by Gerald Boerner
Yesterday we examined the Cyanotype printing-out paper that created beautiful blue images from contact prints from negatives or photograms of objects placed upon its surface. These prints required ultraviolet (UV) light of the sun. The image is “developed” by washing in water followed by toning (optional).
Today we examine another type of non-silver printing-out paper that uses a different iron-based sensitizer to coat fiber paper, the Van Dyke Brown process. This color was first developed by the painter, van Dyck, and used by many of the Flemish painters. The beautiful brown image produced on this paper is exposed with UV light (the sun) just like the Cyanotype. The processing of the image on the paper involves a water wash followed by a “fixing” bath to remove excess sensitized compounds followed be a long (30+ minutes) bath.
These images, as will be seen by some of the samples included below, are stunning and durable. They can be toned to bring out some additional tonality. This is a process that requires patience and practice to master, but results in stunning images. GLB
“The darkroom is just the means to an end.”
— Kim Weston
“I’ve been a photographer all these years… I haven’t been in my own darkroom for 10 years.”
— Graham Nash
“My lifestyle is bizarre, but the only thing you need to know is where the darkroom is.”
— Robert Mapplethorpe