14 Dec Video: How photographic salt prints are made

Source: DP Review

The George Eastman Museum has shared a video explaining how salt prints are made with a step-by-step illustration from its Historic Process Specialist, Nick Brandreth. The video lists off the ingredients needed and then demonstrates the process and the result. Nick also provided the video on How to safely make a 35mm daguerreotype at home that we wrote about last week.

Nick commends the process to beginners as it uses one of the most common chemicals found in any domestic kitchen – sodium chloride, or table salt – and says that this is one of the earliest photographic processes. He then goes on to say that we also need silver nitrate, bees wax and lavender oil, which may not be quite so readily to hand for most of us. He also treats his print with a toning bath of gold chloride, but in the comments of the video points out that this isn’t an absolutely necessary step.

The instructions tell us to dissolve the salt and silver nitrate in separate dishes of distilled water, and then to coat art paper with the salt solution. Once dried the paper is coated with the silver solution, and when that is dried it can be placed in contact with a large negative, either from a large format camera or one printed using an inkjet printer onto sheets of clear material, such as acetate.

The paper needs to be exposed to UV light

Video: How photographic salt prints are made posted on DP Review on .

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