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Thread: Carbon Transfer Workshop in Montana July 16-21 2023

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Carbon Transfer Workshop in Montana July 16-21 2023

    Since the invention of Carbon transfer printing in 1864 by Joseph Swan, Carbon prints have been admired as the king of alternative processes with fine details and deep blacks. Until the 1930s, Carbon prints were sought out for both longevity and as the printing means for fine art. Carbon tissues of many colors were made by many firms for hobbyist as well as commercial printers. After the Great Depression of the 1920s, carbon tissues became unavailable commercially, and the process became more difficult. Now as carbon transfer printers, we must create a workflow that creates our own carbon tissues in whatever colors we desire and then master the development process. While not an easy process, you can create a personal workflow that will yield stunning carbon transfer prints.

    July 16-21, 2023

    This workshop breaks down all the barriers to your success with Carbon transfer printing. In this workshop, you will go away with the basics and start of your personal workflow for monochrome single-transfer printing.

    You will learn:
    •How to select the proper pigments, make glop (pigmented gelatin solution used to create carbon tissue) and pour your own carbon tissue.
    •How to determine the UV exposure and the tissue sensitizer concentration to make optimal prints.
    •How to create a digital negative from your own digital images (or use your own in-camera negatives). And how to linearize the curve to allow your print to look like your digital display.
    •While we will focus on making digital negatives, you can also explore carbon printing using in-camera negatives (which you must bring to the workshop already prepared)
    •How to size the final art paper support for the carbon print using PVA or gelatin or using fixed-out photo paper.
    •How to mate the exposed tissue to the final support and develop the final print using just hot water.
    •techniques to finish, spot, and mount your prints.
    •common problems and how to solve them.
    •safety in the darkroom with dichromated gelatin processes.
    By the end of the workshop, you will be making good carbon transfer prints using a workflow that you can continue to customize to your own working style.

    By mastering the single transfer monochrome process, you will have the basics should you wish to explore double transfer or color carbon printing.


    Don began his photography in the early 1970’s with 35mm but soon moved to 6x7 and 4x5 cameras, followed by 8x10, 7x17, and 12x20 cameras. In 1984 Don began experimenting with alternative processes, including Platinum, Palladium, Kallitypes, Cyanotypes, and gum printing. In 1985, Don saw a fellow student’s experimental carbon print in Rod Klukas’ large format class at Scottsdale Community college. Don began to learn the process of making Carbon prints starting with the only limited literature available – Crawford’s “Keepers of the Light”. Don moved to digital negatives (in-camera scanned and digital medium format) after taking a Dick Arentz Platinum class (at the Formulary!) with Mark Nelson teaching his PDN system. Digital negatives make alternative processes, including Carbon, a lot easier than in-camera negatives because of repeatability and the ability to dog/burn prior to making the negative. Don continued to develop his Carbon printing workflow and then assisted Sandy King at his workshops which resulted in Sandy King asking Don to co-author his new Carbon book (Routledge publisher – Carbon Transfer Printing, by Sandy King, Don Nelson, and John Lockhart). When Sandy decided to retire from teaching Carbon workshops, he called and asked Don to take over teaching at the Formulary.

    About the facility
    It is a huge facility with three separate wet areas, darkrooms, classroom, and wonderful meals prepared by Lynn. The facility is open 24/7, and the B&B is just footsteps away from the darkrooms. The location is in beautiful Swan Valley, just a short drive from Glacier National Park. There is nothing like sitting on the east porch enjoying a beverage (BYOB) and watching the Alpen glow on the mountains to the east or watching the mountains to the west get first light in the morning. The photographers' formulary store is in another building in the complex - stock up on your alt photo needs. Camp onsite or stay in the B&B.

    More details at

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Re: Carbon Transfer Workshop in Montana July 16-21 2023

    It is filling up - two seats remain to be filled.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Re: Carbon Transfer Workshop in Montana July 16-21 2023

    One seat remains. No guarantee this will be taught again in 2024.

  4. #4
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Vancouver Washington

    Re: Carbon Transfer Workshop in Montana July 16-21 2023

    Don, this will be great!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Re: Carbon Transfer Workshop in Montana July 16-21 2023

    Thanks Jim!

    One seat still open for the class

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