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

Many thanks to all for your notes


<<generally you have to use a flatter neg with VDB than with salt.>>

Which leads me to a pragmatic approach: VDB when I'm not achievimg the range
I'm seeking for salted. I've put the enlarged interneg -- which produced OK
and not so OK results -- approach aside for the moment and digital isn't on
the horizon, I'm hooked on 5x7 camera negs and to set up for a full digital
procedure is beyond my budget.

<<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.>>

I note that these are not show prints, but it's a concern.

<<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.>>

I don't perceive fogging. I'm using Arches Platine which seems ta have a
diversity of opinions regarding the need for sizing. A Sydney Pt/Pd printer
of skill believes, as do some web denizens, that Platine is sized
sufficiently already. Sizing is not problematic, I have the correct gelatine
and sized some sheets of Rives BFK recently in preparation for testing. The
extra organic compound idea is interesting (you can't get much more organic
than those boiled down cattle beast hooves!)


<<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

I've been thinking about it ever since I exhausted my Tetenal gold toner
(opinions?) on conventional prints.


<<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. >>

Thanks Joseph, that is very generous. I've saved the page and I hope that
that is OK with you.

Regards - Ross

Ross Chambers
Blue Mountains 
New South Wales