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

Yep, I'm aware that my solutions are significantly stronger. Probably should
have explained that I was using Wynn White's toning strategy which calls for
2oz of KRST to 500ml, an even stronger concentration.

-----Original Message-----
From: Joseph Smigiel [mailto:jsmigiel@net-link.net]
Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 9:36 PM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: Merits and Demerits of Salted vs. VDB

Note that the dilution I am talking about is 1+ 500 in milliliters.
1ml to 500ml.  Your dilution of 1 ounce to 500ml or 1000ml represents
dilutions of approximately 1+ 17 and 1+ 34 respectively, both of
which are very much stronger concentrations.


On Sep 2, 2007, at 12:20 AM, D. Mark Andrews wrote:

> Funny that this message should come by today. I've just finished
> several
> hours of vdb printing and using KRST in a dilution of 1oz to 500ml
> water and
> then later at 1 oz to 1000ml of water. I absolutely love the deep
> chocolate
> brown that I get with this toner, but you must move fast. Just a
> few seconds
> and the chocolate turns to rusty orange--hence my dilution test
> above. Even
> when I get it out fast enough the print fades in my fix of 3% Theo :-(
> More testing tomorrow. Will try to acidify my initial bath--my
> water's pH is
> exactly 7 so have been skipping this step. Will also try further
> dilution of
> the KRST to see if I can slow down the shift to dark brown so I can
> better
> control the toning stage.
> Mark
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joseph Smigiel [mailto:jsmigiel@net-link.net]
> Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 10:27 AM
> To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
> Subject: Re: Merits and Demerits of Salted vs. VDB
> Here's an example of 11 VDB prints exposed identically and then
> treated in different toners and toner/fix sequences using a 2% citric
> acid 1st wash.  The actual color of the scans is a bit too yellow but
> it shows clearly the relative color and density differences.  10
> prints are on ecruwhite Cranes' Kid Finish Stationery and one on the
> white flavor of that paper.  There is also a comparison between
> untoned prints single-vs. double-coated.
> The image is a nude in the woods so be forewarned:
> http://my.net-link.net/~jsmigiel/images/technical/toners/
> vdb_test_11.28.05.jpg
> I would not recommend selenium toning (KRST= Kodak Rapid Selenium
> Toner in the description) for VDB because of the bleaching effect
> even at a dilution of 1+500.  Selenium-sulphide toners such as
> Polytoner both bleach and fog VDBs depending on the tone/fix sequence
> as shown in the example.
> The use of a gold-thiourea toner (e.g., Clerc's formula) imparts a
> very nice purplish tone if extended long enough with both VDB and
> salted paper processes.  I think it looks sweet with an ecru paper.
> Joe
> On Sep 1, 2007, at 11:16 AM, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
>> Ross,
>> I think the public would be hard pressed to tell the difference
>> between the two in a finished print but salt has traditionally been
>> called the poor man's platinum because of its very long tonal
>> range. On Weston paper the VDB and salt look very similar tonally,
>> to me, with about the same amount of stops, but generally you have
>> to use a flatter neg with VDB than with salt. If you match the neg
>> to each process with a digital curve and digital negatives, I think
>> it would be hard to tell the difference even more.
>> There are 6 processes I teach in my alt class--first cyanotype to
>> learn the digineg process, then we move to VDB and argyrotype, then
>> gum, then pt/pd and then salt.  This past year I eliminated
>> argyrotype and made salt optional though I demoed it, because all
>> three are essentially brownprint processes and it wasn't really
>> necessary to have them do all three.
>> 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."
>> With test strips and wedges since I am only using them to scan and
>> read data, I am not as careful in my washing/fixing.  Thus these
>> WOULD be more prone to showing incorrect processing, which they
>> do.  BUT, where VDB uses iron in the mix, salt does not--salt is a
>> silver/chloride process and VDB is a silver/iron process in other
>> words.  Hence, this could be one reason to prefer salt. If you are
>> careful with your processing and use citric acid in your wash baths
>> for VDB so the pH is below 7, Ware says this should solve that
>> problem.
>> If a salt print looks gross as Sandy says it is a fogging that
>> occurs immediately.  This is due (if there is no undue light
>> exposure) to a paper without enough sizing so that the solution
>> sinks too far into the paper. Buxton, a great paper for cyanotype,
>> looked terrible with salt when I used it.  BUT the other thing not
>> enough sizing does is not provide enough organic compounds in
>> excess for the whole process to occur.  If organics are not in
>> excess proportion to the silver you get a dull grey print.  The
>> active organic substances in some way facilitate the reduction of
>> silver chloride.  Ryuji could explain why this is so, I have no idea.
>> One more thing you can do with salt--vary the color of the print
>> from sepia to red brown depending on your salt form--ammonium
>> chloride is more red brown.  You can tone both processes.
>> VDB is such a quick, easy process, not requiring the two step size
>> and then sensitize that salt does.  But if I were to choose one
>> over the other I would choose salt. But in a classroom, VDB is way
>> easier to teach and students tend to be more successful with it.
>> This is obviously way more than you need to know but you asked...
>> Chris
>> From: "Ross Chambers" <maelduin@ozemail.com.au>
>> To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
>> Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 2:06 AM
>> Subject: Merits and Demerits of Salted vs. VDB
>>> To the brown folk,
>>> I've made my first VDB prints today.
>>> I've had a few sessions with salted prints, with which I was
>>> fairly happy.
>>> The VDB prints were, to my eye, not remarkably different (same
>>> paper, same
>>> exposure conditions: the Sun), although I did lose a couple when
>>> following a
>>> prescribed selenium toning step (fade to white!)
>>> So, re the header, do experienced practioners of these techniques
>>> find
>>> greater merits in one or the other? Do the contrast ranges of the
>>> negative
>>> favour one or the other?
>>> Regards - Ross
>>> ===========================
>>> Ross Chambers
>>> Blue Mountains
>>> New South Wales
>>> Australia
>>> maelduin@ozemail.com.au
>>> ===========================