Tofuku-ji #1

The basic salted paper process is described in Christopher James' book: The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (ISBN 0-7668-2077-7), or use the technique at alternativephotography.com. The hard, chlorinated water in our area means that I have to use de-ionised water to prevent precipitate when mixing the silver nitrate (de-ionised water bought at car accessory shops is fine). Keep any brushes just for silver coating and make sure your brushes don't have any metal fittings - specialist art shops are a good source, or Silverprint in the UK.

Sizing with gelatin is not necessary unless the paper you are using is thin or has high absorption. Better to start with a watercolour paper or Arches Platine - none of these needs a gelatin size.

Soak in the salt solution then dry. Do not soak in a silver nitrate bath, or double coat in nitrate - it's too expensive and I've found that the image quality actually deteriorates with too much silver nitrate. You will also be washing too much surplus silver into the water system during the washing phase - not good for the environment!

Don't mix salt and nitrate before coating: you need insoluble silver chloride to be evenly spread across and bonded with the paper, and the way to achieve this is to coat the silver nitrate evenly with rod or brush. The silver nitrate reacts with the sodium chloride (common salt) to give the light-sensitive silver chloride, which will be firmly bonded to the paper fibres. pre-mixing and coating a suspension of silver chloride wil be uneven and will not bond with the paper unless you use a carrier like gelatin - but then you might as well use liquid emulsion! One of the really nice qualities of salt prints is the the way they seem to be part of the paper, so avoid geletin if you can.

Hakusasonso

Hakusasonso

Matsuno

Matsuno

Ryoan-ji

Ryoan-ji

Tofuku-ji #2

Tofuku-ji #2

Tofuku-ji #3

Tofuku-ji #3