Processes How-To

Instructions and recipes on how to work in alternative photographic processes and non-silver techniques. Instructions are provided by photographers and teachers working in the process, written with a practical approach, so; enjoy learning a new process. Have fun! If you are new a good starting point is the cyanotype process and if you want an environmetally friendly process start with anthotypes.

Albumen prints

Albumen process

Replacing the salt print process by the 1840’s, albumen prints combine beaten egg whites with salt and potassium iodide for a higher definition photograph.

Instructions

Albumen printing

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Anthotypes

mf_maskros

A fun and easy way to make images using the juice from fruits, plants, flowers, and vegetables as both sensitizer and pigment! Practiced by Sir William Herschel beginning in the 1840’s, this method is very suited to photograms. Although anthotype prints are novel and unique, permanence of the image depends upon your choice of organic extract.

Instructions

Anthotype? A what?

Anthotypes – step by step instructions to making a print using plants

Anthotypes: How different paper effects the emulsion color

Finding plants and pigments for making anthotypes

Organic photography

The anthotype process

The chemistry of anthotypes

Working with anthotypes

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Anthotype Short Course

Anthotypes

Bromoils & oil

Oil pigment printing

Bromoils, oilprints, resinotypes and oleobroms: Early twentieth century processes which begins with a silver bromide print and ends with an oily or inked print of alluring elegance.

Instructions

Bromoil and oil pigment printing

Bromoil on aluminium sheets

Making a bromoil print

Oleobrom process

Papers for the bromoil process

The oilprint process (Schildt)

The oilprint process (Thijs)

The resinotype process

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

The Art of Bromoil & Transfer

Calotypes

Calotypes by Christopher Wright

Patented in 1841 by William Henry Fox Talbot, the calotype (Talbotype) became the basis for all subsequent negative/positive processes. Thanks to the research of Sir John Herschel, the calotype was the first process to utilize sodium thiosulfate as a permanent fixer for the image. Silver nitrate, potassium iodide, and gallic acid are among additional ingredients you will need. Strictly speaking, calotypes refer to the negatives the process yields. However, the name is sometimes attributed to the positive print made from the negative, historically the salted-paper print.

Instructions

Ancient ways, modern views

Carbon and carbro

carbon and carbro

Patented in 1846 by Joseph Swan, carbon prints typically utilize a pigmented tissue, potassium dichromate , and gelatin to create images of amazing beauty and longevity. Carbro printing follows much of the same procedure as carbon printing while utilizing a bromide paper.

Instructions

Carbon print process

Carbon printing: An alternative process not for the faint of heart

The carbon transfer process

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

The Book of Carbon and Carbro

Chlorophyll process

Example with a negative.  Tiffany Pereira – Boy at the River.  Chlorophyll Print in progress, 2010

Instructions

The chlorophyll process

Chrysotypes

Texas Chrysotype

Based upon Sir John Herschel’s gold printing process, Dr. Mike Ware will carefully guide you through a process of making prints which display hues from delicate reds and pinks to blues and blacks.

Instructions

Texas chrysotype formula

The new chrysotype process

Books

Alternative Photography Processes

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Gold in Photography

The Chrysotype Manual

The Old Made New

Cyanotypes

lomography-cyanotype-3

The cyanotype, also known as a blueprint, is considered among the easiest of all the historical methods. Dating from 1842, this classic Prussian blue process is a great place for both beginners and accomplished artists alike to explore. Cyanotypes are economical, permanent, have few pitfalls, and are versatile in that a variety of toning effects are possible.

Instructions

Beat the blues: Making cyanotypes

Ceramics and photography – a beginning

Combining gelatin silver and cyanotype

Cyanotype – the classic process

Cyanotype chemicals in a rusty old jar

Cyanotype history – John Herschel’s invention

Cyanotype workshop compendium – free of course

Cyanotypes painted with acrylics

Debunking the myths of cyanotypes

How to produce low-contrast cyanotype prints

In-camera cyanotype negative prints

Making a cyanotype pinhole in-camera?

Making a cyanotype quilt – from the garden

Making cyanotypes in-camera

Multi colored cyanotypes

Papers to use for cyanotypes

Photograms

Preparations for iron-based printing

Preparing the canvas: cloth, paper and natural fibre fabrics for cyanotypes

Preparing your image for cyanotype printing

Salt prints and cyanotypes: a short history of printing processes

Tests in blue – papers for cyanotypes

The Big Cyanotype Exposure Survey – Results

The Big Cyanotype Exposure Survey – take part

The digital camera, the cyanotype and grain

The New Cyanotype – Cyanotype II process

Vandyke over cyanotype: a combination process with special effects

Vinegar-developed cyanotypes: non-toxic midtone contrast control

Washing cyanotypes on fabrics or cloth

Books

A Non-Silver Manual

A Non-Silver Manual: Cyanotype

Alternative Photography Processes

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Blueprint to cyanotypes

Siderotype Report 1, January 2009

The Story Behind The Images

The World Journal of Post-Factory Photography

Daguerrotypes

Daguerre photography

Considered among the original of alternative processes, daguerreotypes possess a look, feel, and beauty unlike any other historical method. Not for the faint of heart or the ill-equipped, those desiring to explore the rewards of this endeavor must exercise a high level of responsibility and caution.

Instructions

A Brief Guide to Becquerel Daguerreotype

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Forgotten processes

20th century techniques

Processes we can't find any instructions for or anyone practicing, but please prove us wrong!

Instructions

‘Forgotten’ processes

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Fuji lifts and transfers

Fuji instant film

Fuji image lifts and transfers uses similar techniques to Polaroid lifts and transfers, but with Fuji film instead of Polaroid.

Instructions

Fuji emulsion lift

Fuji image transfer

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Gelatin silver prints

Amber Reumann Engfer cyanotype silver gelatin

Gelatin silver prints, or gelatin dry-plate, appeared on the scene in the 1880’s, replacing the wet-plate process and revolutionizing the photographic industry. It has remained the standard for silver halide photography. Here we explore hand coated paper and look for ways to incorporate other alternative process with silver gelatin printing.

Instructions

Combining gelatin silver and cyanotype

Film acceleration

Silver plating

Silvergum – gum over silver gelatin

Solarization and layered negatives

The silver gelatin dry plate process

Toning black & white photographs with organic materials

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Gumoils

Art and artists, edition 1

As the name implies, gumoils transforms a gum print into an oil-based image through labor intensive rubbing, wiping, and etching. In most cases, a positive matrix takes the place of the usual negative employed by other processes.

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Infrareds

infrared film

Working with reflected light in the long, infrared wave range can produce images of unexpected results with surreal visual effects. Infrared photographs have a spectacular glow and luminance, where highlights are usually diffused and contrast can be pronounced.

Instructions

The infrared process

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Kallitypes & vandykes

argyrotype photographs

Although both silver and iron are required for Kallitypes and Van Dykes, the former is a bit more expensive and labor intensive of the two siblings. Depending on paper and toning, images can run the range of black, sepia, and beautiful rich browns. Extra care must be taken to ensure permanence of the print.

Instructions

Argyrotype process

Beyond the blues: Vandyke brown printing

Formula overview for Vandyke, Kallitype and Argyrotype

Instruction sheet for the Kallitype printing kit

Kallitypes v.s. Vandykes

The Kallitype Printing Kit – A great start

The Kallitype Process

Vandyke notes

Vandyke over cyanotype: a combination process with special effects

Books

A Non-Silver Manual

A Non-Silver Manual: Vandyke brown

Alternative Photography Processes

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

The World Journal of Post-Factory Photography

Liquid emulsion

Tina Maas

With a liquid silver emulsion applications can be made to a variety of surfaces such as tile, glass, pottery, wood, canvas, stainless steel and coated metals. Brushing, dipping, and spraying are among the techniques employed for applying the emulsion to three-dimensional surfaces.

Instructions

Liquid light emulsion on wax

The liquid emulsion process

The modern tintype process

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Lith prints

Tim Rudman

Using a lith developer, this delightful technique generally overexposes a silver print which is then developed in the diluted developer. Lith photographs display a wonderful luminance. Success with lith printing can depend upon your choice of paper, the handling of the negative, and several other key factors.

Instructions

Lith printing in the digital age

Lithprint materials update

The lithprint process

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

The world of lith printing

Lumen prints

Chemilumen: Chemigram and lumen print with ferric ammonium citrate.

Using a UV source, such as the sun, make delicate contact photographs and photograms using old or fogged silver gelatin paper. No development required! Just fix, tone, and enjoy!

Instructions

Chemilumens – combining chemigrams and lumen prints

How to make a starry lumen print – a step-by-step process with printing tips

Lumen negatives

Lumen printing (Lycksten)

Lumen prints

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Miscellaneous processes

Electrotype print Richard Puckett

This section is reserved for brand new processes, undocumented practices, unique techniques, and other creative alternative approaches not addressed elsewhere.

Instructions

Electrumtype Kary prints

Graphite and silver nitrate

Nature printing

The Kytheratype: printing with copper and silver

Books

Kirlian Photography: A hands on Guide

Mordancage process

mordancage photography

Also known as etch-bleach process, this rare and slightly esoteric process physically manipulates the silver gelatin print through acid bleaching, rubbing, and lifts. Images appear dreamlike, far removed from reality.

Instructions

The Mordançage background and process

Working in the Mordançage process

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Photogravure

Making Photogravures With Polymer Plates: A modern technique of historical photo-mechanical printing using steel-backed polymer plates, etched with ... by hand with traditional intaglio processes

Copper photogravures, solarplates, photo intagio, polymer gravures and heliogravures are all printmaking techniques, where a photograph is set in a plate, the plate inked and the image transferred to a paper.

Instructions

Base exposure times when making photogravures with polymer plates

Copper photogravure

Heliogravure

Intaglio photogravure printmaking

Photo intaglio – an overview

Photo polymer gravure – the why’s

Photogravure on copper

Photopolymer printing on a budget

Photopolymers – a brief description

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Photolithography

photolithography-roller

A technique developed in the mid 19th century, by which images are photographically transferred to a matrix (either an aluminum plate or, less frequently, a stone), and printed by hand. A classic combination of photography and printmaking employing a variety of skills.

Instructions

Photolithography – a history and its process

Photosynthesis

Rosemary Horn

No photo paper? No worries. Just go and find some leaves! Learn how to contact print onto flat plant or vegetable matter using a positive intermediate. Let your creativity soar!

Instructions

Photosynthesis: A world where you can grow your own photographic supplies

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Physautotype process

physautotype-s

Instructions

The physautotype process

Polaroid lifts and transfers

Framing polaroids

Utilizing Polaroid peel-apart films, an artist can lift or separate a developed print and join the image to another surface, such as paper. In a transfer, the artist takes the negative portion while still in development and, using a brayer, presses the image onto a desired surface.

Instructions

Framing polaroids

Polaroid 669 transfer process: A hybrid process

Polaroid emulsion lifts

Polaroid Emulsion Lifts equipment – how Ivy Bigbee works

Polaroid Image Transfer equipment – how Gary Auerbach works

Polaroid instant peel-apart manipulation

Polaroid SX-70 / Time Zero Equipment – how Renata Ratajczyk works

Polaroid SX-70, or time zero process

Polaroid Transfer equipment – how Wendy Cook works

Transfer to Polaroid

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

The Story Behind The Images

Polaroid SX-70 manipulations

Scott Wittenburg SX-70 manipulation podcast

Referring to either or both the Polaroid SX-70 camera manufactured throughout the 1970's and the celebrated SX-70 Integral films, beautiful image manipulations can be achieved through the use of this engaging camera/film technology.

Instructions

Polaroid SX-70 manipulations – the video

Subtle blues: Impossible Color Shade

Saltprints

Salted paper

Salt printing, originally developed by Fox Talbot and typically practiced until the 1850’s, combines salt, silver nitrate, and a UV light source to produce delightful reddish brown images.

Instructions

A dash of salt

How to make salt prints – the video

Salt printing: Exposing the print

Salt prints and cyanotypes: a short history of printing processes

Using paper negatives to make salt prints

Books

Alternative Photography Processes

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

The salt print manual

The Story Behind The Images

Temperaprints

Alex Chater

Eggs, ammonium bichromate, and a variety of pigments including acrylics come together for an exercise of multiple printing under a UV light. Created by the late Peter Frederick, this process is suitable for printing on synthetic materials such as Yupo.

Instructions

Temperaprint (Chater)

The fundamentals of temperaprint

Wetplate collodions

Building a large format camera

Wetplate, or wet collodion process dates from 1851 through the work of Frederick Archer. A glass plate is coated with cellulose nitrate, an iodide, and silver nitrate. The plate is then exposed and processed  while still wet. The tintype is a version of wetplate which utilizes a sheet of black painted metal.

Instructions

Against all good advice: how to build a large format camera for wet collodion work at home

Ambrotypes – a beginner’s view

History of the colloidon process

The classic tintype process

The modern tintype process

The wetplate collodion process

Wet plate collodion with a Polaroid camera

Wet-Plate Collodion Process – Ambrotypes

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

Diffusion magazine – unconventional photography, volume I, 2009

The Wet Collodion Plate. 16 Steps To Making The Plates

Will Dunniway The Collodion Photographer

Woodburytypes

woodbury types

For more than half a century, Woodburytypes were a standard in high quality photographic reproduction. Related to the intaglio printing process, Woodburytypes employ materials such as gelatin and pigment, and historically required the use of a hand press.

Instructions

The woodburytype process

Books

Alternative Photography: Art and Artists, Edition I

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