salted paper prints

well after about a full day of curve design and some tweaks this morning, i finally got a curve that produces a fairly linear curve for salted paper prints.  the salted paper process was invented by William Henry Fox Talbot, known as The Father of Modern Photography, in 1833 while he was on his honey moon.  the kit that i am using from bostick and sullivan uses a solution of Ammonium Chloride and Sodium Citrate as the salt sensitizing agent.  a Silver Nitrate solution gives you the metal base to create the image.  the paper is coated with each solution and then exposed to UV light to create the image.  after the exposure is complete, there is no development per se.  the image is already formed on the paper.  you’re only left to wash away the unused silver and then the print is fixed in regular photo fixer (Sodium Thiosulfate).  the result is a print with blacks that are kind of dark chocolate, but toning the print in a gold chloride solution gives the prints a more neutral, almost eggplant tone that’s really pleasant.

this scan is of one of my first artist proof prints and the tones are about right.  its cropped not exactly how i want it, but rather to match the size of the coatings i’d done.  as i write this, i’m waiting for a few more 8×10 inch sheets to dry and i’ll make a one or two more prints tonight.  with a 20-minute exposure time, it take a while to make each print, but they’re quite worthwhile!


Kiera - Beltzville, Frame 6.  5x7 inch Salt Print, toned with Gold Chloride
Kiera - Beltzville, Frame 6. 5x7 inch Salt Print, toned with Gold Chloride

film: Ilford Delta 400 at ISO 800
model: Keira Grant

4 thoughts on “salted paper prints

  1. great prints! im doing a salt printing demo in my alt process class. did you double coat your papers? any idea what your negative density is? i hear for salt prints, the curve is similar to that of palladiums/van dyke?


    1. I dont usually double coat my salt prints or any other alt processes. Usually if you have problems with getting deep shadows, its more related to humidity than anything else.

      My negatives are all created digitally using an inkjet printer.


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