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Thread: White writing showing on old prints

  1. #1

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    White writing showing on old prints

    Many old photos have a description in white lettering on them. I'd like to try this and was wondering what was used to write on the negative. I don't think a sharpie is opaque enough and was considering white-out with a small brush - the white out should be opaque enough to block any exposure, but can I really write that small with a paint brush? I'm doing Van Dyke and Salt Prints but I don't expect that should matter.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    Re: White writing showing on old prints

    There’s a thread here “marking negatives” that may be helpful. Sorry I’m not able to figure out how to post the link.

  3. #3

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    Re: White writing showing on old prints

    Quote Originally Posted by ibabcock View Post
    Many old photos have a description in white lettering on them. I'd like to try this and was wondering what was used to write on the negative. I don't think a sharpie is opaque enough and was considering white-out with a small brush - the white out should be opaque enough to block any exposure, but can I really write that small with a paint brush? I'm doing Van Dyke and Salt Prints but I don't expect that should matter.Click image for larger version. 

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    In the USAF we used a black ink on a frisket that was placed on the negative and printed as a sandwich.
    This is basically the same way that numbered Linhof film holders and glass plate holders numbered the negs. A small piece of clear film with a black number on it that was placed over the bottom edge of the film or plate.

  4. #4

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    Re: White writing showing on old prints

    Regarding the pen, another thread — way at the end of it — is “Requirements and standards for HABS/HAER photography.”

  5. #5

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    Re: White writing showing on old prints

    Quote Originally Posted by ibabcock View Post
    Many old photos have a description in white lettering on them. I'd like to try this and was wondering what was used to write on the negative. I don't think a sharpie is opaque enough and was considering white-out with a small brush - the white out should be opaque enough to block any exposure, but can I really write that small with a paint brush? I'm doing Van Dyke and Salt Prints but I don't expect that should matter.Click image for larger version. 

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    A more modern approach would be to print out your text onto clear film and lay it on top of your negative or on to the print while exposing if you do not wish to enlarge it.
    You could pick a hand written style font and make it as small or large as you wish without damaging the negative.
    The mountain waters of North Georgia call out to me, I visit and leave only tripod holes behind. The Appalachian Trail is my treadmill and gym.
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  6. #6

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    Re: White writing showing on old prints

    Quote Originally Posted by esearing View Post
    A more modern approach would be to print out your text onto clear film and lay it on top of your negative or on to the print while exposing if you do not wish to enlarge it.
    You could pick a hand written style font and make it as small or large as you wish without damaging the negative.
    That is just another way of using a frisket!

  7. #7

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    Re: White writing showing on old prints

    The very popular Kodak Autographic line had a stylus allowing the photographer to write directly on the film, which showed up as white on the prints.
    https://petapixel.com/2013/08/27/bla...our-negatives/
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
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  8. #8

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    Re: White writing showing on old prints

    Quote Originally Posted by esearing View Post
    A more modern approach would be to print out your text onto clear film and lay it on top of your negative or on to the print while exposing if you do not wish to enlarge it.
    You could pick a hand written style font and make it as small or large as you wish without damaging the negative.
    That is just another way of using a frisket!

  9. #9

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    Re: White writing showing on old prints

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    The very popular Kodak Autographic line had a stylus allowing the photographer to write directly on the film, which showed up as white on the prints.
    https://petapixel.com/2013/08/27/bla...our-negatives/
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's an example of an annotated photograph from the Autographic; my grandfather's WW I Sanitation (Medical) unit at training camp, prior to deployment. To my eye and mind, a much better system than burning the date stamp directly into the image area, as was popular with most data back cameras.

  10. #10
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    Re: White writing showing on old prints

    The autographics had some kind of transfer backing paper that copied your writing onto the negative
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/Pictoriographica
    .. because my wife is happy when I can cover my photography expenses!

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