U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | eggs for albumen printing/ was "Apis or not Apis)

eggs for albumen printing/ was "Apis or not Apis)

Don Bryant wrote:

Funny that you mention this since I asked Zoe Zimmerman after her
presentation in '03 about the need for free range chicken eggs for albumin.
Luckily I have a huge supply when I need them but some say free range eggs aren't needed...
The claim about "free range" is a joke, right? I mean, there's a lot of nonsense abroad about every photo twitch available to the human mind, but this is a new one... In the "literature" about albumen no such message occurs, nor as a close observer of the action next door as John Dugdale's assistant Dan Levin learned/perfected the process for John's show (circa 2003) did I hear it. Nor did Dan's detailed instructions ["Classic Albumen -- from Learner to Expert ASAP."in P-F #8] hint at the possibility, or raise a voice.

They used Deb El brand "Just Whites" bought at the health-food store around the corner, but Dan noted that "presumably other powdered egg whites are equivalent." A chain "gourmet" food store on Bleecker St sold liquid egg whites, which also worked but were "too stinky" to tolerate in a small room. Apparently albumen "Method #3" in Christopher James' first edition was the original inspiration. In any event, no reader, author, or other commentator mentioned "free range."

An article by Dick George pointed out that more than a billion eggs were imported into England in just the year 1889 -- for albumen photography, the dominant photo medium at the time. Of course in those days, the chickens were probably all "free range" (possible origin of the claim?), but in 2002-3, printers agreed that powdered was fine, and the words "free range" were unmentioned.

But this is another joke... right?