Unblinking Eye


El Real.  Click to enlarge.

f/8, 14.2 seconds

El Real.  Click to enlarge.

f/8, 11.9 seconds

El Real.  Click to enlarge.

f/8, 10 seconds

This sequence illustrates how overexposure can eliminate virtually all reversal effects.

Bergger Prestige CB Art, Grade 4, exposed for 40 seconds at f/8 and developed 50 seconds in Ansco 120 (2:1) at 68 F, then washed briefly before being moved to a solution of Ansco 120 (1:2) with 30 grams potassium bromide added, and solarized for 4 seconds with a 55 watt incandescent bulb 4 feet above the tray.  Development was continued for an additional 70 seconds in the second tray of developer. 

After development the print was stopped with acetic acid and fixed for 45 seconds each in two baths of rapid fixer.  The print was moved directly from the fixer into a solution of Farmer’s Reducer for prints and reduced for 60 seconds, rinsed briefly, then returned to the fix for 30 seconds.  The print was toned for 2 minutes in selenium toner (1:15), followed by a 3 minute wash, 3 minutes in hypo clearing agent, and a 1 hour wash.

Real de Catorce.  Click to enlarge.

Bergger Prestige CB Art, Grade 4, developed 50 sec. in Ansco 120 with 10 ml 1% benzotriazole per liter, washed briefly, then placed in Ansco 120 with 30 grams potassium bromide and solarized for 4 secs with a 55 watt bulb 4 feet from the tray, then developed for an additional 80 seconds.  The print was subsequently reduced in iodine reducer (1:100) for 30 seconds, toned in selenium (1:4) for 30 seconds, followed by HCL and a thorough wash, then toned again in brown toner for 2 minutes, followed by HCL and a thorough wash, then toned a final time in DuPont 6T gold toner with only 3 ml. 1% gold chloride for 2 minutes.  Final wash was for 3 hours.

Return your mind.  Click to enlarge.

Bergger Prestige CB Art, Grade 3, developed as the print on the left, except the solarization exposure was for 7 seconds, then reduced in iodine reducer (1:100) for 30 seconds, toned for 1 minute in selenium (1:4), followed by HCL and a thorough wash, then toned for 2 minutes in Dupont 6T with 3 ml. 1% gold chloride, and washed for 3 hours.

Bergger Prestige CB Art is the best paper I have found for print solarization since Brovira.  This paper is listed as being warm in tone, but it solarizes much better than the NB, which is listed as being neutral in tone.  This is not what I might once have expected, since bromide papers such as Brovira and Ilford Galerie generally work best for print solarization, though I have seen similar qualities in Luminos Classic warm tone, which is only available in a single grade.  The Bergger Prestige CB Art paper is on a premium doubleweight base that can take the stresses and strains of processing and is available in grades 2, 3 and 4.  B&H in New York carries a full line of Bergger papers.  In some cases they have to be special ordered, but they are well worth waiting for when necessary.

Most of my illustrations for this article appear quite warm because I have used the duo-tone solarization process, as described in my article Print Solarization.  Print color may be manipulated somewhat by adjusting the concentration of the second developer as well as the quantity of bromide added.  Further control may be derived from the use of various toners, such as Kodak Selenium Toner, Kodak Brown Toner, or gold toners such as Ansco 231 and DuPont 6-T.

As I have explained in my Print Solarization article, the best developer for the Sabatier effect is one that contains metol only.  While the Sabatier effect may be obtained with a metol-hydroquinone developer (particularly if the hydroquinone is nearly exhausted), the effect is diminished and the prints are often heavily fogged.  In my estimation, success with the Sabatier effect may be judged by the cleanness of the high values obtained.  When all the tones in a print consist of blacks and murky greys (as so many do), it may hardly be considered a successful solarization.  Now that Kodak Selectol Soft is no longer produced, there are very few commercial developer choices.  My favorite developer has long been Ansco 120, which must be mixed by hand.  Solarol is still being produced, and is available from B&H for $17.95 per half-gallon, but Ansco 120 can be made for less than $2.50 per liter, and so is well worth the effort.  Another developer worth experimenting with is Clarence Rainwater’s R77.


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