Thursday, June 20, 2013

Developing photos with just soda

Do you believe this? But it works! Some will say that the papers already have a developing agent, but I did the same with a bromide paper prepared by me and it works the same way.

In my previous article, I told you about what I discovered with my own printing paper, I could develop weak images only with a red light and no need of a solution to make the image appear. I just leave it at sun with a red filter and the image comes up. It is rather difficult to fix this image, I have been washing very well the paper and then using normal ammonium thiosulfate. But the image becomes lighter and almost white in some cases.

Today my silver nitrate finished and I decided to use normal bromide paper, Ilford Multigrade IV brillant. Exposing the paper first to normal light and then to the red light, the latent image comes up too but still much weaker than with my own produced photo paper.

I thought, well, I have to purchase more silver nitrate and wait until it comes and go on with the experiments. But... I had an insight suddenly:

In fact, the red light acts like a developer agent. So, why not making a soda bath and develop the paper in just soda exposed to the red light just over the tray of soda?

And I started spoiling sheet after sheet, first exposing the sheet to the red light and when I saw a faint image, down to the soda bath but allways happened that the paper becomes black very quickly. And then I started reducing the exposure to normal light and things went better. At the end I was developing in one minute as normal and the image was OK. But I had to use a flash pointed to the ceiling to get the right amount of light, the fluorescent light was too much and difficult to regulate for just a second or so.

The paper was showing to be much more sensitive in this way as in normal process with developer. Then I thought, maybe I can expose a sheet of paper in the camera for 1/100 sec. and f/8. Yes, it worked but I had to lower the speed to 1/50 to get a darker image with f/8. So, the paper was showing a sensitivity of about 12,5 ISO, applying the f/16 rule. But that is normal for bromide papers when using latent image.

But the problem of fixing the image still exists, I am making now a stop bath of vinager and then I let the photo for a while in just concentrated salt. The image stays OK, but I still don't know for how long. If it is time enough to dry and be scanned, it may serve for something.

(I am waiting for the pictures to dry and I will post them here.)

The photo above is a contact print of an acetate printed with laser printer.

Developed with light and soda
The photo was taken with a Zeiss-Ikon 9x12 and lens Wollensack

No comments: