SILVER GELATIN FINE ART PRINTMAKING

Tim Layton With Silver Gelatin Large Format PrintTim Layton With Silver Gelatin Large Format Print 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 new website and blog at any time. 

INTRODUCTION

I create 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.  When you purchase one of our fine art prints or you have us make a print for you, you know that we handcrafted the print every step of the way.  

Our process for making our large silver gelatin prints is completely analog-based, meaning that we only need light, paper, and chemistry.  We handcraft each fine art print in our darkroom from analog film negatives.  

We use an 8x10 enlarger with a custom Heiland LED cold light head and a split-grade controller from Heiland in Germany.  The Heiland split-grade system allows us to work with great precision and create very consistent and repeatable prints down to 1/10th of an f/stop and paper grade.  This means our prints are very consistent no matter how much time has passed between editions.  You can read more about the Heiland LED and split-grade controller system.    

We are able to produce stunning split-grade silver gelatin prints that will make the most discerning collector take note.  All of our gallery prints are always selenium toned for an enhanced richness as well as archival permanence.  We guarantee all of our silver gelatin prints for a lifetime. 

We can work with films ranging in size from 35mm up to 8x10 and make prints ranging in size from 8x10 to 48x60.  We can make larger prints upon special request.  

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My Beseler 8x10 enlarger is completely mechanical with no electric or electronic parts to break.  By performing simple maintenance, this enlarger will last several lifetimes. 

Most of my prints are created with the classic Rodenstock Rodagon 240mm lens.  This lens is sharp edge to edge, even on my 48x60 prints. You can review the full list of my lenses that I use in the paragraph below.  

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

Tim Layton Silver Gelatin Fine Art PrintTim Layton Silver Gelatin Fine Art Print By default, 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, but we can trim it after the prints are flattened upon request or leave it to make a nice relief between the edge of your image and the mat board. 

For my personal prints, I sign and edition them 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.  My signature and print information becomes part of the print.       

I selenium tone all of the silver gelatin prints using Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner for an increased DMAX and maximum archival permanence.  Based on scientific research, our prints should last hundreds of years without any sign of fading or deterioration and likely many hundreds of years longer without any noticeable derogation of quality. But most importantly, we guarantee them for a lifetime. 

My personal goal is to create the finest handmade black and white silver gelatin prints in the world for my collectors. 


Analog Photography Training Library

You Can Get Immediate Access To My Entire Training Library For a Fraction of The Cost.

Tim Layton Fine Art All Access Pass B&W Darkroom Photography Video WorkshopB&W Darkroom Photography Video Workshop Large Format Photography Video Workshop SeriesLarge Format Photography Video Workshop Series

B&W Large Format Floral Still Life Video WorkshopB&W Large Format Floral Still Life Video Workshop Large Format B&W Film Testing Video WorkshopLarge Format B&W Film Testing Video Workshop

Large Format Paper Negative Video WorkshopLarge Format Paper Negative Video Workshop DIY UV Printer Design & Build Video WorkshopDIY UV Printer Design & Build Video Workshop Platinum & Palladium Printmaking with Vellum Video WorkshopPlatinum & Palladium Printmaking with Vellum Video Workshop

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