Vandyke Brownprint Exploratons

VDB Thoughts: Nice looking process

• Exposure correction curve much like B&W, so no need for a SEAP-C condition curve. Use a dedicated VDB curve and be done with it.
• Chart-Throb tool works efficiently once a good exposure is reached.
• Chart-Throb used with scanned color image vs. scanned and B&W converted yields as slightly lighter mid-tone and shadows with the B&W conversion before CT chart analysis

• No need for double coat. The reward is simply not great enough. Grain becomes a problem, much like second coat on Cyanotype where it looks to be ripping up the first layer, leaving speckles.
• Double coat needs 1.5x more exposure time, much like cyanotype.
• 3min with Arista II OHP is a good start. Fluid HP maybe a bit less like 2:30. Fluid 100 HP needs about 3:00. Fluid 100 CP needs 4:00 ish.
• First water wash removes iron and silver yielding yellowish cloud of unused emulsion. 5min is a goodly amount of time for this wash
• VDB needs a second wash however to assure all of the cloudiness is removed from the paper before fixing.
• 5% sodium thiosulphate for fix, but can use rapid fix at 10:1 mix (Jill  Enfield suggests 1:16, after maths this is about ~15ml undiluted fix [1:4 then 1:16] and fill to 1000ml). Be mindful of silver image bleaching. Gold toning before fix reduces silver and gold does not bleach out in the fix as fast as silver.
• Final wash is like B&W, used to remove the fix from the paper. So, dilute 1:1 (50% strength since the fix is diluted) perma-wash would help before final water rinse to achieve archivalness.

• Gold toning is quite nice
    – Tone before fix results in shift towards purple
    – Tone after fix & wash results in cool highlights and ever so slight purple gray shadows
    – Tone after dry down results in a more cool gray highlight and warm shadows. All shifted towards blues and purples.
    – There are inconsistencies in behavior that need to be ironed out via lots of practice and consistent print development
    – 15min in the toner results in a final tone, but turns paper white into yellow white. This needs to be addressed, possibly through better initial wash, and fresh chemistry.

• Arista II OHP and the Epson P800 doe not like each other very much
    – This OHP is too clear, confusing the paper sensor into thinking there is no paper inserted. Need to use magic tape at bottom side of OHP to unconfused the printer...or someplace since the bottom is not consistent with feeding.
    – The EVIL Epson star wheels (pizza rollers) leave marks on the OHP resulting in tracking artifacts on the final negative. This is where the pizza wheel leaves a trail of dots in the dark areas where it removed the ink, allowing light to pass on exposure….not cool. Not sure how to address this. Maybe go back to Pictorico as it can hold more ink, and slow down the feed to allow the ink to dry down a tad before hitting the star wheels. Slowing the feed rollers only let's them sit longer and destroy more ink. Ugh! Canon with vacuum assist here we come!
    * Scanned images of negative show the tracking marks from the star / pizza wheel. Nasty. Nasty Mr. Yuk.

• Gold Tone from B&S: 10min one-shot of 5x8 print in 60ml is not enough to rid all brown print color. Needs more time _or_ more toner - will need to try longer with one-shot and tray-full of toner to see the differences. OR use it immediately after mixing...not two weeks later.
• First sheet coated with dry-damp brush and 3ml emulsion is less dense that second sheet coated in the same manner but with VDB wetted brush. On second sheet, 3ml seems a little too much, where on first sheet, 3ml is about right. Toning results show same - first sheet toned quicker than second in both before and after fixing tests. Will need to pre-wet brush with VDB (1ml?) before coating to get more consistent papers. 3ml == 5 droppers. How about 4 droppers and same citric and Tween, and pre-wet the brush with two (one?) droppers of VDB.
• Will need to check out twice-toned image, first tone before fix, second tone after dry down. Just to see. And it looks nice, even if from 20 day old gold toner.

Wynn White:
• VDB double coat necessary…
• [ed: we have not seen this to be the case, but we do use 1gt/ml emulsion 40% citric acid as SOP to help deter paper calcium carbonate alkali reserves, so maybe this is part of the overall equation]

Sandy King:
• The question of whether you need to fix a VDB print at all is somewhat questionable and up in the air since the unexposed silver salts left in the paper is very soluble in water. However, my opinion is that no matter how soluble the silver may be it is unlikely that washing will remove all of it so in the interests of caution I recommend a short fix in a fairly weak fixer.

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