‘Forgotten’ processes

These are some of the ‘forgotten’ processes. By that we mean that no one is working and producing new images in this process – at least we haven’t found anyone. But we would be very happy to be proven wrong!

If you are an artist working in these processes, or an historian itching to tell us more about one of these, or about one not listed here, please email us.

We are very interested in more information about this – titbits or thesises, anything you want to share!

Abration tone

William Mortensen’s abrasion tone has much in common with other forgotten processes in that the materials needed are no longer as common as they once were, especially projection papers such as the former Eastman Kodak Projection Proof. This had a surface that accepted razor blade etching, pencil work and pumice work. It was also great for oils, I worked out a simple version of mediobrome that I was pleased with.

Allotype

See Amphitype.

Amphitype

Starting in the 1850s, as an alternative term for collodion direct positives (ambrotypes). Suggested to Herschel by Talbot, instead of Herschel’s initial Celanotype, or Allotype.

Argentotype

Invented by Sir John Herschel, like many other processes. Iron salts (ferric citrate) are used to precipitate silver under the influence of UV-light. The print is developed in silver nitrate. This process was later modified to become what is now the more known Kallitype and Vandyke process.

Atrephograph

The Atrephograph was invented by James M. Letts.

Aurotype

Part of the Siderotype family. Siderotypes are processes using iron.

Autochrome

1904 in France. Auguste and Louis Luminere inveted the Autochrome process. A glass plate was dusted with microscopic grains of potato startch that had been dyed red-orange, green and blue-violet. Any spaces were then filled in with a powder of black carbon. A panchromatic emulsion was then applied to the plate. The plate then exposed and developed, exposed, developed, exposed and re-developed again, forming a postitive transparency. In the 30s more sophisticated film became available and the Autochrome process died out.

Breath print

Part of the Siderotype family. Siderotypes are processes using iron.

Brown line

Part of the Siderotype family. Siderotypes are processes using iron.

Calotype

Introduced in 1841 by Fox Talbot and used for about 10 years after. A weak salt solution was used, the paper dried, then brushed with a weak silver nitrate solution. This made a silver chloride on the paper and was light sensitive. The final image was fixed using a salt solution called potassium iodide of hypo.

Catalisotype

This process used hydrochloric acid, syrup of ioduret of iron, iodine and nitrate of silver.

Celanotype

See Amphitype.

Chlorophyll prints

Binh Dahns photosynthesis process. Binh says:
One summer, I was motivated to experiment with photosynthesis and its pigments after watching the lawn change color due to a water hose that was placed on it. Soon after that observation, I was making chlorophyll prints. Photosynthesis takes place in plants as carbon dioxide, water, and light energy is converted to sugars and oxygen. Photosynthesis is the main route by which free energy in the environment is made available to the living world. In my work, photosynthesis is used to record images onto leaves. The leaves are then cast in resin, like biological samples for scientific studies. The images were made into negatives. Then exposed onto living leaves, by placing the negatives onto the leaf, and placing that into a contact printing frame. The image formation was all due to chlorophyll, light, carbon dioxide, and water: the life source of plants and, consequently the Earth. This process deals with the idea of elemental transmigration: the decomposition and composition of matter into other forms.

Chromotype

Coat paper with a sulphate of copper and bichromate of potash solution and expse it to sunshine, then apply a solution of silver nitrate.

Cyanotype Rex

Terry King and Michael Maunder have done some experiments with Cyanotypes, going back to it’s source. Reading the original paper Writer / Sir John Herschel in 1842 – available at the Royal Society in London – lead to a "retro-invention" of the cyanotype process. King calls this invention "Cyanotype Rex" and Maunder’s take on the process is called "Herschelotype". According to an article in View Camera, November 2005, the Cyanotype Rex has much shorter exposure times than the other recipes and tones well.

Ferro-gallic process

1861 Alphonse Louis Poitevin, french chemist. Found the reduction and conversion of ferric salts to a ferrous state when exposed to UV-light. A graphic technique, producing very black images. Gum arabic + water + ferric chloride + ferric sulphate + tartaric acid. The mix is applied, dried and contact printed in UV-light, then developed in gallic acid, potash alum and hydrochroric acid, washed and dried.

Ferro-tannic process

Iron salts (ferrous sulfate) turn black when exposed to tannic acid, potassium dichromate and water mixed, paper was coated and dried, then exposed in contact frame and washed. Toned in tannic acid to create a black print.

Ferrotype

Originally called Energiatype. The process uses proto-sulphate of iron as a reducing agent. Same as Tintype.

Fluorotype

Paper is washed with bromide of potassium and with fluate of soda.

Herschelotype

A variation on Cyanotype Rex by Michael Maunder.

Ivorytype / Hellenotype

A picture produced by superposing a very light print, rendered translucent by varnish, and tinted upon the back, upon a stronger print, so as to give the effect of a photograph in natural colors.

Kelaenotype

Part of the Siderotype family. Siderotypes are processes using iron.

Kwik-Print

Kwik-Print was a late-’70s technique involving coating a plastic
receptor sheet with light-sensitive dyes. You washed off the unexposed areas and could re-coat the sheet with another color. Bea Nettles was its most renowned practitioner and she has published Breaking the Rules: A Photo Media Cookbook. Tom says: "I’m sure Kwik-Print is long gone but I had fun with it".

Nakahara’s process

Part of the Siderotype family. Siderotypes are processes using iron.

Orotones

Traditionally called orotones, goldtones, or Curt-tones, the images would have been made by printing a positive image onto a sheet of glass coated with a photosensitive emulsion. The image on the glass was then backed with a mixture of banana oils and gold bronzing powder.
23.5K gold powder is what I’ve added in exchange of the bronzing powder. The process of coating glass sheets with photographic emulsion, printing and processing the image and coating it with gold, is all done by hand.
Edward Curtis, photographer of the American Indians and one who perfected the orotone (he called them Curt-Tones), is quoted as saying this of the process:
"The Ordinary Photographic print, however good, lacks depth and transparency, or more strictly speaking, Translucency. We all know how beautiful are the stones and pebbles in the limpid brook of the forest. Where the water absorbs the blue of the sky and the green of the foliage, yet when we take the same iridescent pebbles from the water and dry them they are dull and lifeless, so it is with the ordinary photographic print, but in the Curt-Tones (orotone) all the transparency is retained and they are full of life and sparkle as an opal."

Pannotypes

Pannotypes are large format tintypes exposed on tissue or wood, often handcolored. An old “folk-art tradition”, especially in the USA.

Pellet print

Part of the Siderotype family. Siderotypes are processes using iron.

Phipson’s process

Part of the Siderotype family. Siderotypes are processes using iron.

Photoceramics

From Harry L Burnett Jr:
I have been working with photoceramics since mid 1950s. My first efforts were with toned wet collodion positives. Later I worked with light sensitive diazo compounds for a while. After retirement, I began to work with the dichromate dust-on process. This was productive and very informative. Images could be produced that held exqusite detail and were probably as permanent as any continous tone print process ever discovered, very time consuming and difficult to achieve consistant results. About 2-3 years ago I began an odyssey with digital printing hoping to make film positives that would give me better control of the dust-on process. I mixed digital inks that were useful and it evolved into a simple useful photoceramic process.

I am now able to digitally fuse metallic oxide images onto ceramic substraits at 1250 degrees F. with a resolution of 2880×720 spots per inch in monochrome colors.

Pizzitype

Captain Giuseppe Pizzighelli’s (1849-1912) Pizzitype paper (similar to Ziatype) was manufactured a short time and a commercial success until technical problems stopped the production.

Platinograph

Another name for, and the same as, the Kallitype process.

Polychrome

Another name for, and the same as, the Kallitype process.

Pontontype

Mongo Ponton (1801-1880), Scottish inventor. 1839 discovered that postassium bichromate was sensitive to light. He called his discovery Pontontype. A handome print that unfortunately faded with few months. But, this discovery was the beginning of gum bichromates! Thank you Ponton!

Rawlins process

From Philippe Berger:

G.E.H. Rawlins invented in 1904 a process by which a layer of bichromated gelatine was exposed to light under a negative.
The tanning of the gelatine is in direct proportion to the transparency of the negative. Shadow areas are strongly tanned, mid-tones less so and highlights are not tanned at all.

After development it is washed to produce an image with a very subtle relief. Using oily pigments, either in monochrome or colour, the original image is then restored by hand. The ink is absorbed by the tanned part of the image but is repelled by the water held in the soft, untanned areas.

This inking process with a brush is the adaptation of Rawlins at this process.

Philippe has also written a book on the process Le Procédé Rawlins à l’Huile, in french. More details of this book can be found on Philippe’s website.

The Rawlins process is the same as the oilprint process.

Satista

Another name for, and the same as, the Kallitype process.

Satista is an economical hybrid of platinum and silver. This process was created when the price of platinum was high.
It’s an economic way to produce images which look like platinum and are in between silver and platinum.Some people think that some of Stieglitz prints named platinum were Satista prints.

Sensitol

Another name for, and the same as, the Kallitype process.

Sepiatype

Part of the Siderotype family. Siderotypes are processes using iron.

Siderotype

Siderotype covers all the iron-based processes – cyanotype, platinotype, chrysotype, etc. – it was used first by Herschel and comes from the Greek root word ‘sideros’, meaning ‘iron’. Siderotype therefor means any ‘iron-type’ print.

Soline

Another name for, and the same as, the Kallitype process.

Sphereotypes

Sphereotypes is a process patented (US patent #14,696 I believe) by Albert Bisbee in 1856. It was essentially a positive collodion image on glass that was exposed through a spherical mask – hence the name sphereotype – which was the same size as the mount that was to enclose it or case it was to be put into.

Talbotype

See ‘Calotype’.

Woodburytype

WB Woodbury (1834-85) invented this process, claiming it would not fade. Successfully. The do not fade, because the images do not rely on light-sensitive materials, but are made up of a stable pigment suspended in gelatine.


10 Comments

  1. Posted July 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Pizzatype – Old Italian process of printing on a crust background using tomato sauce with various spices & mozzarella cheese. Some practitioners added pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and other materials for contrast and texture. It is hard to find examples of this process as they were often consumed by the darkroom help or thrown in the trash by the cleaning lady.

  2. Isshin
    Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    I’ve found an interesting article about “breath printing
    a process where the developer is your breath-
    breath printing was pioneered by Sir John Herschel,
    the emulsion is created by a mixture of silver nitrate (sp. g. 1’200)
    is added to ferro-tartaric acid (sp. g. 1’023), a participate falling
    which is nearly redissolved by a source of low heat.
    the product should be yellow. adding more silver nitrate causes no turbidity.
    the total bulk of the silver nitrate solution used should amount to half that
    of the ferro-tartaric acid. paper sensitized with this mixture
    thoroughly dried in the dark and exposed under a negative or engraving in sunshine
    for thirty seconds to a minute does not reveal any visible impression unless
    overexposed. to develop the latent image simply breathe on the paper when image appears.”-Robert Hunt
    Ferro-Tartaric acid is needed for this, I don’t know where to find it. even though the images produced are apparently magnificent they will fade.
    I hope you find this helpful

  3. admin
    Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Ha, ha, funny!
    Thank you for sharing! :-)

  4. Isshin
    Posted May 8, 2011 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    I’m trying my hand at electro-chemistry, and the result looks like the description, waiting for the sun to come out so i can test this first sheet

  5. Donald Walker
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Calotype

    Back in the 1970s I spent several months experimenting with calotypes. I plan to return to them next year. For anyone interested in attempting them in the United States:

    1) Chemicals available today are considerably more refined than those available at the time most formulae were set down. Be prepared to adjust solutions, exposure and development times accordingly.

    2) This is particularly important with exposing your sensitized paper. Most locations in the United States are at a considerably lower latitude than that of most calotypists in europe. Because of that, sunlight is significantly more intense and you should experiment with exposure times. A good rule of thumb, if a recommended exposure time in a 19th century european manual or article suggests 5 minutes, start with 3 minutes and work up or down from there.

  6. Robert Fichter
    Posted February 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Quick Print emulsion is currently being sold by Free Style in LA. An excellent process. I used it in the mid 1960s. See the GEH publication Robert Fichter Photography and Other Questions.

  7. Monika
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Could you please go into a little more detail on the photoceramics section? I have also tried the dusting on process but to no avail :(
    perhaps it is my negative?
    at what stage do you dust on? bisqueware or glazed?
    anything to help would be greatly appreciated!

  8. Pamela Brotko
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    I loved the Kiwk Print. I still have bottles of the chemicals. Don’t know if it works or not. Have not used it in ten years. As for Robert Fichter who said they still sell it at Freestyle, I didn’t see it on line just now. I know the man who made the chemistry passed away in 2000 roughly, and when I spoke to his daughter she briefly said that was my dads business. He’s gone and so is the product. That’s all that I know about kiwi print. Also spoke to Bea Nettles after the man died. She said, she loved the process and was said that it was no longer going to be produced.

  9. Posted February 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Atrephograph: A silver nitrate negative image formed on a skin of collodion on glass that had first been coated with India rubber dissolved in chloroform. After fixing and washing, the image-bearing transparent skin was rolled off the glass support and then adhered to thin cards or polished, japanned leather. The image was viewed as a positive “unreversed” image (i.e., laterally incorrect).

  10. Posted February 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    About this process view excelent article in: http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/MCR/article/view/17575/22388

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