Processes User Guide & Paper Survey

Now Free and Released to the Public
Our processes user guide has made it public! This guide is used in our group facility as a reference to assist practitioners in the art of historic alternative printmaking. Having proved helpful over the past months, it is now time to release this working reference out to the world.

As an added bonus we have also released our Siderotype Paper Survey, a reference to paper behaviors when used with the processes described in the User Guide.

The guides are available in both Portable Document Format (PDF) and eBook/ePub format. Viewing the eBook/ePub versions are best with either Apple Books for iOS & Macintosh systems or Google Play Books for Android systems.

If you have any questions about these guides or how they are applied, please contact us!

Download the Books:

Photographic Processes User Guide 


PDF Format
eBook Format

The Special Edition Art Project was created to afford photographers and artists practical access to the creation of wet processed photographic prints. This photographic processes user guide focusses instruction on classic B&W sliver gelatin print making as well as the historic light sensitive iron based Siderotype processes of Cyanotype (iron), Vandyke Brownprint, aka VDB, (silver / gold), Argyrotype (silver / gold), and Ziatype (palladium / gold / tungsten / platinum). These processes, wedded with modern chemistries for ecological wisdom and low Earth impact, allow for creative latitude in texture, tonality, and image presentation to keep the world safe, clean, and filled with beautiful works of self expression. This guide is a working bench reference and by no means a treatise on the covered processes; ‘Principal References’ can be found in the appendices. The procedures and quantities documented in this guide are not set in stone, but rather provide guidance to a known working baseline when creating with the processes described herein.

As an added assist, our User Guide documented Photoshop exposure response correction curve files can all be downloaded here: SEAP_Curves

As an additional assist, Jamie Taylor has put together a guide to help in preparing a digital image negative for contact printing with these photographic processes, available here in PDF format: Preparing Digital Negative

Siderotype Paper Survey


PDF Format
eBook Format

This alternative process paper survey is an effort to document how papers behave when paired with historic Siderotype processes used in our coastal California working environment. The Siderotype processes Cyanotype (iron), Vandyke Brownprint (silver) aka VDB, and Ziatype (palladium / gold / tungsten / platinum) are the focus of this survey, creating an assessment of a paper’s image density across exposure corrections, amount and type of grain, image bleed, and overall color tonality.

Table of Contents of the two Guides:

Photographic Processes User Guide – Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Photographic Processes
2.1. Overview
2.2. Definitions, Capacities, Extras, and Negatives
2.2.1. Definitions, Notational and Other
2.2.2. General Capacities

2.2.3. Process Extras
2.2.4. Processing Flow Commonalities
2.2.5. Siderotype Lessons Learned
2.2.6. A Word About Negatives
2.3. Cyanotype
2.4. New Cyanotype
2.5. Vandyke Brownprint (VDB)
2.6. Argyrotype
2.7. Ziatype
2.8. B&W Silver Gelatin
2.9. B&W Film Development
3. Chemistry of Light Sensitive Emulsions
3.1. Siderotype and Silver Gelatin Comparisons
3.2 Cyanotype
3.3. New Cyanotype
3.4. Vandyke Brownprint
3.5. Argyrotype
3.6. Ziatype
3.7. B&W Silver Gelatin
Appendix A: Emulsion Care & Feeding
Appendix B: Process References
Appendix C: Photography References
Appendix D: Coffee Cyanotype Toning Example
Appendix E: Exposure Response Correction Curves
Appendix F: Spill Response Procedures

Siderotype Paper Survey - Table of Contents
1. Paper Introductions
2. Revere, Cartiere Magnani
3. Fluid HP Watercolor, Global Art Materials
4. Rising Stonehenge, Legion Paper
5. Arches Platine, Canson
6. Lana Aquarelle, Lana Paper Mill
7. Arches Aquarelle, Canson
8. COT 320, Bergger
9. Hahnemühle Platinum Rag, Hahnemühle
10. Canson 100 RGH/CP, Canson
11. Canson Montval, Canson
12. Fabriano Aquarelle, Fabriano
Appendix A: Survey Collection by Process
Appendix B: Exposure Response Correction Curves
Appendix C: A Word About Negatives
Appendix D: OHP Material for Negatives

© Special Edition Art Project, LLC 2018