Posts tagged “lith printing


Saturday I had a day off at work because I had to pick up my work from the Art.Room gallery (yes, show is over; the month went by as if it was nothing). A very relaxed and easy day and when I finally got back home I still had some hours to spare before ‘my man’ came home. I was in doubt whether I’d shoot some plates out there or do some lithy stuff in the darkroom and chose the latter because the weather didn’t look that stable. Here are some examples of that printing session. It was not a fantastic session but I discovered some negatives never printed before, discarded a few others and once again realised too late the emulsion side of the collodion glass plate has to touch the surface when making a contact print 🙂

A couple of months back I went to C-Mine in Genk  (BE) to see the photo exhibition ‘Yakuza” by Anton Kusters. This is a beautiful place which has plenty of things in and outside to photograph. Photos taken with my Leica M6 + Elmarit 28mm f2.8 using Kodak T-Max 100 film (wish I had a faster film in the camera that day because the light was very low and the photos are not crispy sharp because of too long shutter speeds).

No filter | Exposure 20 seconds | Snatch point 4m49 | Rollei Lith 1+1+24 20 degrees | Rollei 131 FB Paper


No filter | Exposure 30 seconds | Snatch point 4m26 | Rollei Lith 1+1+24 20 degrees | Rollei 131 FB paper


I also ran into the Redbird film I shot in Ellmau, Austria (I only posted the scans of some of the negatives here a while back) and decided to give that a go. Not sure whether I like it; it has some coolness but also a lot of grain which comes from the film itself. I might have to experiment more with that negative to get better separated parts and make the grain less bothering.

No filter | Exposure 50 seconds | Snatch point 4m56 | Rollei Lith 1+1+24 20 degrees | Rollei 131 FB paper


My final print was one of my collodion clear glass ambrotypes shot at the Enci in Maastricht. Forgot to place the emulsion side on the paper which results in a loss of sharpness. Better next time; not contacting but properly enlarging for I like its characteristics.


Anyway, nothing special and hope to get back in there soon!

Tim Rudman – Lith Print Materials – Updated

I only have gotten around downloading this updated guide today and thought I’d share it here. Well share it, you can subscribe to the newsletter of Tim Rudman here and download your copy of the updated guide for free. It’s worth it! Explanation of new printing material, what has changed etc. His newsletters are always very informative so if you wish to stay updated about the latest on lith printing I encourage you to subscribe to them. Have fun!

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 11.20.31 AM

P.s. the Facebook group on Lith Printing has grown to a staggering 359 members and is also a very good source of information and inspiration!

1st & 2nd Pass Lith Printing

As mentioned in the former post I dived into the second pass lith printing thingy. This means exposing the paper like normal, developing in standard bw-developer, stopping, fixing, rinsing, bleaching the print in a sepia bleach bath, rinsing, re-developing in Lith. Below I’ll describe how I did it, which chemistry I used, which papers etc. and the only thing you’ll have to pick up from this post is NOT to do it like I did now. It didn’t quite work out the way I anticipated it, mostly because of lack in technique.

Papers used:
* Ilford MGW.1K, fiber based warmtone paper
* Ilford MGT.44M, PE based warmtone pearl paper
* Ilford MG ART 300 paper (their new stuff)
* Ilford IB0.26K, Ilfobrom expired grade 0 paper
* Ilford IB4.26K, Ilfobrom expired grade 4 paper
* Rollei 131, fiber based warmtone paper

Chemistry used:
* 1st pass standard bw-developer Amaloco AM6006 1+9
* 2nd pass Moersch Easylith developer 1+1+24, + 50ml old brown in a total bath of 2 litres
* Sepia Bleach home-made: 100 gr Potassium FerriCyanide & 100 gr Potassium Bromide to 1 litre of water
* Amaloco S10 stopping bath 1+19
* Amaloco X89 fixing bath 1+4

Other variables:
* Temperature of lith developer +/- 30 degrees Celsius
* No MG filters used when exposing the paper
* Bleaching time approx. for all prints: 3 minutes

I think I screwed up on a couple of points. First of all, I used to many  different kinds of paper. This was my first try-out with bleaching and redeveloping it would’ve been smarter to just try one or two papers, take it from there and when I feel I got it a bit under control, try more papers. But, as I don’t have that much time, I figured the more the merrier. Well, not always 😉

Secondly, I’ll try a different 1st developer as it’s supposed to have an effect on the outcome after the 2nd development. I will try Agfa’s Neutol WA next.

Thirdly, I noticed a lot of stains, stripes and the like turning up during the 2nd pass developing. According to Tim Rudman’s book this is due to sloppy technique (which is quite possible) or bad rinsing, pollution etc. I rinsed too many papers in a too cold a rinsing bath because of my urge ‘the more the merrier’ so I screwed up there I think. Also, I didn’t hypo the prints after fixing. I though a decent rinse would be just as effective for this testing phase. I should know better.

What I didn’t like about the redeveloped prints is that they don’t have the coloration I wanted, they remain pretty much black and white, like before I bleached them. Perhaps that has to do with the amount of time I redeveloped them? Too long for the strength of the developer? Maybe I bleached the prints too long?
And I will try the SE5 as the 2nd pass lith bath. It’s the bath I want to go work with in the future so what’s the point anyway with using the Easylith when I know I want to switch entirely anyway.

It’s a whole new world which I will go back to this afternoon. I hope the new tryouts will be a bit more of what I’m after. I’ll be using the paper Ilford MGW.1K and if I can find the time, also the MG ART 300. Agfa Neutol WA as 1st developer and SE5 as my second. I’ll reduce the bleaching time to about 1 minute to see what that changes. Anyway, not all at once 😉

An example of a bleached print before re-developing in lith


Ilford MG ART 300
7s exposure time | no filter
AM6006 normal bw developing (BORING) | 1:30 minutes | 20 degrees Celsius


Ilford MG ART 300
40s exposure time | no filter
Amaloco AM6006 normal bw developing | 1:30 minutes | 20 degrees Celsius

1st pass Easylith 1+1+24 | 1/2 Old Brown | 4:25 minutes | 30 degrees Celsius


Ilford MG ART 300
7s exposure time | no filter
AM6006 | 3 minute sepia bleach
2nd pass Easylith 1+1+24 | + 1/2 old brown | +/- 30 degrees Celsius

Ilford MG ART 300
7s exposure time | no filter
Amaloco AM6006 normal bw developing | 1:30 minutes | 20 degrees Celsius

2nd pass Easylith 1+1+24 | 1/2 Old Brown | 8 minutes | 30 degrees Celsius


The rest of the images really isn’t worth posting. I don’t even know what to make of them..let alone make them into a comprehensive something. I’ll slowly back away now and lock myself up in the basement for some more juice 😉

Ilford Art 300 – New (Lith) Paper

Only recently I found out that Hahnelmühle created a new darkroom paper for Harman Ilford, the Art 300 paper. It was on the lith group on Facebook I first came across this paper. I immediately ordered it as it seems to be quite lithable, if not immediately than with second pass lith. I ordered the paper right away and hope to try it out tomorrow. I want to try out this second pass lith (so first development with normal developer, bleach back the print and redevelop using lith). Looking forward to these experiments!




Rollei Lith Failure = Moersch Easylith & SE5

After the failure of the Rollei kit last time (oh I didn’t mention that yet, did I?) I decided to go ahead and order the Moersch chemistry. The story of the Rollei kit first then..

I started a lith printing session as usual, by making the baths. I bought some new Rollei Vintage developer as I had too little left for one bath. I decided to mingle the old with the new chemistry in the dilution 115+115+2770 (1+1+24). The paper I used is the new Foma 131 FB. The images didn’t get a proper black. Oh well, I thought, maybe the old bit I mixed in is overaged so I made a whole new fresh batch. Nothing came on the paper…

Okay, maybe I exposed the wrong side of the paper? Doesn’t happen often but it’s possible. Again, nothing on the paper. Darn. Maybe I underexposed the paper (never worked with the new Foma 131 emulsion before). So I exposed 4 times longer. Again, nothing on the paper. And by nothing I mean absolutely nothing. Crap, maybe I accidentally mixed up part A and B the wrong way? I made a whole new fresh bath. Again, nothing on the paper. By now I got thoroughly agitated seeing that I wasted a whole lot of chemistry and expensive paper. Maybe the paper is off? I tried my old familiar Foma 131 FB paper. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. By this time I was convinced it had to be the developer as everything else worked fine before. I mailed the company I ordered it from but haven’t heard from them yet.


I was working on prints for an exhibition, I finished a series, the deadline moved towards 2013 and seeing that I wasn’t a 100% happy with the first series I decided to redo them. Well, I guess I just ran out of luck somewhere 😉 Fed up with the Rollei kit I decided it was time to take the plunge on the Moersch lith developers, which I intended to try for a while now. I ordered the Easylith (to compare a little against the Rollei kit) and ordered the SE5 as with all the additives possible it’s better refineable and controllable than the Easylith. The chemistry arrived yesterday so hope to find the time soon to use it, maybe even this year!



2013 Dreams Plans and Whatnot

2013 is already lurking around the corner while 2012 slowly comes to an end. 2012 was a great year but I’m really looking forward to 2013. This will be the year of my own photography. No workshops (by me, I wish to follow at least one myself), not as many days off to fix work for others, just doing my own stuff. I’ve had a lot of people asking me the past two years if they could come to my place or on location to watch me do my collodion ‘tricks’. Some I managed to squeeze into my schedule, others I have recently declined.

I think I made collodion imagery for maybe 2 times this past year that were about my personal work, in studio, not even outside. When I have to invite people over to watch the way I work it’s pretty much keeping me from concentrating on my stuff and making me feel obliged to focus more on the person in question instead of making plates. It took me quite some time but now I realise it’s just not working that way, especially seeing the little amount of time I have for my personal work. It might (have) come across as being arrogant, so be it. Making everyone happy is impossible and it’s certainly not the reason why I got into photography. Of course, asking questions via email, my blog of FB is never a problem but that way I can answer them whenever it suits me 😉

I was also debating which way I’d go with all the processes I’m interested in doing. I want to do so much it’s simply impossible mastering the crafts when working on a million different things. The chat I had yesterday with a friend certainly clarified a couple of things. The most important decision I’ve made is this one:
I want to make 4×5″ collodion negatives, but “standard” ones that I can enlarge with my Omega D2 to print them via the lith process. With standard ones I mean developed in an, albeit adjusted, iron II sulphate developer but no intensification or redeveloping needed with pyro for example. This has a couple of advantages:

  • I can print them with the Omega as already mentioned (I love lith for landscapes)
  • My collodion workflow on location will be a lot more compact (4×5 camera, smaller tripod etc)
  • It will weigh a LOT less. It’ll certainly shave off around 15-20 kilos
  • I can scan the negatives with my Epson V700 and turn them into (bigger) digital negatives suitable for whichever contact printing process I wish to dive into
  • Uhm, I have to buy a new camera 😉

The last one remains a lot of fun haha! I always wanted to get a small compact lightweight 4×5″ camera and now I have found the perfect excuse to get one! I’m looking for a small field camera such as a Chamonix, Shen Hao or Wista model (let me know if you have one for sale!). The photos I’m about to post are pure camera-**rn so mind your eyes 😉

045 chamonix-45c chamonix shenhao shenhao2


As you can see this is a terrible decision to make! Anyway, not sure if this will happen this year, the price has to be right for my wallet but I’m looking forward. At least before spring I would like to have this realised so I can take advantage of all there is to the collodion season. Although I’ll be trying some snowy collodion stuff this winter too, but then just with my big one.

As far as printing processes are concerned lith printing will stick by me. I absolutely love this for landscapes. You can take an image to a billion different levels and I love that. I will continue my digital negative journey to work through my collection of 35mm and 120 film. I will either lith them (landscapes) or make them into digital negatives and work on the Van Dyke process more (portraits). I absolutely wish to get that to a higher level which should be coming together in 2013.

I also saw a waxed salt print yesterday in person which looked beyond words. I loved the look and feel of it. Definitely worth looking into but that’s not priority Numero Uno. I have to much of those already 😉 Anyway, lots of plans which hopefully become more reality next year than this past one. Oh, and on top of that working on some conceptual stuff so I can put my skills to good use instead of getting lost into the technique too much.

Have a wonderful couple of weeks this year and may your next year be as challenging as mine seems to me!


Home Made Lith Developers

I ran into this page a couple of days ago where there are several recipes to make your own lith developer. As the developer is not all that cheap and the optimal time window in which you can work is rather limited (not taking into account the option of extending this period by using additives) this might be an interesting thing to do. Now that I’m used mixing my own stuff this is definitely next on my list for home-brewing 😉

This is the site I’m referring to:

This site contains a lot of interesting information so worthwhile looking around anyway.

Below the jpg version of the page:

Lith Developers

For now I have bought another package of the Rollei Vintage developer so I can start working again tomorrow. I will also try the Easylith and SE5 kit by Moersch. But home-made will certainly be part of the collection too. You can keep the home made solution for at least half a year so that’s perfect!

Have a good evening!

New Facebook Group “Lith Printing”


Yesterday I’ve decided to start a group on Facebook about Lith Printing as it wasn’t around yet. Seeing that you’re mostly depending on commercial papers and developers I thought it would be interesting to have a platform where people can share information on what they’re using, (re)sources etc. There are lots of foreign papers out there that I don’t have a clue about but would be interested in seeing more about them. I hope there are others out there who kind of feel the same way 😉

Here’s the link to the group. Feel free to join! Don’t take your knowledge to the grave!

Lith Prints – Italy 2012

Finally the day arrived the darkroom would be all for me and I needed to make some lith prints for an exhibition. Last Tuesday I went in, first making some contact sheets of films I shot in Italy this year. Those looked promising! With a good mood I started the lith printing session only to end it rather disillusioned that very same evening. I had trouble finding the exposure time of the paper, I kept over-developing the paper time on time again which results in blocked blacks. For some reason I just couldn’t find the swing, even with negatives I printed before and had notes to refer back to. I ended the day with one print that would be a keeper. Not too shabby but far less than I normally end up with.

On top of that I ran out of chemistry and felt I was running out of paper as well. I had plenty of 18×24 but was making the bigger prints on 30×40 sheets. Luckily I still had quite a bit of 40×50 paper laying around so could’ve always cut that up. Next day at work I placed a speed-order for the paper, chemistry had already been ordered, and it took them two days to deliver the latter. The paper however still hasn’t arrived.

Last Friday I was able to take an extra day off at work to continue where I left off on Tuesday. Great! This day was definitely a whole lot more successful! I ‘finished’ the four other prints I needed for the exhibition (They still require quite a bit of work. Want to experiment a little with bleaching back certain parts and they require toning, selenium & gold, want to try a split tone) and was even able to try some photos I took in Italy this year which I shot with my new Elmarit 28mm f/2,8 on the Leica M6. This was a wonderful combination to work with, light, compact and an absolute solid friend for traveling purposes. No more dragging around the Hass with its lenses (although on the go I usually referred to the 50mm FLE only). These prints are the ones I wanna share today. They are test prints so want to work on them more but they certainly have great potential in my opinion!

General Information:
Rollei 131 Vintage FB Paper
Rollei Vintage Lith Developer 1+1+24
Average development time: 8 minutes
(average as in I’m too lazy to go look up my notes for the exact times ;-))


A small village called Hafling (Avelengo) in South Tirol, Italy. This village is situated at a height of 1200 meters.


The woods of a small village called Hafling (Avelengo) in South Tirol, Italy. This village is situated at a height of 1200 meters.


One of the bigger villages called Merano in South Tirol, Italy.


The woods of a small village called Hafling (Avelengo) in South Tirol, Italy. This village is situated at a height of 1200 meters.


These are still a work in progress and will make a broader selection of images as I really like them. With the overview landscapes with mountains in the back the lith process really emphasises the clear contrasty foreground opposed to the delicate tones of the mountains in the far background. I really like this. I’m not sure if this will be for this year as it will get really busy at work now but 2013 will be MINE!

-x 🙂 x-