Ogling curves – Comparing salted paper, Van Dyke and DAS carbon

Earlier today I posted a blog with analysis of curves and especially hues of salted paper prints. I mentioned a comparison of curve shapes with some other processes as well, and since that’s fairly easy to do, I thought I could follow up on it right away. In this brief blog, let’s have a look at the H/D curves of salted paper, Van Dyke and DAS carbon.

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Striking gold – An attempt at carbon transfer orotones

A few weeks ago I was at Unseen Amsterdam, where I saw many gorgeous works. One of the things standing out to me was a series of orotones by Naohiro Ninomiya. Drop dead gorgeous! Partly because of the orotone process, but to be frank, to a large extent due to the minimalistic, contemplative compositions that worked very well as presented at Unseen, in a collage of small images. Well, at least, I could try my hand at this orotone thing, couldn’t I?

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Getting organizized – A database for carbon transfer tissues

When it comes to workplace organization, I’m pretty schizophrenic. My desk is generally a mess, and open any cupboard in my darkroom only to find its contents in disarray. On the other hand, I can get carried away trying to properly organize things – to the point of being ridiculous! This blog is about the latter: a database system for keeping track of carbon tissue variants.

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Rolling – Gearing up DAS carbon printing

Yeah, I’ve been silent on my blog. In case you’re wondering: no, I haven’t given up on anything, given my recent struggles with DAS carbon. In fact, quite the opposite! Since figuring out (at least as far as I can tell, for now) the process limits, I’ve been shifting into gear with monochrome DAS carbon and it’s been going remarkably smoothly. “I Ate’nt Dead“, as Granny Weatherwax used to write!

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Ready, set, go – Stuff you need to get started with carbon transfer

This post is in answer to a question from Esmee (check out her work via https://www.eamy.nl/). Since others might somehow benefit from it as well, I might as well just put it up for everyone to see. So here’s a little shopping list of what’s needed to get started with carbon transfer using DAS sensitizer.

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A ‘contrast ceiling’ of DAS carbon with continuous tone negatives

Previously, I have written about my attempts to make DAS carbon work well for continuous-tone negatives. The main challenge is highlight rendition, with flaking problems destroying delicate highlights. After testing many factors, I think the only conclusion left is that there is a limit to what DAS can do. Moreover, this limit is different (and more, well, limiting) than with dichromate carbon transfer.

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Aching, flaking – A persistent problem with carbon DAS highlights

The problem that just won’t go away: disappearing highlights on DAS carbon prints. Twice so far I’ve declared this problem solved on my blog, only to have to revoke my ‘eureka’ shortly afterwards. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been systematically testing the process to find a cure. So far, to very little avail, I’m afraid. But perhaps that this writeup will (1) help me re-think the problem and (2) it’ll give some hints to anyone else struggling with DAS carbon problems by listing factors that can/should be evaluated.

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Subtleties – Subbing intermediate supports for DAS carbon transfer and a note on pigment prep

In my move to DAS instead of dichromate for sensitizing carbon tissues, I ran into a highlight retention problem. Thin gelatin layers (highlights and upper mid-tones) would slide off the temporary support material during warm water development. In testing, I identified exposure unit wavelength as a critical factor. However, the problem persisted especially in very high-contrast tissues. It seems I have now identified another part of the solution: a different way of subbing the intermediate support.

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Puzzling paper problem – A carbon transfer print surface anomaly

There has been this tiny problem bugging me for a couple of months. It popped up when I moved to DAS sensitized tissue for my carbon transfer prints. Some sort of micro-scale unevenness in tone. It reminded me a little bit of some form of reticulation – but not quite. But I think I’ve cracked this nut now, and it’s actually much more obvious and benign than I had imagined it to be.

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Kind of blue – A test with UV LEDs for DAS carbon transfer

So the 400nm LEDs I had been using since October or so worked really nice for dichromate carbon transfer, but I ran into trouble with DAS carbon with them. Some further testing with my bank of trusted Philips BL tubes and a little theoretical exercise suggested that at least some 365nm exposure is needed to get DAS carbon to harden reliably especially in the highlights. So I’ve been testing a bit with 365nm LED options – two in particular that seemed attractive. This is a small report on these tests.

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