Anyone ever tried this?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Actor, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    Last week I was reading an article about pioneer inventor/photographer Fox Talbot and I came across an interesting idea. "If you expose film long enough an image will appear. You don't have to develop it, just fix it."

    Sounds like something I'll have to try sooner or later. :D
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why?
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Modern materials, both film and paper, don't work very well this way, but they will produce an image. You're probably better of experimenting with enlarging paper rather than film. You will also want to avoid commercially made fixers as these will bleach the exposed image somewhat. You'd be best off using a simple fixer containing only Sodium Thiosulfate, what Henry Fox-Talbot would have called Hyposulfate of Soda and hence the nickname "Hypo".

    If you really want to pursue this, I would suggest that you start your experiments with enlarging paper in a contact printing frame, commercia or homemade from a sheet of glass. Use found objects are your "imaging device", clamping them under the glass on top of the paper, and exposing it to full sunlight for several minutes until the uncovered paper darkens. Then fix the paper, under very dim or "safe" light, and then wash and dry. Leaves are the classic "found objects" that Fox-Talbot and his associates, including Josiah Wedgewood, used in their early experiments.

    For many years you could buy papers specifically made for printing this way. Kodak last made them in the '70s, I believe. The last commercial use was to make portrait proofs that wouldn't last and were difficult to reproduce. Us old geezers remember getting little packets of proofs for our school pictures with instructions to not open them until we got them home to show our parents and then only briefly. These were exposed images that were left unfixed on purpose.
     
  4. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    Because I can.

    It seems to be part of the learning process to actually do something rather than just read about it. In high school chemistry we read about electrolysis of water, using electricity to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. The description in the text was pretty clear and I think we all understood it but we did the experiment anyway. It was fun.

    We also did an experiment distilling fresh water from salt water. I offered to bring in some sour mash but ...
     
  5. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    It's kind of like teaching a bear to dance. The goal is not to get the bear to dance well, but to get the bear to dance at all. :lol:
     
  6. manfromh

    manfromh TPF Noob!

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    If I understood this thread correctly, then its called solarography (exposing paper until an image appears without developing it). I recall reading that you cant fix it. Again, if I remember correctly, fixer will clear the image. Only way to get the image to last is to scan it right after exposing it. I'm not sure how the results would be like if you did it with film.
     

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