Fabriano Artistico – Van Dyke

One of the processes I’ve been meaning to dive into is Van Dyke printing. I would like to make more collodion negatives and find different ways of printing them. This week I finally got around ordering the chemistry and yesterday I bought 3 different papers to begin with. It’s all 200 grams Fabriano Artistic0 but with a different grain / surface. One is very smooth (LS), one is a little rougher (GF) and one is really rough (GG). I don’t know which one will work better. It will all depend on the photo and the result one has in mind. I also want to try albumen printing, ordered that chemistry as well, and since this type of paper seems to be quite versatile I decided to go with that (gum printing is also still on the menu). Luckily I can buy this and other papers at our local artist store so if I want something else I can get it in no time.

I enhanced the contrast of the image to emphasize the structure of the paper.

“The VDB (Van Dyke Brown) process produces an image due to the reaction / reduction of ferric (iron) salt to a ferrous state during exposure to UV light. The Van Dyke process employs a sensitizer formula consisting of ferric ammonium citrate, tartaric acid, and silver nitrate and is wash-developed in distilled and fresh water. The Van Dyke print is then either toned in one of several toning options, for color or archival reasons, or immediately fixed in a 3% sodium thiosulfate bath and washed for permanence. ”
Source: the Book of Alternative Photographic Processes; second edition by Christopher James.

This is a short description of the process. I cited out of a book (a book which is really really handy to have at hand) to be able to give accurate information at this point. I’ll expand the information later on as I start experimenting with this.


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