Formulas and how-to

BFK Rives for Gum Printing? Seeing is Believing

Peter J. Blackburn has found his favorite gum bichromate paper. One that he used to shun. And one that needs no sizing. Writer and photography / Peter J. Blackburn Gum printing for me began in 1988. From the beginning, I ignored the advice of many gum experts to use toxic sizing by searching for ways to print bright, crisp gum prints on unaltered paper. “BFK Rives was the very first … Read more

Cyanolumen by Suanne Peterson

Suanne Peterson

Suanne Peterson focuses on non-toxic, darkroom-free photographic processes and draws and photographs things she observes. From: Medford, Massachusetts, USA Shows: Anthotypes, Chlorophyll prints, Cyanolumen, Cyanotype and Lumen Suanne is a teacher and avid gardener living in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her husband, their daughter and two cats. When she is not at work or weeding she likes to hike, ski, and experiment with non-toxic (or less … Read more

Anthotype Emulsions, Volume 2 - large cover to share

Anthotype Emulsions, Volume 2

by Malin Fabbri   The second book in the series from World Anthotype Day “If you are looking for a resource of Anthotype emulsions, then this book is exactly what you need!” – Christopher Osborne, editor Silvergrain Classics Anthotype Emulsions, Volume 2 – The collective research from photographers on World Anthotype Day 2023. $14.00 Download eBook (PDF) directly. $22.00 Buy eBook (PDF for Kindle) from Amazon Kindle. Buy from Amazon.com … Read more

Two negatives are placed on a piece of cotton cloth: size approx. A2.

Cyanotypes – how blue can you get?

Ray Harris gives an overview of the cyanotype process and his interpretation of blues and shares his cyanotype process. Writer and photography / Ray Harris Anna Atkins was born on 16 March 1799 and produced the first book to include ‘photographs’ which were in fact, cyanotypes. This post goes into more detail on making cyanotypes at home. The process, in its simplest form, is to mix two chemicals to produce … Read more

Cyanotypes toned using avocado

Cyanotype Toning with Avocado Stones

Clive Pigott tries out Annette Golaz’s recipe for toning cyanotypes with avocado. The original recipe can be found in Annette Golaz’s book Cyanotype Toning alongside many other recipes. Writer and photography / Clive Pigott I was first introduced to alternative and historical printing techniques back in the early 90’s, when I was in my late 20’s. I had picked up an anniversary copy of the British Journal of Photography which … Read more

Anthotype emulsion database

Anthotype emulsion database

The Anthotype emulsion database is a collection of anthotypes that artists have contributed on World Anthotype Day. Find an emulsion for your anthotype and learn from other artists’ notes. The 2022 Book: Anthotype Emulsions, Volume 1 The 2023 Book: Anthotype Emulsions, Volume 2 The 2024 Book: Coming autumn 2024 Turmeric, spinach, red cabbage, blackberry, spirulina and beetroot seems to be the most common plants or pigments for making anthotypes! The … Read more

Ana Solo Forgotten Sounds book

Forgotten Sounds – A Journey of Sustainable Art with Anthotypes and Sonic Exploration

by Ana Solo   Buy the book here – published by Ana Solo Forgotten Sounds – A Journey of Sustainable Art with Anthotypes and Sonic Exploration is a cross between an artist’s book and a short reference book where Ana Solo shows her art and talks about her process. $7.00 Download eBook (PDF) In which format is the eBook? eBook: The eBook is in PDF format.   What is included? … Read more

Platinum and Palladium print (Pt/Pd) by Sergio Devecchi

Stains on Platinum / Palladium prints? A possible solution

Sergio Devecchi, a member of the Namias group in Italy, has worked with alternative printing processes since the 80s. Sergio finds mysterious yellow stains on his prints. He investigates the problem thoroughly, experiments and comes up with a solution. Writer and photography / Sergio Devecchi Some days ago I removed a photo print from the frame, both the glass and the Passepartout are acid-free material from the 90s and surprisingly … Read more

doretype

Doretypes – an overview

The doretype is a photographic printing and finishing process that held the interest of many photographers during the heyday of dry glass plate photography from near the end of the 19th century until it’s general use petered out about 1940. Clayton Harley gives us an overview. Writer and photography / Clayton Harley The doretype is a photographic printing and finishing process that was popular during the heyday of dry glass … Read more

Patent picture

Using photographic patents as a source of information

Trying to find relevant sources of information for the surface relief properties of gelatin, Paul A. Lehman finds an unusual source to find answers: The patent archives. He shares his findings here. Each patent provides detailed information on emulsion ingredients, preparation and processes, which can be reproduced in a suitable home darkroom laboratory. Writer and photography / Paul A. Lehman Color and Gelatin Relief Emulsions U.S. Patents Issued to Michele … Read more

Two Prints in Process, 2023  This pair of gum prints (still in process) have already received three layers of color with more to come. No added sizing. I am using only a 3% potassium dichromate solution. Colors include PY151, PO62, PG18, PV19, PR254, PB29 and PBr7. Notice the clean whites.

The Gum Printing Papers – synthetic sizing

Peter J. Blackburn begins a two-part informal “white paper” discussing synthetic sizing while reviewing two papers that use sizing and one that doesn’t! Writer and photography / Peter J. Blackburn Once again, the time has come to write about some wonderful watercolor papers currently available, which I find to work quite well for gum and casein bichromate printing. Those who have read my introductory gum printing articles know that applying … Read more

Figure #1 - Cecina river #1 One layer of forest green, hand painted with (mostly) iridescent watercolors and dry pigments, a clear layer to fix pigments and a last very light layer of indanthrone blue to deepen the shadows and the water. It is printed on plywood sized with acrylic gesso and zinc white. It is interesting because it is quite evident how SbQ can be used even in multiple layers without staining. Please note that no clearing bath has been used, and final rinsing was minimum, just a minute or so in cold water.

Zerochrome-SbQ – A viable alternative to chromium salts in pigmented colloid printing

Simone Simoncini and Kees Brandenburg explore a new non-toxic method for pigment polymer printing. as an alternative to using the toxic dichromates. Writer and photography / Simone Simoncini and Kees Brandenburg Our motive In this article, we share the results we have obtained with a new emulsion for pigment printing to be used as a serious alternative to dichromates. It shows very interesting features in terms of stability, shelf life, … Read more

CarbroGel example print. Mission Door, San Antonio, Tx by Paul A. Lehman. 8"x9". Negative 1975. Print 1999.

Novel Experimental Approaches for Making Pigment Prints

After struggling with making Carbon Prints in the late 1990s, Paul A. Lehman explored alternative approaches to making pigment prints.   Writer and photography / Paul A Lehman, MSc. It is well recognized that the Carbon Print is considered by most as the quintessential historic pigment process. However, the process of making a carbon print is challenging and requires skill and patience. I struggled through this process in the late … Read more

From pinhole to print

Building a camera for Pinhole day? Get the book free – 14 left

Pinhole Day is coming up soon!  On the third Sunday in April – this year the 30th of April, the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2023 is taking place. We would like to support this day with a FREE BOOK offer – all you pay for is postage. The offer is limited since we only have 25 14 books currently in stock and only for our Supporting Members.  You can read more … Read more

Richard Bakers van for roadtrip

Kallitypes roadtrip #1 – Preparation for the 4 week trip ahead

Have we not all dreamed about packing up, installing a portable lab and taking off? Richard E. Baker actually does it. Follow this series of his 3,000-mile-long road trip across the USA where he will be making kallitypes in his portable lab in his car. Writer and photography / Richard E. Baker Links to all the chapters in the Kallitype Roadtrip: Kallitypes roadtrip #1 – Preparation for the 4 week … Read more

Cuprotype toning

Working Process for Cuprotypes

The cuprotype is a process that uses similar chemistry to a cyanotype and a relatively forgiving, inexpensive and flexible process. Frank Gorga shares his working method for cuprotype. Writer and photography / Frank Gorga Background of cuprotypes Copper-based images (cuprotypes) were first described by Burnett in the 1850s. The process was modified/refined by Obernetter in the 1860s. However, the process was never particularly popular and sat more-or-less dormant for roughly … Read more

Anna Atkins created labels with the specimen's scientific name at the bottom of the page.

How to print an Anna Atkins cyanotype

Apart from being a brilliant scientist and botanist, Anna Atkins was also an artist. She created numerous prints from plants, lace and feather arrangements. This is how you can print your own cyanotypes in Anna Atkins’ style. We have done research, but not managed to find out a lot on paper or oils used, so if you possess ANY knowledge at all in terms of which paper or oil was … Read more

Cyanotype Notes - Document your cyanotype process

Cyanotype notes – Document your cyanotype process

by Malin Fabbri   Buy the cyanotype notebook here – published by AlternativePhotography.com This notebook contains pre-defined pages with enough room to document 50 cyanotypes that will help you narrow down a universe of options to the perfect combination. $00.00 Download printable eBook (PDF) directly. Free for Supporting Members – become a member and email talk@alternativephotography.com. If you are already a member, email us and we’ll send it! $8.00 Download … Read more

Calvin Grier Techinical Guide to Gum printing

Technical Guide to Gum Printing

by Calvin Grier If you have worked in the Gum bichromate process for some time and want to take it to the next level, this book could be for you. Buy “Technical Guide to Gum Printing” directly from Calvin Grier $49.95   for eBook – download direct.     Why buy it here? When you choose the option to buy directly from the author, the book is shipped by the author … Read more

Gunter Willhelm Gum bichromate

Günther Wilhelm

Günther Wilhelm has been working with historical photographic techniques for 20+ years. He shares his gum bichromates here but also works in a range of other processes such as cyanotype, salt, albumen and kallitype. From: Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany. Shows: Albumens, Cuprotypes and Gum bichromates. Günther Wilhelm, visual artist from Ludwigshafen on the Rhine, has been working with historical photographic techniques, the so-called “Edeldrucke”, which involve transferring a photography on … Read more