About a month ago I participated in a salt printing workshop here in Denver. Salt printing is an alternative process were hand produced printing paper is contact printed using the UV light from the sun. It is a pretty touchy and difficult process, very prone to failure, and requiring a very dense negative.
These two images are contact printed from 4×5 negatives that I had previously exposed. The first is of Union in downtown Denver, and the second is of a local historic structure near my home.
The printing paper is created by first coating water color paper with a salted gelatin base on which silver nitrate is painted. The paper is then dried before placing it in a contact frame with a negative on top. The frame is then placed in direct sunlight where it is exposed until it “looks done.” The exposed print is then developed with rough agitation, fixed, and toned in a gold toner, giving it the strong brown color. The finished print is very delicate, so the final step is to “wax” the image with bee’s wax to protect the surface.