Bromoil.....first attempt

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by terri, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As some of you know, I've been thinking about trying this process for a while now. It took me several weeks to prepare, since I had to order special chemicals, and other cool stuff, from various vendors. I also took my time reading as much as I could find about the process, since it's hard for me to try anything without being shown first!! ;)

    I had some difficulty controlling the contrast here. This probably was not the best negative I could have chosen, since it's a contrasty infrared image that's difficult to print under regular conditions. :razz: What do you guys think? Comments, feedback appreciated as always. :D

    Interior of a diner, along the Forgotten Coast:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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    What on Earth is Bromoil? I've never heard of it.
    I don't know what I'm looking at, but it looks great. There is real texture and "feel" there. It looks like a diner, yet slightly abstract at the same time.

    It's cool!

    I keep flicking back to look at the image so this post has taken longer to type than it should have. :oops: :mrgreen:
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's an alternative print-making process. You make a regular darkroom print, just darker and kinda flat in appearance. Then, you bleach it out with a special brew, very similar to sepia toning where you watch your image disappear. Only for bromoils, you want the image to stay gone! You bring it back with lithographic or etching inks, using a brush (or as in my case, several brushes). :mrgreen: You build the image back up gradually. That explains the textured look you noticed.

    Does it make sense, the way I'm explaining it? It's a very broad explanation, I know, I'm omitting the technical stuff unless you really want to know. :D
     
  4. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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    I've never seen an enlarger in the flesh and I think I've got the gist of it. :thumbup:

    So all you do, in even more basic terms, is hide an image and selectively bring it back?

    How long until we see more of these from you? :)
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That, in effect, is what you are doing. You are also transforming a gelatin silver print into a carbon-based print, too - thereby increasing its archival properties. It was quite hugely popular in the first half of the 20th century. :D

    Expect to see more. I have another matrix (what you call the former print after it's bleached and ready to be inked) ready and waiting. I ran out of weekend before I ran out of things to do! :lol:
     
  6. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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    How long does the whole process take then?
     
  7. anua

    anua TPF Noob!

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    great one, terri! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
    what is the substance you 'bring it back' with? - hmm...cause you said you use lithographic/etching inks....does it work a bit like a lithography (more less), the bromoil?i mean - do you need special gloves to protect your hands from acid for example?
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Anja!! :D Yes, it is done using these inks...I have two tins, one of lithographic ink and one of etching. Supposedly one is "harder" than the other, and the harder the ink, the more contrast you get. You have to add medium to either soften or harden whatever ink you are using....it takes practice, and I have a long way to go! ;)

    I started off wearing gloves....got impatient and ripped them off about half way through, so I have inky-looking fingernails. :lol: I probably should have worn gloves while doing the bleach/tanning process, but it was just in a tray and I used tongs and didn't think about it. :)
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, first you get in the darkroom and make a few ugly prints. :lol: Like I said, darker and flatter than usual. After they are dried, you prepare your bleach/tanning solution and bleach them. You actually re-fix the prints once they are bleached so there is no more tonal change, and wash them like a regular print.

    THEN you get to proceed with the fun part, which is the actual inking process. I only started with 2 negatives and will definitely get back and do several more, now that the initial "fear factor" is over. The print here took about 2 hours to ink, before I decided to quit fooling with it. ;) I'm sure it will take less time once I get used to it and have a feel for what the heck I'm trying to do. :D
     
  10. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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    2 hours?!?!?!

    If it took longer than ten minutes I'd have to get up and do something else! :shock:

    :mrgreen:
     
  11. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    Terri, that is seriously cool! You are such an inspiration, always trying these new old things. :)
     
  12. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    So So SO cool!
     

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