View Full Version : Mysterious Disappearing Spot on Salt Prints

9-Apr-2015, 09:15
Recently I have noticed a circular, about the size of a US quarter, spot appearing in the print sky displaying a magenta color. It doesn't appear during the exposure or even during the processing but only during the final wash. I notice it when I pull it from the 40-minute wash but completely disappears without leaving a trace when the print is dry. My processing is the standard process for salt printing and includes a sodium sulfite bath before the final wash. Can anyone shed some light on this spot?


Erik Larsen
9-Apr-2015, 09:30
Perhaps it is uneven or missing sizing?

9-Apr-2015, 09:39
I don't think so Erik. If the sizing was uneven or missing in a spot, it would show on the dry print. Also, there are no spots on the rear of the print.


9-Apr-2015, 09:42
I wonder if it would reappear if you re-soaked your print?

9-Apr-2015, 09:55
Since it disappears as the paper dries, I suspect that it is something in the paper base. It could be a stain that is left during handling, either in manufacturing or in your own processing.

9-Apr-2015, 09:56
After all the work it takes to make one, I'd be hesitant to see if I can get the spot back Bill. I am now confident that when it does appear it will completely dry out with no trace remaining.

Come to think about it, I have been experiencing more hake hair and debris recently on the print when salting and sensitizing which I attribute to buying the wrong type of super glue when I recently changed brushes. Not realizing there was a difference, I picked up the “paste” type which doesn't work as well as the free flowing type that I've been using. Could it be that I somehow bruised the paper when whisking one of those away? I take care to be very light when doing so and always make sure that the coat is even throughout.


10-Apr-2015, 10:11
Could it be that I somehow bruised the paper when whisking one of those away?

After some thought I don't think so. If I did bruise the paper it would have left its mark on the finished print. What's really weird is that it only appears after being in the water for almost 80 minutes: 40 minutes in the processing and toning and 40 more minutes in the final wash and then completely disappears upon drying.