A New Adventure….

I have ordered Rollei Lith developer because the examples I saw looked very promising. I have yet to start with it but the idea of going back to “standard” black & white negative printing, even though being done in a professional archival worthy manner, seems totally boring now that I’ve begun with Wet Plate.

Rollei Lith Developer

Rollei Lith Developer

Lith printing seems like a relatively easy way to start doing another alternative way of processing and still being able to use my film footage of which I have a lot. A lot that needs to be printed too. I will post my newly acquired adventures when I do so here. I hope this blog will grow out to be a development of myself into the wonderful world of alternative photography. An interesting book that I use as a guide through the wide variety of processes is this one:

Christopher James – The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes

I hope I will get myself to start with this soon but I have a lot on my  mind lately, one of them is creating a new website. It’ll be in the style of Wet Plate qua design and a bit more fun and personalized. One of them is something else to which I’ll dedicate an entire new category as I hope it to grow in the (near) future.

Indra

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7 responses

  1. jef

    hi indra!

    your lith prints are very stunning! now i’m sold to do this! i just noticed your lith developer. is this ready made developer you can use for lith printing? where did you able to get this? i’m still reading stuff about lith. there are a lot of things i needed before i get started! thanks again!

    jef

    December 11, 2012 at 15:20

    • Hi Jef,

      Thanks 😉
      This is ready-made developer which is a two-bath developer, part A and part B. You’ll have to mix them when you’re going to print. I use this for example with the Rollei developer:
      115 ml part A
      115 ml part B
      2770 ml water
      Mix it together in a tray (specifically for this developer) and you’re good to go.

      You can order lith developer from different places, different brands. For example:
      Rollei Lith developer:
      http://www.macodirect.de/rollei-lith-developer-1lbrpart-500ml-part-500ml-p-2179.html?osCsid=0fa332f2df67b97fcb902830b8e30b32

      Moersch developer (easylith will be the easiest way to start with):
      http://www.moersch-photochemie.de/content/shop/lith

      Fotospeed LD20 developer (scroll down the page):
      http://www.fotospeed.com/keywordsearchresults.asp

      Stopping bath and fixing is not any different than what you would normally do when black-and-white printing.

      That is all you need really to get started, along with some paper. A lithable paper for starters is handy to begin with I think. I use Fomatone MG Classic 131:
      http://www.macodirect.de/fomatone-classic-c-1_17_269_355.html

      For other papers check out the lith group on FB, I only have experience with this one.

      Other than that, just start and have fun! It’s a very visual process and interesting. Along the way you’ll get more feel for it and when you want to explore the technical side a bit more I can wholeheartedly recommend the book by Tim Rudman:
      “The master photography Lith printing course”

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

      Indra

      December 11, 2012 at 17:32

      • jef

        hi indra,

        thank you again! i think i’m loving this process.. the images posted on the fb group are very nice! i really like the feel of it than normal gelatin silver print. i will have to check those links that you posted.. i’m not sure if i could be able to get papers here but i will try. so basically, this is like the normal black and white printing (gelatin silver). you expose your negative to the paper than develop in lith developer? what is the difference between the two method? sorry for asking to much. i shouldve do my homework 😀

        love your work! thanks for helping me!

        i just contacted dhl iran i hope i could be able to use them to ship chemicals to iran.

        December 11, 2012 at 17:52

      • Hi Jef,

        No problem 😉 Not doing much now anyway as my lith printing journey of today failed miserably anyway (see FB group).

        Basically it is like normal black-and-white printing. You actually overexpose your paper with the negative. With this process you expose the paper to get the highlights right and you develop to get the blacks correct.

        After you exposed the paper you place it in the lith developer, which is very diluted in working solution. The time for development will be different for each print. With the normal black-and-white developer the paper has been fully developed after about 1 1/2 minute. Here you determine that time yourself. The time it takes for a bit image to show up when developing is quite long. I normally start seeing some parts of the image coming at around 2 minutes. The thing with this developer is called “infectious development”.

        This means that the darker the paper becomes the faster the development will go, the faster it darkens the faster the development will go etc etc. First it starts out slowly but the developing of the darker parts will go faster and faster, whereas the lighter parts will stay far behind. That’s why you have to expose for the highlights. When you think you’ve reached the density that you like you have to snatch the print from the developer and place in the stopping bath. Determining this time called “snatch point” is the tricky part 😉

        What makes it even more tricky is that your developer will change when more prints go through it. The color of the final print, the grain and contrast etc will change during printing. So the first print looks nothing like the fifth print even if you keep exposure time and development time the same. There will be a point where your images look fantastic and then the developer wears out and you have to make new one. There’s a relative short window in which you can make proper prints, all depending on what results you’re after of course!

        Because you have this so called infectious development you can achieve very soft delicate highlights and very dark and contrasty grainy shadows. This would never be possible using normal black-and-white developer.

        You’re in for a nice ride! It’s a truly wonderful alternative printing process and relatively easy to step into. That’s why I chose it. It’s the fine-tuning that takes things to a different level and makes it a difficult process at the same time.

        Have fun!

        Indra

        December 11, 2012 at 18:25

      • jef

        hi indra,

        thanks for all the help!!! i will try to read more about this process if i have a question i will message you.

        so probably each print on lith has different quality/characteristic. nothing are the same? i like that! i’m sure i would enjoy this printing process. i can’t wait to do this!

        have a good day and thanks for helping me out!

        jef

        December 11, 2012 at 19:26

      • Hi Jef,

        It’s really hard getting two lith prints to look the same. Refining your technique with additional chemistry and guidance from the book I mentioned can get you a long way but it is quite a challenge to say the least 😉

        -Indra

        December 11, 2012 at 20:18

  2. jef

    hi indra,

    i love challenge thats why i would like to try different photographic processes! 🙂 thanks for all the help. will give some time for lith research this week. 😀

    jef

    December 11, 2012 at 20:59

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