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Thread: Printing techniques from wet plates?

  1. #1

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    Printing techniques from wet plates?

    Hi all,

    What would be typical printing techniques for wetplates?

    And, what would a typical CI be (if there is one), and is it possible to adjust for a given printing process?

    Cheers
    Peter

  2. #2

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    Re: Printing techniques from wet plates?

    Wetplate makes pretty thin density on glass negatives. You should shoot them to be denser if going to print. In the old days they did Albumin contact prints, but few do that anymore. Silver gelatin paper works, with a dense negative.

  3. #3

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    Re: Printing techniques from wet plates?

    Depends what printing process you are planning to use.
    What Garrett says is right: wet plate negatives are fairly thin and lacking contrast by nature, so plan to either redevelop or intensify your negatives to build appropriate density.

    I've used wet plate negatives to make salt prints, and they have to have serious density in the high values to make a good print. I strongly suggest you buy a good manual on the process to guide you. Quinn Jacobson's book includes techniques for salt and albumen printing. John Coffer's manual covers a lot of the same processes also.

  4. #4

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    Re: Printing techniques from wet plates?

    Thanks for the feedback guys.

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Printing techniques from wet plates?

    https://www.timlaytonfineart.com/newsletter

    Is working on wet and dry plates to prints also

    He has so many links I cannot find the recent one

    Look him up!
    Tin Can

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Re: Printing techniques from wet plates?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    so plan to either redevelop or intensify your negatives to build appropriate density.
    Yup, that sums it up. I used to bleach in a copper sulfate/potassium bromide bleach and then either sepia tone (thiourea) or redevelop in acidified silver nitrate solution. The former gave better evenness and a substantial density boost, the latter gave a massive density boost and could even be repeated. It generally took me just one processing step to get from a thin negative for something that matched or even surpassed the CI needed for a contrasty salt print.

    It's a pity the whole wet plate procedure is so messy and darkroom-bound, otherwise I'd still be doing it. I might revisit it one day, because it sure can be beautiful, but there sure are some practical hurdles I'm not eager to climb (again).

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