Albumen print


Albumen print

The albumen print, also called albumen silver print, was invented in 1850 by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, and was the first commercially exploitable method of producing a photographic print on a paper base from a negative. It used the albumen found in egg whites to bind the photographic chemicals to the paper and became the dominant form of photographic positives from 1855 to the turn of the century, with a peak in the 1860-90 period. During the mid-1800s, the carte de visite became one of the more popular uses of the albumen method. In the 19th century, E. & H. T. Anthony & Company were the largest makers and distributors of the Albumen photographic prints and paper in the United States. [Welling, William. Photography in America (1978 & 1987)]

The process of making an albumen print

# A piece of paper, usually 100% cotton, is coated with an emulsion of egg white (albumen) and salt (sodium chloride or ammonium chloride), then dried. The albumen seals the paper and creates a slightly glossy surface for the sensitizer to rest on.
# The paper is then dipped in a solution of silver nitrate and water which renders the surface sensitive to UV light.
# The paper is then dried in the absence of UV light.
# The dried, prepared paper is placed in a frame in direct contact under a negative, often a glass negative with collodion emulsion but can be done with a digital negative, and exposed to light until the image achieves the desired level of darkness, which is typically a little lighter than the end product. While direct sunlight was used long ago, a UV exposure unit is preferable because it is more predictable, as the paper is most sensitive to ultraviolet light.
# A bath of sodium thiosulfate fixes the print’s exposure, preventing further darkening.
# Optional gold or selenium toning improves the photograph’s tone and stabilises against fading, depending on the toner this may be done before or after fixing the print.

Since the image emerges as a direct result of exposure to light, without the aid of a developing solution, an albumen print may be said to be a "printed" rather than a developed photograph.

The table salt (sodium chloride) in the albumen emulsion forms silver chloride when in contact with silver nitrate. Silver chloride is unstable when exposed to light, which makes it decompose into silver and chlorine. The silver is oxidized into silver oxide during the development process and the remaining silver chloride is washed out during fixing. The black parts of the image are formed by silver oxide.

ee also

* Collodion process

A piece of paper, usually 100% cotton, is coated with an emulsion of egg white (albumen) and salt (sodium chloride or ammonium chloride), then dried. The albumen seals the paper and creates a slightly glossy surface for the sensitizer to rest on.The paper is then dipped in a solution of silver nitrate and water which renders the surface sensitive to UV light.The paper is then dried in the absence of UV light.The dried, prepared paper is placed in a frame in direct contact under a negative, often a glass negative with collodion emulsion but can be done with any negative with decent dencity, and exposed to light until the image achieves the desired level of darkness, which is typically a little lighter than the end product. While direct sunlight was used long ago, a UV exposure unit is preferable because it is more predictable, as the paper is most sensitive to ultraviolet light.A bath of sodium thiosulfate fixes the print’s exposure, preventing further darkening.Optional gold or selenium toning improves the photograph’s tone and stabilises against fading, depending on the toner this may be done before or after fixing the print.Since the image emerges as a direct result of exposure to light, without the aid of a developing solution, an albumen print may be said to be a printed rather than a developed photograph.The table salt (sodium chloride) in the albumen emulsion forms silver chloride when in contact with silver nitrate. Silver chloride is unstable when exposed to light, which makes it decompose into silver and chlorine. The silver is oxidized into silver oxide during the development process and the remaining silver chloride is washed out during fixing. The black parts of the image are formed by silver oxide.

References

* Marshall, F.A.S. "Photography: the importance of its applications in preserving pictorial records. Containing a practical description of the Talbotype process" (London: Hering & Remington; Peterborough, T Chadwell & J Clarke, 1855).
* [http://albumen.stanford.edu Stanford University - Albumen Photographs: history, science and preservation]
* [http://www.alternativephotography.com/process_albumen_paper.html Alternative Photography - Make Albumen Paper]
* [http://www.kiwisunphoto.com/albumen.php Kiwi Sun Photography: Albumen Printing]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • albumen print —    A paper for making photographic prints, on which egg whites (albumen) coated the paper in order to increase its sensitivity, adding to the brightness of whites in the picture. This process was invented in the mid nineteenth century by… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • Albumen (disambiguation) — Albumen (or Albumin) may refer to:* Albumin, a water solubule protein * Egg white, the clear liquid contained within an egg See also * Endosperm, tissue produced in the seeds of most flowering plants * Albumen print, method of producing a print… …   Wikipedia

  • Salt print — Salt Prints:The most common paper print until the albumen. Period of Use: 1839 ca. 1860The salted paper print was the first type of paper print used in photography, and remained the most popular paper print until the introduction of the albumen… …   Wikipedia

  • silver print — noun 1. : a photographic print on a surface sensitized with silver salts or formerly on albumen printing out paper 2. : a print made by silver printing * * * silver print, a photographic positive made on paper sensitized by a silver salt …   Useful english dictionary

  • photography, history of — Introduction       method of recording the image of an object through the action of light, or related radiation, on a light sensitive material. The word, derived from the Greek photos (“light”) and graphein (“to draw”), was first used in the… …   Universalium

  • Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū — Infobox Shinto shrine name = Tsurugaoka Hachiman gū 鶴岡八幡宮 width = caption = The stairway to the Senior Shrine ( hongū ) type = Hachiman Shrine dedication = Hachiman founded = 1063 closed = founder = priest = address = 2 1 31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura …   Wikipedia

  • Cabinet card — The Cabinet card was the style of photograph which was universally adopted for photographic portraiture in 1870. It consisted of a thin photograph that was generally mounted on cards measuring 4 ¼” by 6 ½ inches.HistoryThe Carte de visite process …   Wikipedia

  • Photography — is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light sensitive material such as photographic… …   Wikipedia

  • List of photographic processes — This page list various photographic processes.Color*Chromogenic positive (Ektachrome) **E 4 process **E 6 process *Chromogenic negative **C 41 process **RA 4 process *Dye destruction **Cibachrome **Ilfochrome *Kodachrome **K 12 process **K 14… …   Wikipedia

  • Isidore van Kinsbergen — (Bruges 1821 ndash;Batavia 1905) was a Dutch Flemish engraver who took the first archaeological and cultural photographs of Java during the Dutch East Indies period in the nineteenth century. The photographs he produced during his visit to the… …   Wikipedia