U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Correction Re: 2 cyano formulae

Correction Re: 2 cyano formulae

Correction: Issue # 7 is the one where I jump up and down on the book "Photographic Possibilities" by Robert Hirsch and John Valentino, who cut and pasted a cyano formula and description from William Crawford's "The Keepers of Light," including the MISinformation that it made a "solid red tone," but that "the highlight areas turn yellow within a week and remain so."

I knew this was complete nonsense from testing Crawford (who, for his time and as a pioneer, in 1979, was AMAZINGLY good, tho not quite perfect.) When Hirsch & co just cut & pasted the very same words and identical mistaken claim into their book (in which the info on gum was comical/pathetic,/stupid and dumb) it got to me. I'd researched cyano from the original publications, it being my first love in "alt," and never found ANY formula that produced what Hirsch called a "solid red tone", but Crawford said was an "attractive red tone" -- which, depending on what you call "red" was true.

But the business about highlights turning yellow was unfathomable. I spent too many of my remaining days on earth TRYING to make that happen, and ultimately discovered it was a matter of timing: too long in the sodium carb. Hirsch & co say 5 min... I found you could get full color in 20 - 30 seconds, & that with this formula, longer gave increased stains... tho never EVER "yellow" (which would have been cool, no?) -- more a "tan with a yellowish cast." It also appeared full blown by the time the print was dry (only "a week later" if you stuck yr head in the sand til then).

This took two full pages, which I believe I can say without fear of contradiction made a pretty fair study, or demo, of "testing." Naturally I added a post-script rant about cut and paste "manuals" and who could blame me? (Warming up for gum-pigment ratio testing, or maybe vice versa.)

Meanwhile, the P-F issue about cyanotype and cyano toning in general is Issue #5, tho I'm so low on that (and determined never EVER in this world to do another PDF) I can't let it go as a single issue. I do however have extras on #7 [these things REFUSE to come out even] & if anyone would like that as single issue, e-mail me offlist).

[It has Jon Bailey's interview with Christopher James, "At Camp Tintype with John Coffer," Joe Besse on Oleobrom (made with rollers!), Janet Neuhauser's article on "The Power of Gold (toning)," Martin Lennon on gum over cyano, & other miscellaneous history, revelations & obsolescences, including my own magical plating-out toner you probably can't do any more because who has silver gelatin paper?