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Author Topic: Ansel Adams photo question  (Read 2164 times)

DanPBrown

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Ansel Adams photo question
« on: December 21, 2009, 12:08:09 AM »

I was at an Ansel Adams exhibit a few years ago. One of my favorite images was one of crystals that had formed in the bottom of a developing tray after his chemicals had evaporated. My question is, is it possible to duplicate the patterns? Any idea what the chemical was that left the crystal formations? Silver nitrate?
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Dan
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Tom Montgomery

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Ansel Adams photo question
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 08:39:29 AM »

I know that fixer would produce some wonderful crystal structures when left to dry in the tray. And fixer is mainly sodium thiosulfate, IIRC.  This was during my student days, in a camera club darkroom, of course!  My own darkroom has always been spotless!  

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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Ansel Adams photo question
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 10:16:37 AM »

Now that I haven't used my darkroom in about seven years, I might just pour a little of each of my old chemicals into the bottoms of trays to see what develops (ouch). 

I know the image you are referring too, and I always assumed it was dried fixer. Who knew A A could be so sloppy?

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ckimmerle

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Ansel Adams photo question
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2009, 12:08:49 PM »

If I remember the photo correctly, it did look like dried fixer to me. If you're going to try a similar photo for fun and education, I'm pretty sure you'll need to get the fixer fairly saturated with dissolved silver to give tonality. It'll definitely crystallize without silver, but I doubt you'll get the full effect.

Chuck
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 12:10:14 PM by ckimmerle »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Ansel Adams photo question
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2009, 12:50:08 PM »

Quote from: ckimmerle
If I remember the photo correctly, it did look like dried fixer to me. If you're going to try a similar photo for fun and education, I'm pretty sure you'll need to get the fixer fairly saturated with dissolved silver to give tonality. It'll definitely crystallize without silver, but I doubt you'll get the full effect.

Chuck

I might just do it, just for the nostalgia of inhaling all those toxic fumes once again. But I guess I'll have to make a bunch of prints first to get the dissolved silver into the fixer.


Hmmm. I guess developing a bunch of unexposed printing paper should leave more silver in the fixer than exposed paper, since silver has to stay on the paper to make the image.

Eric

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DanPBrown

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Ansel Adams photo question
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2009, 08:22:03 PM »

Thanks for the info. I can't locate the photo online. It was at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts that I saw the exhibit.

What would be the best way for me to emulate the effect? I don't know how to find the chemicals.
Dan
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