I finally used my DIY UV box for making Van Dyke wet prints – Here’s my complete process

May 23, 2022

Luigi Barbano

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I finally used my DIY UV box for making Van Dyke wet prints – Here’s my complete process

May 23, 2022

Luigi Barbano

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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It’s been a little while since I built my UV Box but sometimes, life gets in the middle of our fun projects! Now, I’ve finally tested the UV Box and I can say that it works great. I made a test with two different negatives: a very soft flower subject lighted with painted light and a very sharp subject lighted with a very contrasty light. I wanted to see how this printing process deals with different subjects.

I proceeded with some step tests to find the corrected exposure for my negatives. I did 2 seconds steps and as you can see in the video, I was a little optimistic with my first strip of 2,4,6,8 seconds of exposure. In the end, the correct exposure resulted in 11 minutes.

Van Dyke brown is a printing process named after Anthony van Dyck. It involves coating a canvas with ferric ammonium citrate, tartaric acid, and silver nitrate, then exposing it to ultraviolet light. The canvas can be washed with water, and hypo to keep the solutions in place. [1] The image created has a Van Dyke brown color when it’s completed, and unlike other printing methods, does not require a darkroom.

– Source: Wikipedia

I was expecting shorter exposure times because I’d seen some other boxes made with the same LED lights giving short exposure times with other alternative processes. Still, I like the slow times when I work with film and so I kinda like to have time to think while I wait for the paper to be exposed. The Arduino timer is working great and it’s a pleasure to use this box!

I have to learn to pose the emulsion better on the paper. The thickness came out not uniform and there are spots where the emulsion did not spread at all on the paper. Still, I have a lot to learn but as a first try, I’m quite satisfied with the results. The LabOldTech2000 kit is very easy to use and complete. You can see how I made the UV box here in my previous article.

See you next time with new projects!

About the Author

Italian born Luigi Barbano is a professional photographer since 1994, artist and author. He has written and published numerous photographic books, the most recent “Photography: The f Manual“. You can find out more about Luigi and all of his books on his website. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

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We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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