These are the first 4×5 film portraits I have ever taken of my children. It was so neat to pull the newly developed negatives from the tank and see my own kids!
The prints shown below are 4×5″ salted paper prints that I hand coated and exposed to the sun in my back yard.
Learning the salted paper print process has been so much fun. And the final product is very difficult to fully capture in a digital image; they really need to be enjoyed in person where the texture and delicate range of tone can be experienced first hand.
All of my historic process papers are hand coated. This means that I paint one and sometimes two different solutions onto the surface of the paper. The chemicals are sensitive to UV light rays so all of the work must be done either at night or in a darkened room. Luckily, the chemicals I use can be coated with a light bulb or two turned on!
The photos below show my set-up for coating salted paper (brown prints) and cyanotype paper (blue prints). The salted paper requires a brushed on coat of distilled water, let it dry for a couple of minutes, a coat of salt solution, let it dry for 30 minutes, and a coat of silver nitrate solution, and let it dry in a dark area for at least two hours.
The cyanotype solution is a fun neon yellow before it is exposed to ultra violet light. The coating process for cyanotype prints includes one brushed on coat of distilled water, let it dry for a couple minutes, a puddle pushed coat of cyanotype solution, and let it dry in a dark area for at least 2 hours. A puddle pusher is a glass rod that is used to move the liquid solution across the paper.
I use a couple of places in my home for hand coating paper. At night I can work just about anywhere. During the day, I can do some of the work (cutting paper, distilled water coat and salt solution coat) anywhere, but the light sensitive solutions require me to hide away in our only closet! Yes, historic farm houses just do not have closets! 🙂
Join me at the Hillsdale County Farmer’s Market (Hillsdale Courthouse parking lot) for an authentic street portrait experience and for demonstrations of historic photographic printing processes. I’ll also have handmade salted paper prints, cyanotypes, albumen prints and more available for purchase!
The market is held Saturdays, May 13th-September 2017 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
On “Cinco de Mayo” I will be at Smith’s Flower Shop from 5-7:00 pm to demonstrate how my Afghan Box Camera works. If you’re curious stop by and take a look! I’ll have some examples of other vintage print processes available to see too!