Among the day-to-day workings of the Studio, I always endeavour to make time for new projects and research that will ‘bring something else to the party’.
You may have caught these posts from last year (after clicking, scroll down), when I first started working with HP’s Large Format Digital Negative Application.
Well, ever since, I have been in regular contact with an aficionado of the Alternative Process, Richard Freestone, and initial testing is now underway.
Currently, we are working with Callotypes, or Salt Prints, with a view to ultimately producing Platinum/Palladium Prints.
As Richard describes, “These are Salt Prints, or ‘Callotypes’ as Fox Talbot named them when he announced the process back in 1840.
“The paper is first soaked in salt water and dried thoroughly. It is then coated with a Silver Nitrate sensitizer and again dried. After exposure with the negative under an Ultra Violet light, it is washed and fixed with Hypo before being washed again and dried.
“Longevity-wise, it is worth noting that some of Fox Talbot’s original prints are still as good as the day they were made.”
HP’s process is comprised of two stages to achieve the Digital Negative…
Firstly, a Target Print is created to enable us to assess how the digital file should be treated. This has a beauty all of its own:
The second stage involves the production of the Digital Negative itself, made on the basis of the Target, printed with HP’s DJz3200 onto a specialist film, suited to Alternative Printing Processes:
“But why is it green?”, I hear you ask…
Well, this is the beauty of HP’s process; researchers and engineers on the project have found the green channel on the DJz3200 to act as the perfect UV cut for making Alternative Process Digital Negatives, hence their green appearance.
When the final print is ready from the above negative (an image from my own archive) you will be among the first to see a digital photograph of it! I’ll keep you posted…
Finally, while we’re in ‘analogue mode’, I thought you might also like to see this topical video clip on the demise of the photographic darkroom: