Gelatin Silver

 

Gelatin Silver

Gelatin Silver Print

Gelatin silver was introduced in 1871 by Richard Leach Maddox, leading to wide commercial use as a shelf-stable, long-lasting photographic paper that dominated both the commercial and fine art printing markets for over a century. The paper consists of a layer of gelatin with silver halides suspended within it. The paper is exposed to a negative (via contact printing or enlargement) and then developed using oxidizers to cause the silver to tarnish in places, creating a monochrome black and white image.

It is perhaps the most familiar photographic printing technique and is arguably not an alternative process because it is still used and not yet completely out of favor. Luminaria works with it because we want to keep it from becoming completely alternative and it has many favorable aesthetic traits.

Gelatin Silver Workshops

 

Gelatine Silver Print
Gelatin Silver Print

Luminaria's Capabilities

Digital negatives

Though gelatin silver does not require contact printing (meaning the negative is not enlarged but printed 1:1 on the paper) it is our preferred printing method. With calibrated digital negatives we can take any of your digital images and output the perfect negative for your final print. Print sizes are dependent upon the file size of your digital image. Do you have a negative to print? No problem. We can scan it for digital negatives and go from there..

Precise tonal range

Our calibrated digital negatives are designed to take advantage of gelatin silver’s versatile tonal range. Aesthetically, prints in this process can be beautiful in high-contrast, low-contrast, a compressed tonal-range, or a wide one.

Paper options

Gelatin silver paper is still widely produced with many different options from the surface quality to the tone. We are not loyal to a brand but have experience we use to pick the right type depending on the client’s criteria. We can help you decide which is best for you and source the right type for your aesthetic needs.

Sizes

Our exposure unit allows us to print up to 24x36 inches.

Prices

Our pricing is based on materials costs and your customization requirements. Because of this we can only provide a basic estimate of pricing on our website. Contact us to discuss your needs or schedule an appointment to visit our lab and samples.

  • 8x10 | $75
  • 11x14 | $140
  • 16x20 | $200
  • inquire about larger sizes

Workshops

Crafternoon: Liquid Light Tiles
50.00

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Liquid Light is a silver-gelatin liquid emulsion that can be painted onto paper, cloth, stone, wood, and other substrates. If applied correctly, photographs can be printed onto the substrate with an enlarger or through contact printing. In this mini-workshop you will learn how to prepare a tile for Liquid Light emulsion and print onto it. The print can be a photogram (using an object as the negative) or from digital negatives of digital images. You are encouraged to bring your own objects for photograms. If you would like to use a digital image for a nominal fee, you can email us your image prior to the class so we can have it ready to go.

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Crafternoon: Photograms
50.00

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Instead of negatives, photograms use objects to block light from a light-sensitive emulsion. They are simple, design-oriented images that can be as minimal or ornate as you like. In this mini-workshop we will use cyanotype and gelatin silver paper to make photograms with found objects, pressed-plants, and our bodies. You are encouraged to bring your own objects for photograms.

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Crafternoon: Pinhole Cameras
50.00

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A pinhole camera is a light-tight box with a pinhole for a lens. It takes unique photographs that are dreamy and imperfect. In this mini-workshop you will make a pinhole camera and use it to shoot gelatin silver negatives in our studio or around the neighborhood. We will provide basic camera materials but you are encouraged to bring your own object to turn into a pinhole camera.

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Weekend Workshop: Introduction to Chromoskedasic Sabattier
500.00

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This relatively new process (introduced in 1991) is great for exploring the limits of gelatin silver printing. This workshop will introduce basic gelatin silver printing using digital negatives, discuss the principles and chemistry underlying the chromo process, and allow for hands-on printing time to explore the technique. The chemicals primarily affect the white portions of an image so a high-contrast photo with white space will work best. Students are encouraged to submit 2 images for digital negatives or to use the photogram technique.

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Summer Workshop: Printing Gelatin Silver with Digital Negatives
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Summer Workshop: Printing Gelatin Silver with Digital Negatives
600.00

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Don’t get us wrong--we love shooting film and enlarging traditional silver negatives in the darkroom. However, combining a chemical with a digital workflow is an excellent option for making the perfect gelatin silver print without needing to shoot film. This workshop teaches the basic principles of digital negatives and gelatin silver printing so students can adopt this workflow in their own studios.

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