CARBON PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS

3 DAY workshop /

Single colour Carbon printing, as single or as a double transfer process

or

5 DAY workshop /

Three colour Carbon printing as double or triple transfer process

1on1 or maximum 2 people

Depending on which option you choose this workshop will be an introduction for complete beginners to single colour carbon printing or three colour carbon printing. Carbon photography is a unique and very beautiful 19th century continuous tone pigment transfer system, with gelatine and raw pigments as the main constituents. 

The underlying principal in this process is that once the light reactive chemical*  has been applied to the gelatine, it will harden the substance once exposed to ultra violet light. When using a negative the hardened gelatine will be in proportion to the amount of light received. The image is then developed in hot water to melt away the soft unexposed parts of the image. This is a contact printing method and therefore the negative has to be the same size as the print.

 

The developed image can then be transferred to a temporary support before being transferred once again to a final support such as paper, glass or metal. In three colour carbon this could be a triple transfer procedure or as a double transfer. The prints produced are archivally very stable with a high gamut and long tonal range, which are rich and deep with a visible relief to them.

*Potassium Dichromate was the traditional sensitizer but highly toxic and regulations in the UK make it difficult to use without a licence. However a safer alternative is available which is less toxic and which is much more stable called Diazo or DAS.

All materials are produced from scratch. You will be instructed in the preparation of black or coloured carbon tissues and their sensitisation. You will undertake 9 step and 21 step tonal and colour calibrations and digital correction curves for image files to either send to an imagesetter service or to print your own digital negatives on Pictorico film.

Depending on the temporary or final supports, these will need to be prepared in advance of printing.

We will cover the history of Carbon Photography, production techniques and the safe handling of chemistry. You will be guided through the use of a pin registration system and a light exposure unit with a vacuum table. Once exposed the transfer of the exposed image to a temporary or final surface for development will be in hot water.

 

Due to the nature of the materials used, humidity, constituents and light can effect the materials in unpredictable ways. You will learn to identify problems and how to resolve them.

Cost / price per person

If 2 people attend together there would be a discount

£200 per day for three days is £600, which includes most materials.

£190 per day for 5 days is £950, which also includes most materials.

Image setter negatives would be an additional charge and would depend on the size of the image to be printed.

All prices exclude VAT.

Dates

By direct arrangement, please contact me for further information.

 

History

The technique was invented in 1855 by Alphonse Louis Poitevin (1818-1894), improved on and subsequently made available commercially by Joseph Wilson Swan (1823-1914) in 1864.

 

In the 19th century carbon printing was popular and was used extensively by museums and photographers as a means of making high quality permanent reproductions of silver gelatine photographs, paintings and drawings. A great many of Julia Margaret Cameron's photographs were produced as Carbon prints. Silver salts were still considered unstable at the time. It was a popular contact printing process but due to the fact that it could not be mechanised it fell out of commercial use in the 1930s and only a handful of people continued to practice the technique.

 

In recent years there has been a worldwide resurgence of interest in the process and with advances in production methods and the use of digital negatives. Carbon is once again becoming accessible for artists and photographers wishing to create high quality hand produced prints that look and feel unique. Carbon printing is to date the most archival printing method ever invented.