After my initial foray into Bromoil I decided to switch papers from Slavich Unibrom to Fomabrom Variant 113 to see whether it inked more easily. This post describes how I got on …

My method:

  1. Print from the negative with half a stop over-exposure and a grade lower than ‘normal’.
  2. Process in Multigrade for normal time ( 2 minutes).
  3. Water stop bath
  4. Non-hardening fixer, 5 minutes.
  5. Sodium Sulphite bath, Wash then Dry
  6. Superdry
  7. Soak in water at 20 C degrees for 3 minutes.
  8. Blot dry
  9. Bleach-tan for 15 minutes at 20 C.
  10. Wash 5 minutes running water
  11. Fix – Sodium Thiosulphate for 5 minutes
  12. Wash 30 minutes
  13. Dry then Superdry with a hair-dryer.

At this point I decided to do a soak test to gauge the soaking time necessary for easy inking. I cut a duplicate bleached and tanned picture into strips and soaked the strips for 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes at 20 degrees Celsius. Here were the results:

Results of soak test strips – iphone image

The inking was fairly rough and ready, but you can see that clearing the highlights improved with increased soaking times. I settled for a soaking time of 18 minutes. The ink was #1796.

Here is the final result:

Learning Brmoil Printing
Bromoil- scanned from Print. Hasselblad Planar 120mm, Ilford FP4+ in Rodinal 1:50, Printed on Fomabrom Variant 113.

I need to learn how to reduce the contrast, but the result is OK. I would like something more subtle but at least the paper is taking the ink. Things I need to do in my next attempt:

  • Reduce contrast of the initial print through a combination of reduced film development time, reduced printing grade and use of a softer or more dilute paper developer (I think I will make up some Selectol-Soft from raw chemicals). Finally, reduce temperature of soak time by 2 degrees.
  • Improve inking process: Use ink more sparingly; Start with hard ink for shadow areas but use softer ink (cut with linseed oil) with softer brush for highlights at a higher temperature. Perhaps incorporate a small amount of Burnt Umber ink to soften the overall feel of the picture.
  • I need to sort out the edges of the print – the inking is too uneven.
  • Look out for better brushes. My brushes lose their hairs too easily.

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