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Can I Create the look of "Silver Gelatin"?


Tenor1
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What does the term "silver gelatin" actually mean and can I recreate it using Aperture?

 

I was mesmerized by the look at a print exhibition and would like to attempt creating the look. The pictures were B&W but with very little contrast and very light in color.

 

Thanks,

Carlos Marques

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Carlos,

 

First have a look at this link Gelatin-silver process - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to understand something about the process it self.

 

Then: in aperture it will be a question of finding your way in duo tones. I'm out of sync with aperture, but in Lightroom and in photoshop it is simple, so I guess Apetrure will not be too difficult.

 

I'm sure there are good plugins available: check "power retouche" but also google on "silver gelatin" +aperture +plugin (literally, with the "")

 

Marco

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My impression is that you will need to venture into a real darkroom and paddle some prints around in some real chemicals to achieve that end result. Maybe you can fake it with digital, but why bother when it can be done in reality?

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Thanks for the link with the explanation of the process. I didn't imagine it was so complex to achieve the final product. I don't have a darkroom at my disposal and will try Aperture.

 

The look of these prints is close to a pencil sketch. The prints did not look like photographs. The effect is stunning in my opinion and I will appreciate it more now that I know what great lengths it takes to achieve it.

 

Regards,

Carlos Marques

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The 'silver gelatin' process is indeed the same as the standard B/W film & dark room photo printing process. Whether this term is poncy or not I leave to your own judgement.

 

Although the process is well defined in a generic sense, you can change contrast and exposure quite dramatically if you know what you are doing (using special papers, filters, weird development times, different bath temperatures etc.). So what you describe seem to be a high contrast print that was exposed for short time in the enlarger. But I am sure there are more knowledgable B/W film types lurking around here.

 

Inspired by this, is anyone here still using the older printing processes? See List of photographic processes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia when I was a teenager (a few years ago :D) I tried the Gum bichromate process which was fun but not very succesful. I never dared trying a Daguerrotype as boiling mercury did not particularly appeal even in my dangerous years.

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