Lithography

Lith Printing Demonstration

We have some Arista.EDU Ultra RC paper and Photographer’s Formulary Lith Developer to work with. While they are not the most highly recommended materials for lith printing, they are the easiest to get at the moment

Here are  3 scanned images.

Ilford MG IV RC.jpg is Ilford Multigrade IV RC paper developed in Multigrade developer (1:12).Exposed for 4 seconds, f16, #2.5 contrast grade, developed for 2 minutes.

Exposed for 4 seconds, f16, #2.5 contrast grade, developed for 2 minutes.

Arista Ultra RC 1.jpg is Arista.EDU Ultra RC paper developed in Multigrade developer (1:12).Exposed for 4 seconds, f16, #2.5 contrast grade, developed for 2 minutes.

Arista Ultra RC 2.jpg is Arista.EDU Ultra RC paper developed in LITH developer (1:3).Exposed for 16 seconds, f16, #2.5 contrast grade, developed for 6 minutes.

The scans are not the best for showing the subtleties of the images.

 arista-ultra-rc-1 ilford-mg-iv-rc arista-ultra-rc-2

Before the printing industry converted to digital they used a lot of lith film and lith developer. Lith film is very high contrast. Usually there are no midtones of any kind when it has been developed with lith developer. At some point someone tried experimenting with enlarging paper and lith developer. Our guess is that they tried diluting the developer to allow midtones to develop and observed some interesting behaviour: colour shifts (similar to toning the paper) in the highlights, while the darker areas were less impacted. As well there is a delicacy to the images that may appeal to you.

Modern enlarging papers have a developing agent in the emulsion and for the most part do not work well for lith printing. There are still a handful of enlarging papers that do not have the developing agent in the emulsion, and these work well with lith printing. 

Some useful links:

Tim Rudman’s web site

An overview of lith printing by Tim Rudman

Tim’s Lith printing materials update – 2004

Tim’s Lith printing materials update – 2013

Indra’s website is useful because she shows you scans of the results along with discussion of the materials and techniques used.

Indra Moonen | Photography Contrastique

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