Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsions Community Hosted by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com/emulsionHandmade Silver Gelatin Emulsions Community Hosted by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com/emulsion

At a point in time when just about every aspect of our lives are digitized and run on computers, why would photographers want to make 19th century handmade silver gelation emulsions and make their own film, dry plates, and darkroom papers?

There has been an amazing revival of film and analog photography in the last several years.  Younger photographers are discovering the joy and personal satisfaction of shooting and hand developing film and either scanning their film for some form of digital output or making prints by hand in the darkroom. 

There is another level that goes beyond using commercial film and developers that is gaining a lot of momentum in the analog photography community.  Learning how to make 19th century silver gelation emulsions is the key to unlocking a deeply satisfying and unlimited amount of creative potential for many analog photographers.  

Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsions Community Hosted by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com/emulsionHandmade Silver Gelatin Emulsions Community Hosted by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com/emulsion First, using handmade colorblind and orthochromatic emulsions instantly places the look and feel of your images in the 19th century. 

Also, the personal connection, satisfaction, and pride of making your own film and darkroom paper is unparalleled in digital photography.  One isn't better than the other, these are just radically different mediums and experiences.  

We live at a time where we have the best of all worlds.  We can choose to capture our images on everything from the latest and greatest digital cameras that are effectively supercomputers, or we can use commercially available films and developers, or we can take things to the ultimate level and make our own films and papers. 

  Large Format Silver Gelatin Dryplate Photography by Tim LaytonLarge Format Silver Gelatin Dryplate Photography by Tim LaytonReceive my Darkroom Diary updates every Saturday at 9AM CT where I share my insider tips and tutorials with film and darkroom photographers. Get sneak peeks inside my darkroom and studio and early access to to my latest fine art prints. [Hint: I give away free fine art prints to my Darkroom Diary readers, so don't miss out.]

Read the latest issue of the Darkroom Underground Magazine where we bring you leading articles and tutorials from photographers around the world and the latest portfolios of leading analog photographers.
Large Format Silver Gelatin Dryplate Photography by Tim LaytonLarge Format Silver Gelatin Dryplate Photography by Tim LaytonReceive my Darkroom Diary updates every Saturday at 9AM CT where I share my insider tips and tutorials with film and darkroom photographers. Get sneak peeks inside my darkroom and studio and early access to to my latest fine art prints. [Hint: I give away free fine art prints to my Darkroom Diary readers, so don't miss out.]

Read the latest issue of the Darkroom Underground Magazine where we bring you leading articles and tutorials from photographers around the world and the latest portfolios of leading analog photographers.
DIY Silver Gelatin Emulsion Making by Tim LaytonDIY Silver Gelatin Emulsion Making by Tim LaytonReceive my Darkroom Diary updates every Saturday at 9AM CT where I share my insider tips and tutorials with film and darkroom photographers. Get sneak peeks inside my darkroom and studio and early access to to my latest fine art prints. [Hint: I give away free fine art prints to my Darkroom Diary readers, so don't miss out.]

Read the latest issue of the Darkroom Underground Magazine where we bring you leading articles and tutorials from photographers around the world and the latest portfolios of leading analog photographers.

Join me and other photographers from around the world in the new Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsions Community.  

FREE Darkroom Diary by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com/FREEFREE Darkroom Diary by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonfineart.com/FREE

There is even a hybrid path that allows photographers to capture images using digital cameras and make digital negatives to make handmade prints on everything from commercially made silver gelation variable contrast papers to hand coated platinum and palladium prints. 

We can even make our own silver gelation emulsions from raw chemicals and make our own contact and enlarging papers. 

Why do photographers want to make handmade silver gelatin emulsions in the 21st century when we have state of the art digital photography gear that is beyond most people's comprehension? 

The answer is simple for me.  I love to be deeply connected to my subjects and using my hands in every step of the process is extremely rewarding and offers me an unparalleled range of creative options that do not exist in the contemporary digital world. 

Why do you want to make handmade silver gelatin emulsions when we have technically superior digital photography gear?  

Join me in the new Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsions Community


DIY HANDMADE SILVER GELATIN EMULSION ARTICLES & TUTORIALS

Silver Gelatin Dry Plate Developer Formulas Kodak D-49 & D-19
 


CLASSIC SILVER GELATIN LITERATURE & REFERENCE BOOKS

Nineteenth century photographic journals are a great source of information for contemporary silver gelatin emulsion makers. 

  • Photographic News
  • British Journal of Photography
  • British Journal Almanac
  • Philadelphia Photographer
  • American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac
  • Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin

There are many out of print books that are very helpful for modern day silver gelation emulsion makers.  I have created a list of some of the most helpful books that I would recommend trying to find if you are serious about emulsion making. 

  • The Practical Working of the Gelatin Emulsion Process, Captain W. De W. Abney, Piper & Carter, 5 Castle Street, Holborn, E.C. London 1880  
  • Modern Dry Plates or Emulsion Photography, Dr. J.M. Eder, E. & H. T. Anthony & Co., No. 591, Broadway, NY 1881 (English edition) 
  • Wilson’s Photographics, E.L. Wilson, No. 853  Broadway, NY, 1881  
  • The Photographic Negative,W.H. Burbank,  Scovill Manf. Co., NY, 1888  
  • Photographic Emulsions, Their Preparation  and Coating on Glass, Celluloid and Paper,  Experimentally and on the Large Scale, E.J. Wall American Photographic Publishing Co., Baker, 1929  
  • Photographic Emulsion Technique, T. Thorne  Baker, American Photographic Publishing Co., Boston, 1948
  • Photographic Emulsion Chemistry, G.F. Duffin, Focal Press, London & NY, 1966  [Abe Books]
  • Silver Gelatin: A User’s Guide to Liquid Photographic Emulsion, Martin Reed & Sarah Jones, Argentum/Aurum Press, 25 Bedford Ave., London, 1995

SOURCES FOR RESEARCH


SILVER GELATIN EMULSION ADDITIONAL RESOURCES