Beginners Bromoil…

Bromoil printing has been on my list of “must try processes” for quite a while. I was making a chem order so added some Bromoil Bleaching chemistry to it. I can recommend Mamut for their wet plate recipes etc. Postage is steep to the UK but if theres a few of you ordering you can split the costs. Although I understand John will be selling the raw ingredients in the UK soon. So no excuse to not mix your own.

So back to Bromoil printing.

I had various FB papers in a drawer in the darkroom so used those. One I’ve read is suitable. The Ilford Warmtone MGFB, although its meant to exhaust the bleach much quicker.


I made some contact prints from various clear glass ambrotypes, especially the 12×15 “vine” plate. I left these to dry overnight.

I then followed the instructions as per on the bottle and in the very easy to follow book “Bromoil: A Foundation Course” by Derek Watkins.

I wasn’t expecting the green colour for the bleach…

I soaked the papers in 20 degree water prior to bleaching at the same temp for twelve minutes, then a quick wash and a fix followed by further washing and left to dry overnight.

I bleached it back till there was a faint yellow image, this when washed and fixed to became a very faint grey image. I wasn’t sure how far the bleach bath would take the print so just followed the instructions. I assumed it would have bleached it further back to this?
Before fix

Not one for hanging around for prints to dry, I took one of the smaller prints and soaked it again for 10 minutes at 20 degrees, and got on with inking…..



I was a little heavy handed and forgot to comb my brush I had cut into a Stagfoot shape, which resulted in many small hairs being stuck to the print. A little annoying but this was a very quick heavy handed inking to see if the chems worked as they should? At least theres an image, sort of. It was interesting to see how the brush steps/hopping achieved different results.

I now have two larger prints ready for “superheating” and soaking prior to inking sitting in a drawer in the studio. Just need to make time to get back to it.