[Alt-photo] Re: Alt-pro chems through Airport Checked bags

Loris Medici mail at loris.medici.name
Thu Nov 14 10:46:49 UTC 2013

I guess you have some kind of contamination / impurity in your raw
materials. I had a similar problem with my last batch of Argyrotype. The
first thing to check is your distilled / deionized water, then the vessels
/ tools you handle your raw materials.


2013/11/14 J. Jason Lazarus <jason at lucidperceptions.com>

> All -
> I'm having a heck of a time getting decent VDB solution to mix from the
> chemicals that I recently brought back in checked bag from Bostick and
> Sullivan in Santa Fe and, because I'm searching for any explanation...
> ... could the x-rays that a checked bag goes through alter or expose
> either Silver Nitrate, Tartaric Acid or Ferric Ammonium Citrate?
> Perhaps a long shot, I don't know. I had asked staff at B&S prior to
> leaving if they had any reservations with me taking it back in that manner,
> and seeing none, I didn't give it a second thought... but after several
> unsuccessful attempts, I'm trying to figure out what it may be.
>  I'm having a devil of a time mixing my own solution without having
> significant precipitate form and settle to the bottom of the brown bottle.
>  I've mixed three times, using the measurements out of Christina Z.
> Anderson's book, and have become even more scrutinizing each time.  This
> last time, I added all the mixtures exactly (with a very pricey contraption
> for reloading bullets), mixed with very hot water and even going so far to
> add the silver nitrate drop by drop via an eyedropper to insure I didn't
> add it too fast.
> Within a day, I always end up with a eighth to a quarter inch of silvery
> sludge at the bottom of the bottle.  Prints, if created with freshly
> concocted solution, seem normal - but within a week, the exposure
> dramatically alters and the print quality falls off a cliff and looks poor
> and overwhelmingly grainy.  I've tried shaking the solution up, letting it
> rest and taking only the top of the solution (which is unnaturally clear
> compared to B&S's premix solution) and my prints are of a very poor quality
> and grainy - very much unlike anything I've experienced with B&S's premix.
> Any clues?  Anything I'm missing?
> Thanks.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I apologize in advance if
> there's something utterly sophomoric I'm missing.
> J. Jason Lazarus
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