Resources for Alternative Processes

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by terri, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. unpopular

    unpopular Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Autochromes were produced by adding a single layer of dyed, finely sieved potato starch to a glass plate. These particles were applied in a single layer to a glass plate lightly covered in pitch (tree sap). In the spaces between the particles, lamp black was applies. The plate would then be pressed, flattening the particles in order to maximize translucency and minimize space between the particles. The plate would then be baked in order to fix the particles to the plate. The plate would then be covered in panchromatic emulsion.

    Because the original autochrome patent covers any color photographic process which similarly uses a stochastic screen of such microfilters, we figured we could use colored gelatin in place of starch, the gelatin could be swollen such that it bumps up against neighboring particles, avoiding the need of the lampblack and requiring less pressure. The only issue we could not resolve was getting the filters to be applied to the plate in a single layer. If this could be resolved, it may be possible to sensitize the colored filters themselves, avoiding the shooting "through the glass" drawback of traditional autochromes.

    One person suggested we could use inkjet printers, and instead of using a glass plate we could use transparency films. One problem exists in that inkjets inks not wholly waterproof, however this could be solved by using fixative. The printed inkjet screen would then be coated in a panchromatic emulsion.

    At the time, panchromatic dyes were not well understood to the laymen. However today resources from the holography community are available which describe how to dye silver-based emulsions to provide greater red and green sensitivity, this should not be as much an issue


     
  2. Robert_Maxey

    Robert_Maxey TPF Noob!

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    I understand the process. My only objection to the use of printers and film is it modifies the process in such a way that it is unappealing to me. Not really the original Autochrome process. to be fair, apparently, flexible substraits were tried a number of years later. The only technical issue I have found is the starch grains. Easier said than produced. I suppose a few samples could be made and then the particles sifted with a lab mesh screen to separate the grains by size. Or perhaps another material could be used if you want to experiment.

    Interestingly, there are hundreds of fascinating color techniques covered in the patent literature. I began a search when EK stopped manufacturing matrix film,

    In my opinion, if you want to use the original process, do not modify it so it no longer is the Autochrome Process. Just my humble opinion.

    I found this site: Institut Lumiere - Musee - Autochromes
    Do you suppose the colors were adjusted by the web designer? The first few images seem rather un-autochromey to me.

    "Soon the whole world will run wild with color, and the Lumière brothers will be responsible.” - One of the Lumiere Brothers.
     
  3. unpopular

    unpopular Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes. I was very adamantly opposed to this person's idea to use inkjet printers as well for the historic reasons. I don't mind modifications that might not be "historic" but in the very least use technologies available to them. Granted, my gelatin suggestion would not have been a genuine Lumiere Autochrome, but would still be an autochrome as defined by the patent (unless the filters themselves were sensitized).

    I have never seen an autochrome in person, so I don't know if these had been modified.
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Papermaking processes are fascinating to me! Don't know why, other than the seemingly limitless ways there are to go about it.
     
  5. Robert_Maxey

    Robert_Maxey TPF Noob!

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    I know of one man that makes film that is as good or better than the same specific material once manufactured by Eastman Kodak. He does it because EK discontinued the material. I have never made paper, but in the case of film, high quality materials require a far more exacting process than many dabblers use. It requires quite a bit of effort. It can be fascinating to fool with, though.

    If there is interest, I could briefly outline his process. Or post a link might be better.
     
  6. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sure, why not? :) Either open a new thread here in the Alt forum, or over in the general Articles forum. Sounds great - thanks!
     
  7. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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