The Methods - bdrichardson

The Methods

From l. to r. below: 

1.  Getting  a digital negative ready to place on  sensitized paper  in the UV light box.

2.  Bath time for this print.  It is soaked, toned, "fixed," and bathed again before drying & waxing.

3.  Rolling a film image onto a prepared metal plate to create  a modern "tintype."

Waxed Salt Print Process . . .

The techniques utilized in these prints date from the mid-1800s.  Salt Prints were some of the first "photographs" ever printed.  My Salt Prints are created from digital negatives--a wonderful marriage of old and new.  The negative might be from an old Kodachrome slide or original Black & White film--or it could even be from a digital image captured last month!

The negative is then placed in contact with paper sensitized with sodium chloride and silver nitrate using traditional darkroom protocol of UV light, gold toning and a "fixing" bath of sodium thiosulfate.  The prints are finished with a coating of beeswax and lavender oil.   All prints are custom matted (8-ply archival) and custom framed in a black matte textured hardwood.

Modern Tintypes . . .

These new-age "tintypes" are created from both old film and newer digital images. They are individually printed onto film and hand-transferred to aged metal plates using a chemical emulsion process.  The metal has been aged using a lengthy hand-worked technique which involves soaking the metal--sometimes for a week or more.  The plates are soaked in simple compounds with found objects and organic matter to create patterns and textures.  Each transfer is unique and no two are identical.  All are signed on the back.

The metal gives the images depth; when hung, these images change as the light changes throughout the day, rendering different moods and tonalities.  They are custom framed in hardwood or authentic American  barnwood; no glass is used.

Acrylic . . .

These sleek self-framing works are first printed on archival metallic paper.  The image is then sandwiched between 3 mm of high-grade Plexiglas and backed with 3 mm of aluminum dibond.  This process is more complex than a simple "acrylic print"  and offers more depth and richness allowing the image to "pop!"  This method also makes for a far sturdier piece.

While contemporary in look, even older black and white images can be given a sleek and modern interpretation with this process.