and tonal 
>> palettes printed in both, I notice that there is a fading and 
>> yellowing and mottling in the VDB packet I do not see in salt. The 
>> salt prints look exactly like they did the day I made them.  In the 
>> troubleshooting section of my VDB chapter (Alt Proc Condensed) I have 
>> a quote from Mike Ware via Wynn White: "Most sources state that 
>> Vandyke prints can be cleared in plain water.  In Mike Ware's 
>> description of the argyrotype process he explains the problems 
>> iron-based silver processes have.  If processed in an alkaline 
>> solution residual ferric iron is left in the print which will 
>> eventually cause it to fade since iron (III) will oxidize silver."
>> Chris
> There are two important steps that if carried out will dramatically 
> improve the quality of VDB prints. The first is to make absolutely 
> sure that the first wash is carried out in water that is slightly 
> acidic. If the water is alkaline iron hydroxide will be set in the 
> paper and this can can be removed in subsequent processing. However, 
> don't make the first bath too acidic because it might bleach the silver.
> Second, bite the money bullet and buy some noble metal solution (gold, 
> pallaidum or platinum) and tone the print before fixing. This will 
> eliminate bleaching and give you the deepest possible shadow values.
> Sandy King
I use a platinum toner after an acidified wash. An important factor is 
the quality of the rinse water My apartment's water supply is through 
50+ year old steel pipes. I have had bits of iron from this stick to my 
VDB papers while rinsing. I have gone to the use of distilled or 
de-ionized water for all of my process steps. Expensive, but consistency 
counts for a lot.

Gordon Cooper
Bremerton, WA