One Four Challenge; Vintage Salt Print

Last week I wasn’t really happy with last week’s Black and White image. I agreed with alot of the commenters that Black and white was the way to go with this image. There is a strange synergy between the tall ships and the black and white. As I was reading the comments I realised that I wanted the picture to have a strong vintage style. I decided that a could a faux salt print.

The salt print was the dominant paper-based photographic process for producing positive prints during the period from 1839 through approximately 1860.

The salted paper technique was created in the mid-1830s by English scientist and inventor Henry Fox Talbot. He made what he called “sensitive paper” for “photogenic drawing” by wetting a sheet of writing paper with a weak solution of ordinary table salt (sodium chloride), blotting and drying it, then brushing one side with a strong solution of silver nitrate. This produced a tenacious coating of silver chloride in an especially light-sensitive chemical condition. The paper darkened where it was exposed to light. When the darkening was judged to be sufficient, the exposure was ended and the result was stabilized by applying a strong solution of salt, which altered the chemical balance and made the paper only slightly sensitive to additional exposure. In 1839, washing with a solution of sodium thiosulfate (“hypo”) was found to be the most effective way to make the results truly light-fast.
Source Wikipedia

Tall Ships in Charlestown Vintage

There is a method of creating salt prints of digital images but I didn’t really have the time to source all the chemicals, although it sounds like a fun project for the future.
I created my pictures in Photoshop. The main steps are to create a fuzziness of the print and add grain. First I duplicated my layer and applied the filters Find edges and dry brush, then set the blending to multiply. I added a hue and saturation layer set to colourize and chose a suitable sepia tone for the picture. Next I created a grain layer; new layer filled with 50% grey add grain and then apply a glass filter set to frosted, I set the blending of this layer to overlay. I then added another grain layer this time setting the grain filter to Vertical to get a streaked effect and also set the blending to overlay. To make the light a little patch I added a new layer with the filter Render – Clouds set the blending to vivid light and reduced the opacity to 3. To bring the image together I added a vintage border.

 In response to a comment on week one’s post I did also remove the car and black bin from the picture. the removal was not precise as I knew the following process would remove a lot of detail.

So what do you think of the vintage image? Let me know in the comment box below.

Also remember to check out Robyn’s post for this week.

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26 thoughts on “One Four Challenge; Vintage Salt Print

  1. I like this one a lot also. Really like the tones and the old style feel.
    So interesting reading the original salt print process and also how you achieved your digital process. A very successful edition 😃😃

    • Although no Pilgrims traveled from this harbour that I know of I can imagine the similarity of the 17th century harbours of america. I am glad you like this old style i think it is quite fresh when compared to a simple sepia tone.

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