© 2013 Fourtoes Salt2g

Salt Printing 2…

Another go at salt printing today.

The UV facial tanner arrived in the mail. Exposures are much shorter but as expected the contrast was much flatter. I think natural light is much better so far.



Also tried a variety of different papers from home, all from sketch and watercolour pads. As you can see some worked better than others.

I know you need a decent contrasty negative for this process and a wet plate ambrotype is no where near good enough but you have to have a go don’t you?? I shot an over exposed bright ambrotype with old collodion to make it as contrasty as possible. It didn’t really help.
I’ve used Potassium Dichromate before in Van Dyke Browns with some success in contrast control. There was still some 1% dilution left but I think it was too weak. The results were pretty poor.

This print looked pretty good right through the process until the final wash? I’ve circled one area of tone that the original had across it, it darkened/mottled down in the wash for some reason.

This salt print I actually forgot about as I was chatting with Neil, another photographer at the mill, and it had an exposure of nearly two hours! I dont mind it, quite dark and moody.

Just for my own sanity and peace of mind at the end of the day I contact printed and enlarged the ambrotype onto Ilford RC and FB paper.

Salt print conclusion. Stop messing around with rubbish paper. Use either a gelatin or starch sizing and get hold of some new Sodium Thiosulphate for fixer!



  1. Posted November 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM | #

    Greetings Tony,
    Been clicking through some of your posts and came to this. Something I have been meaning to try myself. I have or had, as I cannot find the link now – about paper and size experiments with salted paper. Apperently depending on what the paper is sized with will greatly affect the density, contrast and even the colour of the final image. Potato starch was a common size in the early days as well as a host of many other natural starches. If I find the link I will send it along I believe it came from a british photohistorical site anyway, your still looking good.
    Do not know if you have seen these maybe it might be of some use.


    All the Best,
    Paul Elter

  2. Posted November 24, 2013 at 4:32 PM | #

    Hi Paul,

    Yes sizing would definitely help, these were just with what I had available at the time. I’ll be returning to salt printing very soon. I want to have a play with albumen prints first though.

    Hope you are well.


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