Choice of paper for salt



Before we say goodbye to the residency I thought I shall share my experiences with regard to the paper used for the salt print. Among the handful of papers that we tried out Canson Acrylic (cold press, 300gsm) seemed to be the better one, also being cheaper. The grains are a little different and less coarse as compared to the Fabriano Artistico (cold press, 300gsm) that we first started working with. So pictures seeking details are printed better and they tend to have a slightly warmer tone. The whites are pretty bright provided the negative is a OHP. The shadows open up nice while washing and the overall reddish tone that is typical of a salt print is achieved upon drying.

To get warm tones, Waterford hot press 200gsm works really well. But care should be taken while coating the paper because it absorbs very quickly. Results are good, quite of bit of detail in the shadows can be coaxed out but there seems to be a loss when it concerns the whites.

(Prints: L-R Fabriano Artistico and Canson Acrylic. From the series ‘Breaking Bread’)

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2 Responses to Choice of paper for salt

  1. secondslater says:

    Vivek, are the whites rendered with better detail if using a gateway sheet negative? Also, is it possible to use gateway negatives for the salt method? And the rendering of whites must also be pertinently affected by how long and at what level the exposure is, am I right?

    • drvivekm says:

      Hi Vatsala,
      No, not really I have found the whites are retained better if the negatives are printed on OHPs. Of course, you may use gateway negatives but I found the prints much softer. However gateway negatives are cheaper than OHPs. Hmm.. am not sure how the whites are specifically affected by exposure but getting pure whites is quite a challenge in salt!

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