Tim Layton Fine Art | Tim Layton Fine Art Large Format Silver Gelatin Darkroom Printmaking Process

TIM LAYTON FINE ART LARGE FORMAT SILVER GELATIN FINE ART PRINTMAKING

I get a lot of questions about how I make my large format silver gelatin fine art gallery prints, so I have put together this page to share the tools and methods that I use.  If you have any questions or comments, you can connect with me on my contact page at any time.  

If you would like to know more about my creative process, check out the "Meet Tim Layton" page to learn more. 

INTRODUCTION

I create my large format silver gelatin fine art gallery prints in the darkroom that my son and I built together.  We print everything ourselves and we do not outsource or have others perform any part of the process for us.  When you purchase one of our fine art prints, you know that we handcrafted the print every step of the way.  

Our process is completely analog-based and devoid of modern computer-based technology.  We handcraft each fine art print in our darkroom using large format black and white film and the finest fiber papers available.  

The detail in our large format prints is something that can only be truly appreciated in person. My default camera is a Chamonix 8x10 large format view camera which is perfectly matched to my Beseler 810V-XL 8x10 Enlarger.  If 8x10 isn't feasible or if I want a panoramic format other than 4x10, I use my Fuji GX617 camera which I use to make 6 foot wide panoramic prints.  My enlarger is set up and optimized to handle all of these formats.

FINE ART PRINTS

My limited edition black and white silver gelatin botanical fine art prints are created one at a time by hand in the darkroom using large format view cameras and black and white film. 

My entire workflow is devoid of modern technology and computers. I continue to choose film and hand making prints in the darkroom over using modern digital technology because film has the qualities and characteristics that make my limited edition artwork unique and stand out from the crowd. 

Each of my limited edition prints is selenium toned on fiber-based paper to current archival standards ensuring that your artwork is protected and will last for many hundreds of years without any signs of deterioration. 

My large format botanical artwork is available in sizes from 8 x 10 inches to 4 feet x 6 feet murals.

MY BESELER 810V-XL ENLARGER

Standing Next To Newly Wall Mounted 8x10 EnlargerStanding Next To Newly Wall Mounted 8x10 EnlargerLarge Format Video Workshop Series

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I selected the Beseler 810V-XL enlarger for a few reasons.  First, it is completely 
mechanical with no electric or electronic parts to break.  By performing simple maintenance, this enlarger will last several lifetimes.  I currently use a Beseler 810 Cold Light to make my prints.  I am in the process of getting an LED Cold Light head that should last me for the rest of my life.  

Most of my prints are created with the Rodenstock Rodagon 240mm lens using 8x10 negatives and for panoramic prints, I either use my 4x10 reducing back on my 8x10 or my Fuji GX617.  The Rodagon 240mm lens is sharp edge to edge, even on my 40x50 and larger prints. You can review the full list of lenses that I use in the paragraph below. 

My son and I custom built a solution to make our large format silver gelatin mural prints.  As you can see in the photo to the left, we wall mounted the 8x10 enlarger using a solution that we designed and built.  

We also built an adjustable tabletop baseboard and easel to accommodate all of our print sizes.   You can watch a video overview of our wall-mounting project.  

MY ENLARGER LENSES

  • Rodenstock Rodagon 240mm F5.6 - This is my main enlarging lens for 8x10, 5x7, and 6x17 panoramics
  • El Nikkor 210mm F5.6 - I use this lens for 8x10 and 5x7 negatives
  • Beseler 240mm APO-HD - This was my original lens for my 8x10, 5x7, and 6x17 Pano negatives
  • Rodenstock 150mm F9 APO-Gerogon - I use this lens for my 4x5 negatives 
  • Schneider 135mm F5.6 Componon-S - I use this lens for my 4x5 negatives 
  • Rodenstock 105mm F4.5 Omegaron - I use this lens for my 6x9 and 6x7 negatives 
  • Rodenstock 90mm F4.5 Rogonar-S - I use this lens for my 6x6 and 6x4.5 negatives 

FINE ART PRINT PROCESSING

I include a white border on all of my prints for handling and processing.  We leave the border on our prints to help facilitate mounting and framing.  

I sign and edition all of our prints in the lower right margin to ensure authenticity for you.  The information in the margin is handwritten in pencil and processed into the fibers of paper during the development process.    

I use Dektol diluted to 1:3 for my developer, a water stop bath, and TF-5 archival fixer for my standard printing process.  

I selenium tone all of my fine art gallery prints using Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner for an increased DMAX and maximum archival permanence.  Based on scientific research, our prints will last hundreds of years without any sign of fading or deterioration and likely many hundreds of years longer without any noticeable derogation of quality.

FINE ART PRINT INFORMATION FOR COLLECTORS

Each print is hand printed by Tim Layton in his darkroom on fiber-based paper and selenium-toned for archival purposes. Your artwork is signed and issued a limited edition number by Tim Layton and a certificate of authenticity is included with every print.  As prints sell, and the number of prints available in the edition is fewer and fewer, the prices increase.  The price of the artwork may change without notification.  Upon your order, we will confirm the price for your approval before the purchase is complete. 

QUESTIONS

If you would like to know more about Tim's creative process, check out the "Meet Tim Layton" page and learn more. 

If you would like to purchase one of our handcrafted silver gelatin fine art gallery prints or if you have questions about our process, contact us and we will be happy to connect with you.