U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Van Dyke question(s)

Re: Van Dyke question(s)

On Tue, 15 Jan 2008, sam wang wrote:


I have a few lovely violet to red tinted VDs that I toned with gold before fixing some 20 years ago. Some of them have been shown but most have been stored in the dark and they all seem to remain unchanged. As far as I can remember, I was using Nelson's formula because it contained "hypo" which darkened the tones whereas other gold toner formulas left them much lighter. It was hard to control though, since the strength of hypo decreased with each print. I've had very little experience with Clerc's.
Sam, don't tell anyone I asked this -- and if I can dig my way through the piles of books in the studio that don't even leave room for the mousetraps, I can probably find a book with the answer... (and in my defense I note it's been 15 years since I did VDB), but "Nelson's"? Nelson's what? (What comes to mind after writing this is "Nelson's Gold Toner," but the source didn't appear on my brain screen.)


Seems to me that the consensus is that VDs are very permanent if properly processes.
This goes to show that "consensus" can also be mutual agreement in error, as we see weekly in, among other places, NY Times Science section, where my favorite reading is the shibboleths of medicine proved untrue, even counter-productive. (There's a minor one yesterday & today about some pharma for cholesterol reduction now debunked... seems the company knew for a year & kept silent... while the lawyers are sharpening their process servers.)

Of course "properly processed" as you note may not be universally agreed upon... the print I have in my liv. rm flourescent light has faded greatly, but it could be the NYC air, also, since it's not under glass.

Since the silver is on the surface of the paper, it is subject to environmental damages. Problems is: what's "proper" processing? Sandy has testes a number of steps to ensure proper fixing and washing but "weird results" still showed up, even when the silver was all replaced by pd.
And I count on the toners from Smiegel to foolproof all... but does Sandy have his on a website yet?... Yoohoo, Sandy !

But it occurs to me while writing that the GREAT beauty of this list, besides the general huge fund of knowledge, is that folks will disagree: You don't get that in even the best text... If something is presented (like whatsisname) as "definitive," it's "definitive" !!

Meanwhile, planning to dabble a bit in saltprint myself, I picked up Liam's fabulous article from P-F #8... on "non-salt salt prints". He mentions that his references say you get thus & such color with such and such chemicals, so he went to the trouble (and expense) of acquiring those chemicals, but "they lie."

You never find that in the books... So maybe some folks did get those colors because of their water, their chemicals, their eyeglasses, whatever, but nobody wrote that THEY didn't, or if they didn't they figured they'd screwed up. Liam doesn't. Or let's say if he screwed it up, so would you. Thanks Liam, thanks Joe, thanks Sam -- and all.